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Help: Why not paint a guitar?

23 Apr 02 - 04:05 PM (#696765)
Subject: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Mrrzy

I overheard the pawn shop guy telling one of my niblings never ever to paint a guitar, it makes it worthless. But I couldn't tell if they meant resale value or playability - is there some musical reason never to paint a guitar? Repaint, that is, if it's one color and you don't like it, can you paint it another? If not, how, exactly, does it ruin it... prevent the nice tone through less vibration, or what? Does it matter if it's an acoustic or electric?


23 Apr 02 - 04:27 PM (#696794)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: kendall

Buck Owens played one that was striped like the French flag. I've never hated one enough to do that to it.


23 Apr 02 - 04:39 PM (#696807)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: greg stephens

Picasso did, often


23 Apr 02 - 04:44 PM (#696812)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Clinton Hammond

When talking vintage, one must be VERY careful when it comes to restoration... Best to have a trained professional handle that...

If you just have an electric guitar that's one colour, and you wanna paint it another colour, I can't see how that's gonna do much one way or the other, except make you happy!

Anybody who paints an acoustic guitar should have their playing privileges revoked for life!


23 Apr 02 - 05:04 PM (#696829)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Wesley S

Kendell - If I'm not mistaken Buck Owens had a Grammer guitar that was painted red, white, and blue.


23 Apr 02 - 05:09 PM (#696834)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: greg stephens

That is the the colour of the French flag isn't it? or am i missing something.


23 Apr 02 - 06:01 PM (#696869)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Bert

It depends upon the value of the guitar and the thickness of the paint. I don't see anything wrong with a thin coat of paint on a cheapie guitar but I wouldn't paint any expensive guitar.

Seamus Kennedy has a painted guitar and it doesn't seem to adversely affect his performance in any way.


23 Apr 02 - 06:03 PM (#696871)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Sorcha

Ask Seamus. His is painted green, orange and white. (Irish flag)


23 Apr 02 - 06:08 PM (#696877)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Bert

Great minds think alike Sorkieluv.

Bertie


23 Apr 02 - 06:17 PM (#696885)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Anahootz

Good acoustic guitars are finished with a balance of protection and playability in mind. To that end, the laquer must be thick enough to protect the guitar, but thin enough to not dampen the tone. An additional coat or two of paint would brobably affect the tone, if only slightly.

I personally think that painting over a beautiful wood like spruce is about the stupidest thing an instrument owner could do...then again, there was a legendary mandolin player (who shall remain nameless) who painted his '23 Loar with BAKE-ON FINISH, and put it in the oven at 325 degrees.


23 Apr 02 - 06:26 PM (#696891)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Sorcha

Bertie, where the DEVIL are you???? You've been awfully quiet for a looooong time!


23 Apr 02 - 07:36 PM (#696952)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: kendall

I know a guy who painted his mandolin with three coats of dark green LEAD based paint. His gene pool needs more chlorine


23 Apr 02 - 07:45 PM (#696963)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Bobert

Ebay is filled with beaters just waiting to be dressed up but, for God's sake, if ol' bobert hears of anyone going out painting up an old Martin, if C.F.'s ghost don't get ya'... I will.


23 Apr 02 - 07:50 PM (#696971)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: catspaw49

So what color is your D-18 Bobertz? I figger you for an off-white with pink and green daisies. (I went for the lavender with the yellow orchids myself)

Spaw


23 Apr 02 - 08:07 PM (#696986)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Bobert

GGGGGGUUUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!! BAD SPAWZER!!!!BAD!!!!


23 Apr 02 - 08:24 PM (#697006)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Clinton Hammond

An old Martin? I'd opt for vinyl siding on it instead of paint...


23 Apr 02 - 08:59 PM (#697033)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Anahootz

I would Martinize it...or was that Simonize?


23 Apr 02 - 09:05 PM (#697040)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: catspaw49

What the hell is Martinizing anyway? I used to have all my laundry done at a "Martinizing" Cleaners and I'll be damned if I ever got a guitar outta' those folks!

Spaw


23 Apr 02 - 09:14 PM (#697052)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: 53

Why would you want to paint a guitar unless you are using it as a subject for art class.


23 Apr 02 - 09:21 PM (#697061)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Stephen L. Rich

Decorating an acoustic guitar is not completely unprecedented.

During WWII woody Guthrie put a sign on his guitar which said, "This machine kills Fascists!"

Pete Seeger wrote the words "This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender" on his banjo head.

If I'm not mistaken Art Thieme wrote "This machine kills roaches" on HIS banjo head.

What needs to be done is to bring the idea full circle by putting a sign on an acoustic guitar which says, "This machine kills germs that cause bad breath".


23 Apr 02 - 10:05 PM (#697092)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Anahootz

Damn, that reminds me of a great story, but I can't remember the "famous line" guy...At any rate, there was a jam going on at a festival, and a well-known mandolin player had the dubious honor of being sandwiched by rank amateurs, one with a mediocre banjo and even more mediocre talent. At some point during the jam, the banjo hack lurched to his feet with a look of horror on his face and exclaimed "SHIT, There's a big spider in my Banjo! Somebody kill it!"

Without missing a beat, the WKMP (well known mandolin player, whose name I have forgotten) says "Just keep playing like that and you will."

We now return you to your previously uncreeping thread.


24 Apr 02 - 04:07 AM (#697255)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: KingBrilliant

I painted a cheapie one up for Amoret when she was about 5. It was lovely deep blue and orange - and I really loved playing it, just because I liked it (it didn't sound very good).
Then Mark came home over-refreshed from the pub and put a foot through it.
Heartbroken I was.
My current Norman guitar suits my personality. I have decorated it with celtic-ish patterns in those "temporary tattoo" things, with a whole load of shiny stick-on sparkly things (including a swarm of stick-on shiny bees), and 3 stick-on Izone polaroid photos of Mark Hamm & I.
Doesn't sound any the worse for all the luggage, because my playing is pretty basic anyway.
I love it in all its crass splendour!
Can't see anyone nicking it ever either!

Kris


24 Apr 02 - 05:27 AM (#697289)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Llanfair

I acquire cheap, untunable ones from sales and car boots, and apply paint and decoupage, followed by a few layers of varnish.

People buy them to hang on the wall, they look really good.

Cheers, Bron.


24 Apr 02 - 05:32 AM (#697291)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: songs2play

As far as I can remember Donovan had a night sky painted on the front of his guitar, complete with a dirty great big moon and stars. Didn't appear to affect his sound too much.


24 Apr 02 - 05:35 AM (#697292)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Nigel Parsons

Anahootz: Simonize?
Did you hear about the fella who took his car to a Jewish garage and asked for it to be "Simonized" ?
The cut 3 inches of the tailpipe ( U.K. exhaust)


24 Apr 02 - 08:43 AM (#697380)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: GUEST,Owain

Don't think Buck Owens would have painted his guitar to look like the 'French' flag, do you? And the one he played on Hee Haw was a Harmony, I think. A friend of mine had a 'Buck Owens' model...sounded like crap, but I thought it looked cool. Though maybe his was a Grammer and Harmony had the cheapo imitation. Anyone know for sure? Didn't Gibson have some black acoustics years ago? And I 'know' Taylor's got a blue model and Alvarez-Yairi has one that's purple. So much for taste.


24 Apr 02 - 09:50 AM (#697421)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Mrrzy

The US flag is red, white and blue. The French flag is blue, white and red. And I guess the guy must have been talking resale value, since it was an electric one that was being discussed... thanks, all.


24 Apr 02 - 10:22 AM (#697449)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: dick greenhaus

There's really no difference between paint and varnish except for trhe opaque pigment incorporated in the paint. I think that some of the "sunburst" finishes popular on archtop guitars could qualify as painted.

The only problem (aside from looks)in panting a guitar is the additional mass of the additional finish which will tend to deaden the sound. You could get the same deleterious effect from adding more varnish--you'd just have to add a bit more to make up the added mass of the pigment.


24 Apr 02 - 10:38 AM (#697464)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Dave Bryant

Many artists have - there's a fine painting by Van Gogh.


24 Apr 02 - 02:58 PM (#697661)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Wincing Devil

Buck Owens "gitar" was red white and blue in honor of the American flag, not the French.


24 Apr 02 - 03:09 PM (#697668)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Don Firth

I cringe at the thought!

Don Firth


24 Apr 02 - 05:10 PM (#697756)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Marc

Isn't The Russian flag Red, White and Blue also? Hmm!


24 Apr 02 - 05:25 PM (#697766)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Stephen L. Rich

It's a very popular color scheme.


24 Apr 02 - 05:42 PM (#697775)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Marc

But was Buck Owens playing on a French, American, or maybe Russian flag. Aren't all us folk musicians communists after all?


24 Apr 02 - 07:48 PM (#697871)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Ned Ludd

No difference between paint and varnish except transparency. Thickness is important though. The average number of coats on a Violin is 15 to 20. Much of that is rubbed back though, so the effective finish is thinner.


25 Apr 02 - 03:50 AM (#698088)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Wilfried Schaum

About the tricolore:
USA: red - white - blue
France: blue - white - red
Russia: white - blue - red

For reference look up: http://www.fg-a.com/flags.htm (animated).

Wilfried


25 Apr 02 - 05:47 PM (#698634)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Charley Noble

Painting a guitar is so boring when you could be carpeting it, or at the very least using textured paint, stirring up little mountains, making crators. I understand some modern artists even employ cow dung in their truly creative efforts. The vinyl siding idea is not such a bad one but how about tar and feathers?;~)

Back to my peaceful banjo picking.


25 Apr 02 - 07:22 PM (#698686)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Chicken Charlie

The man bent over his guitar,
A shearsman of sorts.
The day was green.
They said, "You have a blue guitar,
You do not play things as they are."
The man replied, "Things as they are
Are changed upon the blue guitar."

Wallace Stevens, "The Man with the Blue Guitar"

I always wanted to get an old junker, paint it cobalt blue, and recite that whole poem to a background of C#m13 arpeggios. But I'm too busy walking my dogs.

CC


07 Aug 11 - 12:11 PM (#3203301)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: GUEST,Russian Guitarist

I'm getting my guitar painted like a Russian flag with the flag of the city I was born in under the bridge. So awesome...


07 Aug 11 - 12:46 PM (#3203318)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Beer

Well I have to admit that when I was 22/23 I sanded and had a friend paint my Yamaha 180. This was the first guitar I purchased in 1963. Still have it and sounds great but I'm kicking myself for doing this.
Ad.

https://picasaweb.google.com/adrien.doucette5/GuitarAndCase#5583262750444708802


07 Aug 11 - 12:50 PM (#3203322)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: frogprince

Guest Russian Guitarist, which bridge were you born under? : )


07 Aug 11 - 01:07 PM (#3203333)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: GUEST,999

Why not paint a guitar? It's been done.


07 Aug 11 - 01:14 PM (#3203339)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: kendall

The British Union flag is also red white and blue.


07 Aug 11 - 01:16 PM (#3203342)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: michaelr

Seamus Kennedy's guitar is painted with the Irish flag.


07 Aug 11 - 01:38 PM (#3203363)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Barbara

Beer, you could probably reverse that process and have a plain guitar again. Possibly the paint could be removed with a solvent that would not also harm the underlying finish. Or you could sand it off and restore the finish. PM me if you want more specifics. Caveat: any time you change the surface of the top (the sound board) you change the sound of the guitar. That's probably why people nix painting. Also because it's tacky.
I would think that the pigment in paint might make a difference in the sound, guys.
Blessings,
Barbara


07 Aug 11 - 01:44 PM (#3203367)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Beer

Thank you Barbara but the damage has been done and it reminds me of a time when many of us were just a bit crazy and growing old was the furthest thing in our mind.
ad.


07 Aug 11 - 01:44 PM (#3203368)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: GUEST,999

I painted my first guitar--a Stella. Didn't change the sound one bit:-)


07 Aug 11 - 01:55 PM (#3203378)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Nick

I think Beer's guitar is rather nice. Individual and all that. And if it sounds good and is still being played *shrug*

Looks nothing like my FG180 which I bought in 1972 though. Must have changed them quite a lot


07 Aug 11 - 02:17 PM (#3203395)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: olddude

Why not paint it, heck I saw that old Bobster has a chevy hubcap glued to one of his


07 Aug 11 - 03:43 PM (#3203451)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: fat B****rd

Dan, me old love, you're on thin Bobert ice with that 'hubcap' remark. It was a joke, wasn't it?
These bluesmen can be awful mean you know.


07 Aug 11 - 03:49 PM (#3203455)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: GUEST,999

Chevy me arse. He's a Ford guy I think. Ya know

Fix
Often
Repair
Daily


07 Aug 11 - 05:07 PM (#3203504)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Tootler

I have a bright red Uke. It came like it. Does that count?

It's only a cheapo job and needs new strings but I need to get a round tuit first.

Then again there's a uke workshop at Saltburn next weekend so maybe I should get the aforesaid round tuit.


07 Aug 11 - 05:14 PM (#3203508)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: GUEST,999

Just for you, Tootler.


07 Aug 11 - 07:08 PM (#3203569)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Jack Campin

This has to be the archetypal MySpace user:

Me with my custom vomit painted guitar


07 Aug 11 - 08:29 PM (#3203614)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Jack Campin

And who wouldn't want their guitar to look like this?

guitar with Gaudí style tiling


07 Aug 11 - 09:29 PM (#3203636)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: dick greenhaus

Ignoring whit the result might look like , there's a reason for not painting an acoustic guitar. Paint is, in simple terms, varnish with a powdered pigment added. Paint weighs more than varnish. And adding weight to the soundboard of a guitar can only mute it, at least to some extent.


07 Aug 11 - 09:29 PM (#3203637)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Barbara

Me.
Blessings,
Barbara


08 Aug 11 - 10:59 AM (#3203886)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: GUEST,leeneia

I have a relative in the paint business. He tells me that paint has two basic components - the resin and the tint. The tint merely gives color. The resin is a chemical formulation which forms a two-dimensional sheet as it 'dries.' Drying isn't just a matter of letting the water or thinner evaporate. It's a matter of allowing the molecules in the resin to connect with each other in all directions and form a sheet.

The main job of a guitar top is to bounce along with the sound, to resonate and make the sound rich and beautiful. It doesn't make sense to coat it with a solid layer of plastic and make it rigid. Possibly the effect would be minimal, but the only way to find out is to risk damaging the instrument. Not worth it, in my view.


08 Aug 11 - 11:14 AM (#3203898)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Backwoodsman

This Guy has painted a number, and very beautiful they are too.


08 Aug 11 - 11:16 AM (#3203900)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Backwoodsman

Oooops, pressed 'Go' too soon!

I believe he removes the lacquer before putting his amazing artwork on there. Very impressive.


08 Aug 11 - 11:22 AM (#3203905)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Jack Campin

adding weight to the soundboard of a guitar can only mute it, at least to some extent

You say that like it's a bad thing.

Artex with an overcoat of Hammerite should do nicely.


08 Aug 11 - 02:09 PM (#3204014)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: PHJim

I once bought an old O-21 to see if I could save it. It was restored by the folks at Ed's Music Workshop in Peterborough and is now residing in British Columbia.

O-21 from 192?


08 Aug 11 - 02:14 PM (#3204016)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: PHJim

192? O-21

I screwed up the previous link.


08 Aug 11 - 02:34 PM (#3204025)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Beer

Backwoodsman, i love what that fellow did with cheap guitars. I have 4 in my garage. Now to find someone that can do some fancy painting. I think it's s a great idea and I bet they will sell a lot higher at a yard sale.
ad.


08 Aug 11 - 03:28 PM (#3204064)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Backwoodsman

He did it to at least one Martin too. CFM & Co. were mightily impressed - included a feature on it in 'Sounding Board', so I'm led to believe!

BTW, he's an artist. I don't think it matters to him what quality of guitar he's painting on. There are a number of extremely fine Old Masters in The National Gallery, London which are painted on, amongst other things than canvas, wooden boards - no less a piece of exceptional art for that.


08 Aug 11 - 03:43 PM (#3204074)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Tootler

Thanks, Guest 999

Got one and ordered a set of strings today. Just hope they arrive in time.


08 Aug 11 - 03:43 PM (#3204075)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Jack the Sailor

The one time I saw Seamus perform (8 years ago?) he had a black guitar with a Guiness logo. Coincidentally, I am sure, he bought me a Guiness. I would be sorry to hear that he lost the sponsorship.


08 Aug 11 - 05:57 PM (#3204166)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Jack the Sailor

seamus guitar


09 Aug 11 - 02:09 AM (#3204400)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity

Help: Why not paint a guitar?

SLAP!

GfS


09 Aug 11 - 09:57 AM (#3204574)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Bee-dubya-ell

The main reason to NOT paint a guitar is to avoid the embarassment of overhearing someone say, "Look at how that idiot screwed up a perfectly good guitar!"


09 Aug 11 - 10:35 AM (#3204592)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Dave Hanson

Frank Wakefield famously re-painted his Gibson F5 Lloyd Loar mandolin with red auto paint, then put it in a hot oven to cure it.

Dave H


09 Aug 11 - 11:52 AM (#3204650)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: GUEST,Doug Saum

In the mid 70's I took my Tobacco Sunburst Fender Stratocaster (1964 vintage)stripped the paint and finished it with a coat of clear acrylic. Before the recent recession my creative impulse removed about $5,000 off the appraised value of the guitar. I won't sell it anyway, but those who may be in a similar position might want to think twice before you start sanding.


09 Aug 11 - 02:14 PM (#3204742)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Jim Dixon

Here's an artist, Mama Jamie, who decorates all kinds of things including a guitar, a piano, and body parts (with henna). The guitar is interesting, but I like the piano better. I don't think you can do much damage to a piano by painting it.

I think if I wanted to decorate a guitar, I would want a Celtic knotwork design, or maybe Aztec, or maybe Northwest Indian. Might as well stick with a traditional motif. (Those images aren't guitars, they're just examples of traditional styles I happen to like.)


09 Aug 11 - 03:44 PM (#3204799)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: open mike

Robert Armwstrong has some painted guitars an dukes he has done
http://www.elderly.com/new_instruments/items/HAWX.htm
http://www.armstrongartandnoveltyhut.com/
he also plays musical saw..and is currently gigging with Sourdough Slim
the cowboy yodelling accordion player..

here is a video of me playing my painted guitar...
http://www.myspace.com/laurelwoodsorrel/videos/video/64359202

it has a desert scene with a fellow and two burros.
the fellow is Everett Reuss http://everettruess.net/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everett_Ruess


09 Aug 11 - 03:55 PM (#3204807)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Jack the Sailor

The martin custom shop will paint most anything on a guitar they sell you, but like brain surgery, do it yourself at your own risk.


09 Aug 11 - 04:14 PM (#3204823)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: John Hardly

Or would you like to paint a guitar?
Use a brush, or spray from a jar?
Would you like to paint a guitar?
Or add a cutaway instead?

A cutaway is easy, if you know what to do
Access a bandsaw and some glue
Cut what you don't want, save what you do
It's just plain stupid to keep a bout you don't use
And by the way, looks like the bridge is lifting too
You may just need a screw or two.

Screws are a very special luthier's tool
Trusting glue alone is just for fools
So reinforce that bridge plate with a number 8 steel
Or maybe a smaller number 6, just judge it by feel
And by the way, if that pickguard starts to lift
A staple gun can be so nift

y


10 Aug 11 - 10:58 AM (#3205345)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Willie-O

I'll go you one better...a few years ago I saw a bar band musician with a 1960 Stratocaster--that should be worth about $30,000, folks. It had a very unusual, uneven brown colour. I asked him about it and he said, "yeah, my son borrowed it for the weekend, didn't tell me he was going to do a Jimi Hendrix treatment, with the lighter fluid and all..."

I believe he has no son now, and got a suspended sentence for justifiable homicide...

W-O


10 Aug 11 - 11:15 AM (#3205360)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Jack Campin

I'd reach for the paint stripper as well if anybody asked me to live with an instrument finished in tobacco sunburst.

What is the attraction (to a shit-for-brains guitar gourmet) of a finish that makes your instrument look like it's been abused for decades by a chainsmoking failure from the age of Elvis?


10 Aug 11 - 11:17 AM (#3205364)
Subject: RE: Help: Why not paint a guitar?
From: Willie-O

Also, if you want to run for US president...like this guy McCotter (whoever he is).

Looks like an accountant trying to rock out, patriotically...in this case though, the paint job doesn't hurt the sound.

W-O