Can you use Acrylic Paint on Guitar

Each of us has encountered a guitar finish or design that has caught our attention. We’ve all likely had the notion, “Hey, I could do that.” And a small percentage of that group decided to try it, took out the paints, and started to work—ruining their guitar.

A guitar can be painted with acrylic paint. To get the greatest results, you must, however, have a thorough awareness of paint options and the best ways to prepare acrylic paint. You must also be prepared for the chance that the acrylic paint will detract from a guitar’s worth.

You can end up with a very cool guitar that has whatever you can think of paint on it if you prepare properly and go into your potential paint job aware of the dangers you’re taking (albeit they’re not life-threatening). Let’s start working.

Here are the following topics which are as follows:

  • What is Acrylic Paint?
  • The Necessity of Acrylic Paint
  • How to Get Ready to Paint Your Guitar?
  • How to Use Acrylic Paint to Paint a Guitar?
  • Things to consider
  • Conclusion

Guitar-Paint-Ideas-with acrylic paint

What is Acrylic Paint?

In 1934, acrylic paint was created in Germany using a mixture of water, acrylic resin, and pigment particles. A ground-breaking discovery was the existence of a water-dilutable color that combined the benefits of watercolor and oil paints.

 This revolutionary new paint was initially marketed as house paint, but by the middle of the 1950s, artists were experimenting with it as a potential replacement for oil paints and other artistic materials.

Other than canvas, craft acrylics can be applied to surfaces like wood, metal, fabrics, and ceramics. They are used to adorn everyday objects using false finishes and creative painting techniques. Pigments are frequently not defined, even though hues can be blended.

Pigment, an acrylic binder, and what is known as an acrylic vehicle are the only three chemicals that go into making acrylic paint. Let’s examine each component in greater detail by breaking it down.

  • Acrylic Pigment

The pigment gives the paint its color. Small granules that have been ground into extremely small particles and are suspended in the paint instead of dissolving make up this substance. The pigment may be organic or inorganic, natural or artificial.

  • Acrylic Binder

An acrylic polymer is a name for the binder used in acrylic paint. It performs two jobs. When the paint has dry, the first is to keep the pigment in place. After the water in the paint has evaporated, the second step is to create a protective coating.

  • Acrylic Vehicle

The binder and the pigment are transported by water in the case of acrylics. A polymer emulsion is created when the binder and water mix together. The paint dries to a clear polymer coating with colored pigment flecks once the water has evaporated.

The Necessity of Acrylic Paint

Since artists first began using acrylic paints almost 70 years ago, their popularity has skyrocketed. You may be wondering what acrylic paint is used for at this point. They can be used for a variety of things, which we will discuss in greater depth below. You may be familiar with these advantages of acrylic paint already.

The main factor contributing to acrylic paints’ popularity is how quickly they dry. Applications that are thin dry in ten minutes. Although thicker applications take a little longer, they should dry in about an hour.

They are basic paints that are straightforward to use. The only components of acrylic paint are the pigment, a binder, and something called a vehicle. Soon, we’ll take a closer look at these components.

The ingredients that make up acrylic paint give it flexibility and elasticity. As a result, the paint will enlarge and shrink as the temperature changes without flaking or breaking. The paint will remain flexible even after it has completely dried.

When acrylic paint dries, it becomes permanent. It is also considered to be lightfast. This indicates that the colors stay true and do not deteriorate with time, especially if you are using artist-grade acrylic paints. The saturation of some of the less expensive student-grade acrylics could diminish over time, but they will never fade altogether.

No matter what grade of acrylic paint you use, it won’t turn dingy over time as oil paints do.

Acrylic paint can be applied to any surface, providing there is no wax or oil present, unlike conventional paint and drawing materials. Acrylic paint can be used to paint on surfaces other than canvas, paper, and cards, such as glass, plastic, metal, stone, cloth, and leather.

You can use soap and water to cleanse your hands, your brushes, and your palette because acrylic paint is water-soluble. You don’t have to clean up with turpentine or paint thinners. Additionally, the paint is waterproof once it has dried.

Acrylic paints don’t release any fumes and are non-toxic and inflammable. This indicates that they are harmless to pets and safe for use around youngsters.

How to Get Ready to Paint Your Guitar?

The way your guitar is prepared for painting may be more crucial than any other stage, including the kind of paint you decide to use. Both acoustic and electric guitar bodies go through a similar procedure:

Take off the neck, knobs, electronics, and strings (if your acoustic neck is removable).

  • Sand the wood.
  • Use primer.

When painting acoustic or electric guitars, there are some important distinctions in how you go about doing some of this and what you need to pay attention to.

acrylic paint art work on guitar

How to Use Acrylic Paint to Paint a Guitar?

Let’s go step by step because, as was previously mentioned, much of the procedure will be the same whether you’re working with an electric or acoustic guitar.

  1. Get your guitar ready

As previously indicated, get ready for your guitar by taking off all the strings and hardware. Once everything cures, you can simply solder pickups back in after entirely removing them. Place every piece of hardware neatly together in a box or another location where it won’t mix up or disappear.

  1. Sand the Body 

We already spoke about the guitar body being sanded. Just keep in mind to play your acoustic guitar very gently. When sanding with powerful machinery, electric guitars can potentially sustain harm.

  1. Use a wood primer.

Apply a wood primer to the wood as you would any other preparation. In comparison to untreated wood, primer helps the paint cling to the instrument better and last longer by sealing the wood. Pick a product like Gesso White by Handy Art or Liquitex Basics Gesso Surface Prep.

Gesso is definitely the best option for use with acrylic paint, regardless of the brand you pick.

NOTE: Apply another coat of primer once the first has dried and been sanded using fine paper (no finer than extra fine, which has a grit of 360). Dry, sand once more, and continue. There won’t be any jeers if you wish to add a third coat.

  1. Create a Design

Directly on the prepared surface, sketch your design. If you want some precise, clear lines, you can use masking tape. Good luck if you’re free handing something. Planning is again your friend.

Be mindful of the fact that you will almost certainly need to deal with a pickguard when playing an electric guitar. A pickguard being screwed down over a beautiful, detailed design and concealing it from view would be a shame.

  1. Draw the Image

your guitar is painted. If you make a mistake, you can easily paint over it, I suppose, but once everything dries, you can end up with an uneven surface. Similar to the priming, you might want to apply more than one coat, but this will depend on the aesthetic goal you have for the instrument.

For the task, acrylic paints from brands like Grumbacher or Castle Art Supplies on are suitable.

NOTE: Exercise caution when near the guitar’s neck area. When everything is dry and it’s time for reassembly, you might not be able to fit the neck back into position if you get paint on the area where it sits. to make the paint last long on the guitar you can bake it before applying the clear coat for 5 minutes.

  1. Protect the guitar’s acrylic painting.

You should seal the paint job once it has dried fully.

If you’re not an expert at brushing on paints and paint-like materials, spray sealers are more likely to give you a good, even finish. Your paint finish will break considerably more quickly without a sealing layer, and it will probably start to flake off.

Investigate your options on this one; your choice of a glossy or matte finish is totally dependent on the sealer you use. A great place to start is’s listing for Krylon’s Clear Sealer.

Things to consider

If you own an acoustic guitar from Martin or Taylor that is valued at five figures, you probably aren’t considering stripping, sanding, and painting it. Stop thinking about it at this very now. It’s excellent that the majority of people who consider painting their guitars do so in order to achieve a particular, personalized aesthetic.

However, if your instrument already has that appearance, you might want to reconsider. If a rock god autographed your guitar, it might be worth more than if you had painted a dragon on it. Just be sure to think carefully about your idea and what it will mean for you and your guitar.

Think about Willie Nelson’s Martin, which is an aesthetic disaster.

It has writing all over it, and the front hole identifies it as Willie Nelson’s guitar to everyone. But who wants him to sand it down and redo the finish?

guitar painting and clear coat on top


Adding a unique, hand-painted finish to your acoustic or electric guitar might be one of the many ways you can express yourself. With the right planning and careful execution, you can use acrylic paint to decorate your guitar and produce a piece that everyone in the audience can identify as being yours.

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