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Tips & Tricks Newsletter Archive
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IN THIS ISSUE:
1. SPECIAL REPORT: PAINTING THROUGH THE COLDEST TIME OF THE YEAR

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Painting During The Winter Months

As some of you may already know, I grew up in Toronto, Canada, so I know all about the seasons and cold weather. But, I never let the cold weather stop me from painting guitars.

Here's exactly what I did all year round when I lived in the Great White North:

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I would set up a portable heater in the basement, open up a window and place a box fan in it, then turn the fan around so it was blowing to the outside. What this does is it sucks the fumes up and sends them outside. It's sort of like a cheap ventilation system.

With a window open, it can get cold fast, so to compensate, I would have the heater fairly close to me and it was turned on HIGH so it was warm enough in the area to paint. The ideal temperature to paint in is 70 degrees, so as long as you're close to that, you'll be fine. However, if it's 50 degrees, it needs to be warmer. Crank up the heater while you're spraying, then turn it back down when you're done - to save on your electric bill - if you're worried at all about that. Make sure that you have a thermometer in your painting area - so you can closely monitor the temperature. (In fact, painting in 60-70 degrees is much better than painting in 90-100 degree weather - with lots of humidity - which is what you get during the summer.)

I created a three-walled booth to spray in - nothing fancy - just some plywood walls to keep the spray from getting on everything in the surrounding area. After a coat of paint was done, I'd move the guitar to another area in the basement - away from where I was painting - where the temperature was warmer and more stable. (So, you may want to install a couple of heaters in your basement - or wherever you plan on spraying.)

I'd then go back over to my spray area, remove the fan from the window, close the window, then turn off the heater. All-in-all, it would take just a few minutes to do this.

To the right are photos from one of my guitar luthier friends who lives in Canada. The heater/fan box concept is something we were both using 20 years ago, and to this day, he still uses it. (His shop is in his converted garage - not joined to his home.)

 

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PAINTING DURING SUMMER MONTHS:

You can use this same method during the summer months as well. Normally, basements are cool, so again, that's good for painting. The only thing I would use during the summer months when spraying in the basement is a portable de-humidifier - to reduce the moisture in the air.

These days, when using spray cans for a project, I paint outside because I now live in California - and we don't have basements. But truthfully, I MISS my old basement! I'd take painting in that environment over painting outside any day.

At least, in a basement, you can control your surroundings. When the wind is gusty outside, there's nothing you can do - you either put up with it, or wait. Oh yeah - in the basement, it's not likely you're going to get little bugs landing in your paint, but that's a common occurrence for spraying outside.

Don't worry, though - in my FREE newsletters, I discussed how to remove bugs from your finish. :)

If you're interested in learning how to properly paint your own guitar and create factory guitar finishes, don't let winter and the cold stop you from starting right now. Try using the same method I just laid out. It worked for me for over a decade - it'll work for you, too.

 

 

 

See you soon...

John Gleneicki
Author - The PaintYourOwnGuitar.com Book Series
Email: questions@paintyourownguitar.com
AOL IM: paintyourownaxe

John Gleneicki has been painting guitars professionally for over 25 years.
He's a former Guitar WORLD Columnist and has also done
custom airbrush work for such companies as ESP Guitars.

 

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