I had the opportunity to buy a battered, second hand Telecaster, and I bought it. I thought it could turn into a nice restoration project. As a purple "addict", I needed to turn it into a purple Telecaster... and thats' actually what I did!
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- Old Guitar
- Sand paper
- Wet sand paper
- Primer (Undercoat)
- Acrylic paint (the one use to paint cars) + Drying oil
- A rag (old jeans work very good)
- Piece of wood to use as a fretboard
- Newspapers and plastics to cover all the surfaces near the guitar
- A piece of nylon string
- Optional: Acrylic spray varnish
- A screwdriver
- Some screws
- A sander
- A dremel
- A soft brush
- A paint roller
- A clamp
First, you need to remove all the pieces attached to the body (obviously!).
Once the guitar body is ready, take the sander and remove the paint. First remove the paint on the biggest area.
Then remove the paint on the sides. Do not remove the paint of the edges yet. This is the last thing you will do. To work on the most inaccessible parts, such as the side next to the fret, you can use a Dremel. Do it very carefully so you do not damage the wood.
Finally, to remove the paint on the edges, I used some sandpaper. I suggest you place the sand paper on the edge, take both ends with your hand and then move it carefully from side to side. This way you will obtain a nice "rounding" effect.
Here you can see the guitar once it was completely sanded. It doesn't matter if you can't remove the paint on the pick up holes, because you will paint it with primer and then you will armout it, so the old paint will be covered by two layers.
With a roller paint, apply the primer. Lay one layer and let it dry and then add a second layer. The number of layers is up to you (read the instructions on the can). You can use a brush to apply the primer onto the holes. Once you finish, let it dry for a few hours.
Time to paint the guitar... purple, of course!
Take a piece of wood and use it as a temporary fret. Use a screwdriver and some screws and attach it to the guitar body. I used a clamp to keep the wood in place while I fixed the screws.
I also made hole on the top of the wood and put a piece of nylon string to hang the guitar after painting it. This helped to prevent it from making contact with other surfaces while still wet.
Put some plastic or some newspapers around the spot where you will paint to avoid painting all the house purple (despite my best intentions, half of my living room got a nice purple layer, so I suggest you do it outside!).
Place the guitar on a newspaper page on the floor and spay it with the acrylic spray paint. Make only one layer and let it dry. The first layer won't cover the whole guitar's surface but it will dry quickly.
It's very important to make only one layer, even if the guitar is is white and purple. If you try to paint the whole surface it will be more than one layer in some places and this will be a problem to dry it.
Once you've made the first layer, hang the guitar anywhere to let it dry. Usually, the drying time between layers is indicated on the spray bottle. Wait the amount of time indicated and apply a second layer. Repeat this step until you have painted all the guitar.
To let it dry I used an easel. It was perfect because the guitar hanged in the middle without being in contact with other surfaces. You can hang it on a lock as you can see on the second picture (this was my first idea until I found my easel).
To get a shiny finish you will need some wet sandpaper. This kind of sandpaper helps removing the irregularities of the paint without leaving any mark.
To apply the sandpaper, you need some wet sandpaper, a bowl of water and a rag (i used a piece of an old jeans and it worked perfectly).
Place the guitar on a piece of fabric (to prevent damaging the paint). Take a piece of sandpaper and soak it in the water. Then start sanding as usual. You will quickly notice that the water turns purple; this is normal. Take the rag and dry it. Do that until you have sanded the whole guitar body.
Don't sand too much on the same area. If you do that you will remove the layers. So just remove the irregularities and continue sanding another area.
Once you sanded all the body, hang it and let it dry for a few hours.
Finally, you can paint something on the guitar or make a sunburst finish. But this is up to you.
If you use car paint it's not necessary to varnish it (cars aren't varnished). But if you prefer protecting the paint you can use an acrylic varnish.
Alwaays use a spray varnish. If you use a brush you may leave lots of marks on the guitar.
And you have an extraordinary PURPE TELECASTER!! Yeah! Now, it's time to make the soldering!
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