Ever whitewashed a guitar?

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by Iron1, Mar 31, 2019.

  1. Iron1

    Iron1 Old School Blacksmith

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    I'm in love with the white washed look of the KM-7 Transparent White and looking to do the same finish on a project Jackson I bought. Has anyone ever whitewashed a guitar before? I've seen plenty of how-tos on doing it for furniture, walls, fences, etc, but wonder if there's anything different when doing it with a guitar body.

    I'm thinking my steps are:

    1) disassemble guitar
    2) tape off sides and back
    3) dilute white paint
    4) brush on
    5) hang dry
    6) clear coat

    Am I missing anything?
     
  2. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Why not do the whole body?
     
  3. Iron1

    Iron1 Old School Blacksmith

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    I kinda dig the way they've only done the top on the KM...

    [​IMG]
     
  4. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    Unfortunately brushing Translucent colors doesn't work very well. It will be nearly impossible to get an even coat, and because it is Translucent, it has to be perfectly even.

    Better off either finding Translucent white in a rattle can or buying a cheap spray gun (and practicing a bunch). Some white spray cans might just be pretty thin in general and might work for this purpose.
     
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  5. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Look up some tutorials on Fender's "Mary Kaye White", which is basically what this is, albeit without the burst edging.

    I know StewMac sells the white pigment needed for the lacquer. They sell a "blond" spray lacquer too, but it's definitely too yellow.

    It's important to note that the base hue of the wood is going to show through. There's a reason they went with maple (that was likely bleached) for the KM.
     
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  6. Iron1

    Iron1 Old School Blacksmith

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    I'll check out those tutorials. And, the guitar is currently flat black - was sort of thinking of white wash brush stroking over that so the black shone through. And, of course, expecting it to take me more than one try/screw up/try again lather.rinse.repeat session. :lol:
     
  7. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    So you just want flat white over black? It's probably going to come out more solid gray than anything else.
     
  8. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    I wanted mary kaye for my tele, but the builder couldnt do it. Odds of the body getting a refin are decent :lol:
     
  9. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    It's a really tricky finish to pull off, especially being dependent on the color of the wood below and being difficult to judge prior to starting, and since it's a multi-step process it's an even bigger pain when it needs to get reworked.
     
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  10. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Yeah, he said it's not simple and it's the fact he does his finish work in the garage. The other reason I consider it is the finish is darker than I'd hoped for.

    Fortunately we have some good finishing people in the area :yesway:. First I want to try and put some wear on it though!
     
  11. Iron1

    Iron1 Old School Blacksmith

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  12. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    I don't understand. So are you going to strip it and follow these steps, or do it on top of the existing finish like you said. :scratch:

    Keep in mind, that process is going to leave a rough, easily marred finish.
     
  13. Iron1

    Iron1 Old School Blacksmith

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    In the link they talk about painting it brown first, so mine is already black - I figure that should come through the way the brown comes through in their walls/ceiling.

    And when done I’m going to hit it with coat or so of clear poly.
     
  14. BlackMastodon

    BlackMastodon \m/ (゚Д゚) \m/ Contributor

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    This is something I've wondered about a lot and remember it gets mentioned any time one of these threads pop up. Specifically with lighter woods like maple and birch, can you just take any household bleach and wipe it on the surface the same way you would with dye? Will it dry out/moisten the wood in any way?

    OP: Which guitar are you trying this out on? I'm thinking if it's a cheapo guitar that you don't care about the finish anyway, then worst case you don't like it and practice a few times and refinish it if it doesn't turn out the way you want it. Or get some scrap blocks of similar wood and run a few tests.
     
  15. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    While household chlorine bleach can be used in some cases for small jobs on particular woods, a specialized "two-part" bleach is used in most wood applications.

    It's a popular practice, especially on hardwood cabinets and floors.
     
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  16. Iron1

    Iron1 Old School Blacksmith

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    It's a JS22-7 I bought for $100 with the specific intention of doing this as a project. If I screw it up and re-do the finish a dozen times, I won't care and hopefully every time I fail I'll learn something new. I might take my first run at it this Friday or Saturday (my weekend) depending on how busy I get with other stuff. I'm waiting to get an upgraded bridge PUP for it before I really dig in, but my patience may run out soon. :lol:
     
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