Instructables
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In this Instructable, I will show you how to repaint, repair, and make your old guitar look brand new.
Please note: Up to step 5 I have done before I started this Instructable, hope that will clear any confusion regarding pictures.

To start, you must have the following:
- 320 and 1000 grit wet/dry sandpaper
- Clear coat or lacquer
- Desired colour of paint (must be spray paint)
- Water and paper towels
- A guitar (duh)
- 6 new guitar strings

Optional items:
- Wood stain (for the neck and stock)
- SOS pads for the chrome parts

My victim of choice is my old Lero les paul copy, passed down to me by my father after he bought it at a yard sale. (Its so nice when people think of you) Its original colour is red, and I want to turn it black. There are many different designs to choose from, to take your time and think of some ideas you might want to do.
 
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Step 1: Taking the Guitar apart

Start with the strings. Unwind each string until it is loose enough so you can remove them from the pegheads. You can then take the bridge(s) off, if they are held by the strings.

Note: You may have to cut the strings with pliers to get them off, thats why you should have a new set.

After the strings are taken off, unscrew the big screws on the back holding the neck to the guitar. Since I don't know every part of every guitar, you will have to figure this part out for yourself. Once you are left with the body, take the parts holding the pickups off, they are usually attached to it. Then, take off the pickguard, and then carefully take the electronics knobs off by pulling them off. On the electronics there should be some nuts holding them in place, so take them off. Now on the back, take off the covers of the electronics, tape the open holes with painting tape, carefully push them back inside so they are inside the space, and put the cover back on. I do this because I didn't want to snip the wires to take them out, so I put them out of the way instead.

Now, for the pickups, I covered them with a tissue, then taped around it with painters tape. I then put them back in the "hole" were they came from upside down, and they fit in there fine.

When you take apart the guitar, you should get styrafoam cups or containers to put the loose screws and parts inn, so you don't loose them. For reassembling reasons, it would be a good idea if you took a picture of the screws before you took them out of the guitar so you know were they go and what you might be missing.

Another thing you might want to do is see if there's anything you might need to replace, so you don't have to do it later.
freeza362 years ago
What guitar is this? It looks like a Les Paul, but is it a special or standard? I really like the red coloration that it ended up with.
PuddleOfMudd25 (author)  freeza362 years ago
http://www.belongingsbroker.com/product/hondo-ii-les-paul-copy

"Hondo II" Les Paul copy body, and as far as I know a "Lero" Telecaster neck.
are these decent guitars? Do they sound like a true Les Paul?
sfevrier freeza369 months ago

Do they seem to be decent guitars?...

PuddleOfMudd25 (author) 2 years ago
For anyone wondering the body is not original to the neck. The body was originally off of this guitar:
http://www.belongingsbroker.com/product/hondo-ii-les-paul-copy
We bought the guitar like this, I don't know why the original owner switched the necks.

Also I just want to say I did this a loooong time ago, and if I were doing it now I would have left it. This was the first attempt at refinishing a guitar and it gave me valuable experience with guitars. I am currently building my own guitars that are much nicer than this one could ever be. The body on this one was so beat up I decided to trash it, it wasn't any use to me. I am currently building my own Telecaster style body to match the neck.

webwillie4 years ago
Back in 1965 a friend asked me to paint his already 5 year old Fender Jaguar PURPLE!. I sanded it and painted it with a spray can of Krylon. I think you can go to jail for doing that now-a-days...lol.
Seriously? I love both Jagars and Mustangs. And strats and teles too. And even squires. And stratocoustics. Geeze, you gotta love Fender....
admanrocks6 years ago
ha, I jut made my brand new guitar look old... I know, i'm not cool. but good work.
Was the guitar a Hond II by chance?
I think it was better left untouched.
Glockenator4 years ago
i think the red looks nicer. i also dont like the fender style head, on the les paul body, with the sg output. thats jusy me, thats just what i think
protocolZA5 years ago
http://audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=180395
There, yours is worth something, or was....
x_25 protocolZA5 years ago
That happens to be my guitar. I have it in working condition right now. Although I don't think it is work anything. It really sucks to play.
PuddleOfMudd25 (author)  x_255 years ago
I agree. They're fun to take apart, but don't really sound or play all that well.
Sycan5 years ago
Looks nice, but I think the red looked better. Thats just me.
la-main Sycan5 years ago
totally agree
dchall86 years ago
Be sure the guitar is suitable for this type of make over. Garage sale or pawn shop guitars are good to try this out. If you tried this on your father's $10,000 Gretsch he might get a little peeved.
PuddleOfMudd25 (author)  dchall86 years ago
Well, if you have a new $10,000 guitar, unless you're a little bit screwy, you might not want to paint it right away. Luckily the one I used was like 30 years old or so, but if I find out they're worth thousands I'd be pissed!
some of those old les pauls from the lawsuit era ( around 70s-early 80s ) can occasionally be worth a bit, but ive never herd of Lero, so im guessing your safe
PuddleOfMudd25 (author)  486dx45 years ago
Whew, good. But I guess it's too late anyways...
486dx45 years ago
how did you clean up the binding? or is that just a reflection?
PuddleOfMudd25 (author)  486dx45 years ago
The paint was thin enough to sand it down a bit, and the binding came through. I used the Wet/Dry sandpaper.
486dx45 years ago
id say loosely fit it back togather first because the parts really change the apearance a great deal. it may look better than you think.
rn4yourlf6 years ago
whatsup, just had a quick question. I have an old takamine acoustic which is all black. I was just wondering if you had any tips on how to make that look brand new
PuddleOfMudd25 (author)  rn4yourlf6 years ago
Like I said before, redoing an acoustic guitar could be dangerous, but if you still want to, I guess if you still like the black, just sand the Lacquer down and reapply a new coat of Lacquer to add a fresh shine, and spray any plastic parts to take out any scratches. Other than that beats me to be honest, I've never even had an acoustic guitar.
Lftndbt6 years ago
Sadly I haven't gotten my guitar out enough, for it to look old yet.... When it does look a bit shabby I will certainly follow your instructions.. Nice work!!
pyro136 years ago
Awsome!!! I take it this can be done with acoustics also, right?
Gypsyman pyro136 years ago
i wouldn't do it on your acoustic, it would most likely affect the tone of the guitar, and ruin its sound.
PuddleOfMudd25 (author)  pyro136 years ago
i'm not sure abur acoustics, because they have a different body structure. glad everyone likes it!!
Steverino6 years ago
if you are finishing with lacquer, make sure that the color coat is also lacquer or you will get the orange peel effect.
PuddleOfMudd25 (author)  Steverino6 years ago
ya, i cant tell u how many times i ran into that problem.
LinuxH4x0r6 years ago
Very nice!