Paint it black.

For the black paint coats, I’m using Halfords, matt black car paint again. One, 500ml can should be enough, and it’s a good price. It’s formulated to work with the primer I’ve used, and it also says it’ll work with cellulose finishes – just in case I eventually decide to apply some kind of protective clearcoat.

Once again, I don’t want to paint everywhere, and especially where paint will eventually be removed – so  I mask up the body, as before. This time – I’m using masking tape on the back as well. I tear the edges of the tape, and in some places I leave the tape partially attached and lifted at the edges, so as to create a graduated feather effect. I’m trying not to be too precise – it’ll all get rubbed over later, anyway. Generally, I aim to keep the masking within the lines of the applied primer. That way I should begin to create a rough, stepped effect. Once I rub this back, it should look like the paint has been gradually worn away over time. There are a few additional areas on the sides of the original guitar, where photos show wear which is probably due to the repeated application of stickers or set lists. Here, the black paint has mostly been removed only down to the primer, but the transitions are more sudden and sharp. I mask off some corresponding areas on the edges of the guitar to reproduce rough approximations of these areas.

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I want a stepped effect from original finish to primer to black around the bridge area as well – so I take the bridge off again, and wrap another coat of kitchen paper around, before re-attaching it. Then, I apply three coats of black paint – sprayed nice and evenly. The first coat is slightly lighter than the other two – to help build up a consistent coat – but I’m not trying to bury the guitar in paint. Most of it will be coming off again anyway, so I’m concious not to spray too thickly. Once again, I spray the sides first, followed by each side in turn. With the final coat applied, the paint only takes 15 minutes or so to go off – so I can remove the masking tape and see how I’m getting along.

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The rear of the guitar shows where I can begin the process of rubbing the paint finishes back to the wood. The paint edges will feather, and will eventually be mixed with knocks and scrapes to reproduce physical signs of wear and tear, as-seen on the original. On the front of the body – I can mock up the whole layout, and check progress, by temporarily fitting the  scratchplate, together with the hardware and stickers I have put aside in the project box. This gives areasonable idea of how it will all look, when finished.

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There’s a lot of age yet to simulate – but it looks like there’s paint, mostly where it should be. I now need to let the paint dry and cure properly. The body is left to hang for a couple of days, at least. I really need to catch up with work on the Jaguar. (Which, being pristine white, has been kept well out of the way while I’ve had the black paint out).

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