Paint Options


New member
Hello everyone. This is my first post and my first build. I should probably start out with why I chose to build a guitar. I wanted my niece and nephew, who are both toddlers, to paint the front of the guitar and then have my sister, who is an artist, paint her interpretation of what the children painted on the back. I didn’t want to buy a guitar and have to sand it down so I decided to just build one.
I’ve ordered a rear routed HSS strat body.

My question for those that are knowledgeable, is what type of paints can be used, preferably the safest options?!

Can any regular paint be used and then covered with a lacquer?


Senior member
I'd probably use acrylic and then cover with spray clear rustoleum.  There are people here more expert though.  You sound like a good Uncle.


Senior member
I love this idea!

What I did was pretty much go through the finishing schedule to make a smooth surface. Then I painted with acrylic. I still need to determine the clear coat to put over it, though.

So if you're willing to wait about two weeks*, I plan to get back to my workpiece and can report back on my findings if no one else chimes in.

* and if you're going to follow what I did, you'll be spending more than two weeks preparing the body for the kids anyway ;)


Senior member
Lacquer is the most "approachable" high quality finish, but it uses acetone as a vehicle which is a pretty hot solvent. It'll wreck many things you'd spray it on. But, shellac is an interesting finish that will not only stick to anything, anything will stick to it. Means it makes a nice "barrier" layer, protecting the base coat from the cover coat. You could even paint with acrylic, water colors, etc., shellac it, then lacquer it. Assuming all the prep is proper, it'd look factory. Downside would be that shellac isn't really "water clear", so it would add a minor tint to whatever was under it.


Senior member
As promised, here are my WIP pics for painting with acrylics then sealing.

# 1 - 3: the Eye of Sauron in progress.

#4: fixed the flat spot that developed in the lower right corner that you can see in #2 and #3. Also went over the edge of the eye with more yellow to make it look less green as in the earlier photos.

After I was happy enough (and recognizing that tipping point when I'd start to over-work it and end up ruining it), I coated it with Zinsser spray shellac.  Let that dry overnight, then I hit it with two coats of clear lacquer.



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