My DIY Guitar Project – Part 1

I wanted to share this special project with you. My DIY Guitar Project!!!!

For the longest time, I have wanted to build a guitar with my family.

It’s been a long time coming but I’m finally getting around to making this happen!

My First Guitar

When I was 16, I begged my parents for an electric guitar. I remember going to guitarcenter and purchasing one of the more popular starter guitars at the time: The Epiphone Les Paul Special II.

Over the years the guitar took a heavy beating and of course was stickered up to imitate those that did the same with their guitars.

The random punk rock stickers sat made their mark on that guitar and I even had the idea to put Blue Guitar Strings on it.

TV Yellow Les Paul

One day I noticed a TV Yellow Les Paul Junior and said to myself “I would love to own one of those.”

My oldest daughter then said to me, “why don’t you repaint your first guitar since you don’t use it.”

I don’t know how to do that…..

For most of my life when I didn’t know how to do something, I just didn’t do it.

However, this was different.

I look at my daughter and said “why can’t we do it and learn how to together?”

The internet is filled with all sorts of resources and guides.

So let’s document the journey and help some people along the way that want to build a guitar of their own.

Getting It Ready for the Repaint

Below are the steps we took to get it ready for the eventual repaint.

Step 1: Take the Stickers Off

The first step was getting the stickers off. This wasn’t hard at all.

We weren’t too worried about the surface since we were going to repaint it anyway.

Some Goo Gone did the trick for those stickers that were a little bit more challenging to take off.

Step 2: String and Bridge Removal

Next, the blue strings and bridge came off. So as you see below, we just have the guild without the stickers, strings, and bridge.

Step 3: Hardware Removal

This is what my daughter was most interested in.

I gave her full reign to remove all the hardware as it was what she was most interested in doing.

She first removed the pick ups covers…..

And then the guitar neck….

Step 4: Cutting the Wires

For the next step, we then used wire cutters to cut the pickup wires.

And then the pots….

Step 5: Sanding the Neck

This was going to be a challenge for me.

I’m not a “handy” person nor have I had much experience (if any) with sanding wood.

From my research in some guitar fourms, it was suggested to get 400 and 800 grit sandpaper.

I also ended up getting a sanding block and that is when the fun began!

My main concern was not to damage the wood. As the sanding progressed, I noticed the healthy amount of elbow grease it would take to ensure the old paint would come off.

Step 6: Call on a Friend

As we can see I only got so far on the neck and there was still paint that I couldn’t get off.

This is when I asked a woodworker friend of mine if he could sand the rest.

Now I know that it’s supposed to be a project the family worked on together.

I got too impatient with how long it was taking and was going to purchase a sander myself.

After a brief meeting with my friend, I then asked if he could finish the neck and body so that I could see what he was doing for future reference.

Ideally I’ll be more than likley purchasing Guitar Kits, however, I wanted to learn.

The Sanded Guitar

I was happy with how the guitar came out.

Here is the neck:

And here is the body:

What’s Next?

Next comes the part I’m most excited about.

I ordered the TV Yellow Guitar Lacquer from Colortone.

This set came with the vinyl sealer, TV Yellow lacquer, clear gloss, and grain filler.

The plan is to film the repaint and post it on the Guitar Exclusive YouTube Channel for all to see.

This is something that is important to me and my children.

It has been a great family bonding experience this far!

I hope this inspires everyone who may not feel that they can paint/build a guitar that they can!

Thank you for reading!

Frank DeMaria
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