How to Stencil a Design on Your Guitar Amplifier!





Introduction: How to Stencil a Design on Your Guitar Amplifier!

How to make the front of your amplifier have a custom stencil paint job.

Step 1: Deciding on a Pattern

This is the first and probably most crucial step, you want something that is cool, original and not too hard to spray. At first I wanted the picture of Hugh Laurie as House but this proved too difficult to cut out because there was so much detail and it ended up being impossible to cut with my less-than-stanley knife. I've attached some other examples I was considering, but I ended up going with the stormtrooper!

Step 2: Taking the Amp Apart

This is an important step, if using a combo like I did you'll probably have to remove all the components from the inside. Look for screws on the top and sides of the amp (shown in picture of my amp, a Marshall DSL 401.

Because I cannot cover every single amp or cab here are some vague steps I found useful:
1. Remove back panel from amplifier
2. Remove reverb tank and any wiring from the amplifier to the reverb tank.
3. Unscrew the speaker and remove
4. Unscrew the wood the grille cloth is attached to and remove (can be difficult, but can be done with everything else removed!

Next step, what to do with the stencils!

Step 3: Cutting the Stencils

If you used an image like the storm trooper, you will need to do two stencils

1. Cut the outline out - this will be sprayed in white first
2. Cut the black parts out - this will be sprayed second in black

Secure the first template to the amp and spray with white (picture example below of how it should look)
Remove first template, put on second and spray with black. Make sure you align the templates up properly!!

Pictures of how it looks are below.

Step 4: Finished Product!

I'll upload some better pics when I get the chance but here is the amp re-assembled!



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    this inspired me.... gotta go make an instructable of my idea.

    it says he used two stencils, though this is possible with one. stencils are a hobby of mine, and the way i do it is by splitting open a cereal box and taping the desired design on, so that it's taught, and cutting out the black parts. or white parts. or whatever parts you want to end up on whatever you spraypaint.

    wait im fuzzy on how you sprayed on the cut out stencils if youve just sprayed the whole thing it white. did you first cut out the stencils and srpay that in black, then placed the outline stencil over what you just sprayed in white?

    1 reply

    I think he cut out two stencils, and sprayed the second time with black paint. So he had a stencil of the shape of the helmet, and a stencil with the details

    ummm...where did you get your stencils?!?!?!?! and if you made them, HOW??? im so confuzed!!!

    1 reply

    chances are he photshopped

    thats a pretty good photo shop of house! howd ya do it?

    Nice amp! I wish I had a marshall.

    WHERE DID U SOURCE UR stencils from

    Hey good job on the stormtrooper. If you used brush paint you wouldn't have to take apart the whole thing....just an idea that i will probably try

    3 replies

    I liked the stormtrooper a lot, too -- I used it in conjunction with screen printing techniques from this Instructable and this one, too. Here it is after a little addition I made in the Photoshop phase:


    It would be very difficult to do that because of the grille cloth material its really difficult to hold the stencil down, the paint would probably get caught under the ends of it and make a mess. Just a caution :)

    if you used a balled-up rag and blotted the paint onto the surface, it MAY work Also, you can make multiple fake amp fronts with different stencils on each one and be able to swap them out. Your speaker would need to have a lip on it, so you could use the stretchy fabric and sew elastic around the edges. That, or possibly velcro around the edges.

    Nice design, although I would recommend a x-acto instead of a stanley knife.