How to paint an acoustic guitar

How to paint an acoustic guitar

Painting an acoustic guitar is quite common. Painting a guitar requires a few key things: patience, safety equipment, and the right paint. Acrylic paints are best for guitars because they dry quickly and don’t need to be primed or sealed. You’ll also need some other supplies like masking tape, a few brushes, sandpaper, and chalkboard paint (if you plan on painting on the body of the guitar). This article will walk you through step-by-step instructions on how to paint an acoustic guitar with two finishes: a simple clear coat and matte black. Consider this your comprehensive guide to painting an acoustic guitar.

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What you will need

You will need the following supplies to get started:

-A guitar

-2 cans of matte black or clear paint

-A screwdriver or drill (depending on type of guitar)

-Lots of paper towels, cloths, and old clothes you don’t want anymore

-A fan (to speed up drying times)

-Masking tape


-Paintbrushes in various sizes (1 inch and 2 inches work well)

-Chalkboard paint

The Clear Coating Process

The first step is to sand the guitar well. You want to use medium-grade sandpaper. The goal is to remove any raised edges and smooth out some of the small scratches. Be careful not to slip into the finish or deep into the wood, as this will cause your paint job to be uneven.

Next, wipe down the guitar with a damp cloth and let it dry completely. Coat one side at a time with acrylic paint (or primer). Let it dry for about 20 minutes, then flip over the guitar and paint the other side. You can also wait until you’re finished painting both sides before letting it dry.

Once all four sides have dried, spray on a clear coat of lacquer to seal in your work and protect it from wear and tear. This will take around four hours to fully dry.

Painting the Guitar

1. Sand the guitar with 220-grit sandpaper to remove any dirt or oils that could cause paint not to adhere properly.

2. Remove all fretboard inlays and tuners from the top of the guitar by using a heat gun.

3. Tape off the fretboard inlays and tuner screws with masking tape to protect them from getting wet during painting.

4. Mask off the other parts of the guitar you don’t want painted with masking tape, like where strings will be routed through on headstock, bridge, and neck pickup area, as well as around any pickguards or truss rod covers.

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5. Clean your work area with a damp washcloth for easy cleanup before starting to paint.

6. Use a couple drops of dish soap in warm water and scrub brushes gently on bristles (this will soften up bristles and help remove any old paint). This also helps remove old dried paint from brush hairs so it doesn’t come off on your fresh coat of paint! Rinse thoroughly when done scrubbing brushes to remove all soap residue before continuing to step 7 below.

Painting a clear coat

Step 1: Clean the guitar

The first thing you need to do is clean the guitar. You’ll want to remove all dirt, grime, and other surface contaminants. You can use a damp rag to wipe down the guitar’s surface.

Step 2: Mask off body of guitar

Next, you’ll need to mask off the body of the guitar. The most common method for this is using masking tape or painter’s tape, but you could also use newspaper or any other material that will cover the body of the guitar and stick in place.

Step 3: Sand down glossy surfaces

You’ll want to sand down any glossy surfaces before painting on your matte paint (if desired). You don’t want your paint job scratched up by a shiny surface. Use sandpaper to do this step.

Step 4: Paint your clear coat

To start painting your clear coat, make sure you’re only using acrylic paint. This type of paint dries quickly and doesn’t need a sealer so it works well on guitars. Once you’ve covered all areas of your clear coat with an even layer, let it dry completely before moving onto step 5.

Painting on the guitar with chalkboard paint

If you’re painting the guitar’s body, you’ll need chalkboard paint. Begin by sanding the guitar’s surface to remove any dirt and rough patches. Next, use masking tape to cover off any areas you don’t want to paint. Then, spray the surface with a clear coat of paint, then wait for it to dry. Once dry, apply a layer of chalkboard paint and allow it to dry for at least 24 hours. The next day, remove all of the masking tape or any other obstructions.

Matte finish guitars

As we all know, guitars come in a variety of finishes. Some are glossy or have a sheen to them and others have a matte finish. If you don’t like the sheen of the acoustic guitar, it’s a good idea to use a matte-finish paint so that it doesn’t reflect light and look unnatural.

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If you want your acoustic guitar to have a matte finish, give it at least three coats of paint before adding any other details such as writing or designs. Matte black is a popular color for guitars because it hides dirt very well. Painting your guitar with this color can double as protection for the guitar against fingerprints and dust.

If you’re planning on painting your acoustic guitar in a matte finish, you’ll need to sand the body of the guitar with 220 grit sandpaper. This will help make the surface of the guitar smooth and ready to paint.

Once you’ve sanded the body of paint it, use some masking tape to cover up all the parts of the guitar that you don’t want painted.

Next, use a sponge brush and a primer that is formulated for wood surfaces. Apply this primer evenly over the surface of your acoustic guitar in long strokes with a firm pressure. Let it dry for about two hours before applying your next coat.

Finally, apply two coats of acrylic matte black paint. You can do this by using a foam roller or a regular old paint brush. This will give your acoustic guitar that beautiful “matte” finish!

Preparing for painting

It’s important to prepare your guitar before you start painting. The first thing you’ll want to do is remove the strings and tuners. You’ll need to sand down the body of the guitar so that there are no bumps or imperfections on it. After sanding, you can use a tack cloth to make sure that any sanding dust has been removed.

After preparing the guitar, it’s time to prime it. In order to get a nice finished product, you need to prime both sides of the guitar with an acrylic primer in either black or white. After priming, let the paint dry for about 4-6 hours (or overnight).

If you plan on painting with a matte black finish, then skip this step

Painting the guitar black

Paint the guitar black with a matte black paint. You can use any color you like, but the most popular colors are midnight blue, deep purple, and cherry red.

1. Before you start painting, sand the guitar with medium-grit sandpaper to create a smooth surface that will allow the paint to stick to it better. Wipe off any dust with a rag or paper towel – this is important to avoid getting paint on your clothes or other surfaces as you work.

2. Paint the body of the guitar with 2-3 coats of paint and let dry for about an hour in between each coat. Be sure not to touch or handle the body of the guitar during this time; if you do by accident, wipe down again with a clean rag or paper towel before proceeding.

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3. Once the body of the guitar has been painted and dried, use masking tape to cover off sections of it (such as logos on standard acoustic guitars) that you don’t want painted over; this allows for more control when painting and prevents overspray from getting onto areas you don’t want it on!

4. Use a coarse brush (or toothbrush) and masking tape to get into all those hard-to-reach places like around knobs and at the end of neck; be careful not to scratch any surface while doing this!

How to paint an acoustic guitar FAQS

What is the best paint for an acoustic guitar?

Acrylic paint is the best choice for painting a guitar because it dries quickly and doesn’t need to be primed or sealed.

How do I choose the right color?

You should choose a color that compliments the body of your guitar. You can also get creative and choose a custom-made design!

Will painting my guitar affect the sound?

There will be no noticeable difference in sound from painting an acoustic guitar.


This is a great project for beginners because it’s inexpensive, and it makes a great gift. With all of the things from the list and the tips above, you’ll be on your way to painting your acoustic guitar in no time.

While a lot of people think painting a guitar is a complicated process, it’s actually quite simple. First you need to make sure you have all of your materials and tools, like paint and a paintbrush. Then you’ll want to use a primer or sealant. You’ll also need to sand the guitar down a little bit before you can start painting.

Once you have the primer on the guitar, you can start painting it with paint. Make sure you have plenty of paint and that the brush is dry before you apply it. And make sure not to get any paint on the parts of the guitar that don’t need to be painted with that color.

When you’re done, let the paint dry and then apply a clear coat. This will help protect your fresh paint job, and give it a little shine. The last step is to put some chalkboard paint onto the body of the guitar if you want your design to be seen.