How to paint a guitar like eddie van halen

How to paint a guitar like eddie van halen

Have you ever wanted to know how to paint a guitar like eddie van halen? Maybe you’re a rockstar wannabe and want a fresh look. Maybe you need to replace the color on your expensive guitar, or just want to jazz up your beat up old one. You’ve come to the right place! This article will provide instructions and tips on how to paint a guitar with awesome results.

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Tools Needed




Primer paint


1. Sand the guitar’s surface to remove any dirt and wax that is present. This will make the surface of the instrument ready for painting, giving you a clean surface to work with. You should also sand down any areas where you would like to repaint in order to provide a smooth surface for the paint. Sanding can be done with fine sand paper or an electric sander, whichever you are most comfortable using.

2. Use primer as a base before starting to paint your guitar. Primer prevents your final finished product from having brush strokes or ridges on the surface. This can be applied by hand or with an electric sander, depending on how big of an area you need to cover and how much time you have available. Apply a coat of primer to your guitar, followed by another coat if desired, allow at least 8 hours of drying time before proceeding any further steps.

3. Once your primer has dried sufficiently (at least 8 hours), apply one even coat of color over the entire surface of your guitar which should be dry enough for paint application by now, again allowing it plenty of time to dry (8 hours minimum recommended). Allow for two coats if desired for more intense coloration.

Safety Equipment

The first thing you will need to paint your guitar is safety equipment. You should always wear a mask while painting with any kind of paint, and you should also protect your hands by wearing gloves. I would recommend using latex gloves because they can be removed without leaving behind a residue that could get on the guitar.

Brushes and Other Supplies

To start off, you will need to purchase some paint. We recommend using a flat black primer, as it will make it easier for the finished product to look like ebony. You can also use a gray primer and paint over it with black. For this project, we are going to use black. You’ll also need a few brushes of varied sizes.

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You’ll also want to prepare your work area with a drop cloth or an old sheet that you don’t mind getting paint on, as well as newspaper or some other protective material over your work surface.

Now the fun part (well, maybe not so fun if you don’t have any painting experience). Start by cutting in around the edge of the guitar with your smallest brush. This means painting right up against the edge of the guitar where it meets the body and neck area. Make sure you paint all of these edges so they are completely covered in black paint. Use progressively larger brushes as you move on to painting other sections of the guitar body and neck. When painting your guitar top, try using a brush that is less than 1/2-inch wide since this will make details much easier to see when you’re done. If you want to add any color accents or designs after your initial coat of black has dried, be sure to use acrylic paints rather than oil-based paints because they won’t react negatively with the clear coat that’s put on later in this tutorial.

Applying the Paint

The first step is choosing the right paint. What type of guitar do you have? If you have a semi-hollow, acoustic or electric guitar, then your best bet for painting is enamel paint. If you have a solid body, then your best bet is lacquer paint.

Once you’ve chosen your paint type, grab some painters tape and apply it to the parts of the guitar (or body if it is a solid) that you don’t want painted. Be sure to leave an inch on either side of the neck and an inch from the pickups, tuning keys and input jack on either end of the instrument.

Next, grab your enamel or lacquer paint and start painting from one area to another in long strokes in one direction. Do not use too much pressure on the brush; instead let the bristles move freely on their own as they glide over the surface of your instrument. After doing so, turn around and start painting in the opposite direction with more pressure placed on each stroke than before. Repeat this process until you are done covering every part of your guitar (or body).

Cleaning the Guitar

The first thing you’ll want to do before painting your guitar is to clean it. Make sure you’ve got all the dust, dirt, and junk off of it so that the paint adheres better. You can use a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe down the guitar. This will also remove some of the oils from your hands which could make it difficult for the paint to adhere.

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After wiping your guitar down, it’s a good idea to polish it up as best you can. Some people use a lemon and salt mixture or toothpaste with water as a cleaner and then wax on top of that as further protection against dirt and such. Apply mineral oil after polishing if needed to protect against more oxidation, but don’t apply too much as this may cause streaks in the paint later on.

Applying the Base Color

The first thing you need to do is apply the base color to your guitar. This can be done with a single-tone design or by painting it as if it’s in a rainbow. The most important thing about the base color is that you want to make sure it’s consistent around the entire guitar, and not just on one section.

The reason for this is because when you’re applying the glitter, it will stick only to the paint. If you don’t have an even base coat, then your glitter could get caught inside of any cracks or uneven surfaces.

You’ll want to wait at least two hours before moving onto the next step in order to ensure that your base coat has dried. Some people prefer waiting up to 24 hours before applying their second coat to avoid smudging their design and ruining all their hard work!

Painting the Shapes and Design Elements

The first step is to paint the shapes and design elements. You’ll want to use a light color of paint to start, like white or yellow. Paint the shapes around the guitar such as the headstock, finish, neck, body, and strings. Don’t worry about getting paint on the guitar in these areas, as we’ll be filling in those parts later.

Next, you’ll want to paint any stripes or designs that go on top of the guitar, like Eddie Van Halen’s stars. These will be done with a dark color of paint; you can choose black for this if you want a deeper look. Be careful not to get any paint on the other parts of your guitar where it’s already painted – just keep it on top where you’re painting stripes or designs.

Finally, after all your painting is done, fill in all areas that weren’t painted before with your light color of paint – this includes everything left over from when we were painting only shapes and design elements.

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How to paint a guitar like eddie van halen FAQS

Will the paint last?

Yes and no. The paint will last as long as you want it to. The paint won’t chip or peel unless you really abuse the guitar with your guitar picks or belt buckles (yes, people do that). There are two ways you can protect your guitar from chipping or peeling:
After every painting session, spray a clear coat of polyurethane over the entire guitar to protect the paint.
Wrap the entire guitar in a plastic bag after every painting session and leave it that way overnight to protect it from moisture and air exposure.

How do I choose the right color in the store?

There are many different brands of paint in stores, each with their own set of colors. In choosing a color, make sure it is close to the original color of your guitar. You also may want to consider if you prefer light or dark colors.

What can I do before painting my guitar?

Some people recommend sanding down your guitar before applying any type of paint so that it’s smooth and has less chance of peeling off later from excessive rubbing or contact with other surfaces (like clothing). It may also help create a smoother surface for painting. After sanding, wash it with warm soap and water to remove any dirt and debris particles that could get pushed into the holes during painting. Then apply a sealant coat such as wood filler or primer before painting.


As a beginner, you may be wondering how to paint a guitar. We are here to help with our step-by-step guide on how to paint a guitar like Eddie Van Halen.

The first step is to get all the necessary supplies, such as a paintbrush, primer and paint. You will also want to make sure you have your safety equipment, such as a mask and gloves, on hand.

Paint your guitar with primer before you start painting with your desired color. This will ensure that your paint will last longer and that you are able to see the edges of the design when you are done.

Next, you can begin painting the shapes and design elements.

Finally, you will want to clean your guitar before you put it away for later use. This can be done with soap and water or a dry cloth.