Will Painting An Electric Guitar Affect The Sound?

When using a thing for a long time, many of us want to introduce colors of our thoughts to it. The guitar is one of those instruments. So how can you personalize a guitar? Probably by adding a new strap, painting your guitar either in patterns or just one different paint. But many users are concerned about, will painting an electric guitar affect the sound.

No, painting an electric guitar will not affect its sound, on the condition that you have used the recommended paint for the guitar and painted it correctly. Here it is also essential to note that your painting should not interfere with the pickup of the guitar till the body of the guitar is perfectly fine.

In the article, I will discuss how to paint your guitar effortlessly. With some more tricks to make the process easy.


Why Is It Okay To Paint Electric Guitars?

When you talk about painting a guitar, you will see multiple reviews. Some professionals say you should not paint your guitar as it damages the sound quality. Others claim it is perfectly okay to paint the guitar in the colors you love.

Technically, if you look at the working of the guitar, you can understand why its okay to paint your guitar and where you should not apply the paint.

Working on Electric Guitars

Guitars work on resonance patterns. It takes pickups and amplifiers to produce a variety of tones. A pickup is a gadget of the guitar which allows the conversion of vibrations into electrical signals that an amplifier receives and performs necessary actions.

An electrical guitar cannot work without any of them. You can test a guitar by playing it without plugging the amplifier switch in the socket. What do you notice? You will probably observe that the volume of your guitar is significantly low.

So it is a play of amplifiers and pickups that will decide the fate of your audio, not the body of your guitar.

What Does Painting an Electric Guitar Do?

After explaining the working of the guitar, let me move back to the main question. Which is will paint An Electric Guitar effect The Sound?

So the answer is No. Painting an electrical guitar won’t damage your sound quality. But be careful that it does not interfere with the main components of the guitar. Such as strings, amplifiers, and pickups.

Here let me mention some professional guitarist reviews. Some guitarists are of the idea that painting a guitar has absolutely no effect on the sound. Others believe that the type and color you are using to paint your guitar have a significant impact on the output sound of the guitar.

Those of the idea that color has an impact on sound have little logic to support their claim. On the other hand, professionals that think painting does not affect sound quality have much to say.

They affirm that sound and light are two unparallel energies. Colour and type of paint can affect the physical aspects of your guitar as it is composed of electromagnetic radiation. On the other hand, sound comes from vibrations, and two things go entirely unrelated. Paint will not have any effect on the sound of your guitar.

Here let me quote that you need to be conscious about the type of paint you are using. The thickness and weight of the paint can affect the sound quality by hook or crook.

Can You Paint Acoustic Guitars?

The case with acoustic guitars is quite different. They depend on the body, which is wooden in most cases. They don’t have pickups and amplifiers. Strings send the vibration through the resonance chambers to the body, where amplification takes place, and we hear a loud tone.

Here the density of the body matters a lot. Painting your acoustic guitar will negatively influence the tone of your guitar, or it may disrupt it completely.

You may have seen many acoustic guitars painted in radiant colors, and you may be considering painting yours too. Let me mention here they are frequently used as an embellishment for the studio or the rooms with no practical purpose to serve.

So it is advisable not to paint your acoustic guitar in any way.

How Can You Paint Your Guitar?

Once you have decided to print your creativity on your guitar, there are different approaches to it. You can choose either of these depending upon your demand. If you want your guitar in a pattern with no significant illustrations, spray paint is the best option.

You should consider acrylic paints if your choice is some doodles and sketches.

Here I will give a comprehensive idea of how you can efficiently paint your guitar using both of these techniques.

Spray Paints

Are you bored with the old color of your guitar? Do you want to introduce a new trendy look to it? You can do so by putting on a brown leather strap and painting shiny red on your guitar. To add more creativity, you can choose a blend of two or three different colors.

The first step is choosing spray paint. You should prefer lacquer spray paint. A variety of species include nitro paints, polyurethane paint, and others. You should show preference towards nitro paints as they are more durable and give a shiny off finish.

After the selection of paint, let me come to the painting procedure. Here are the steps you can follow for a good finish look:

  1. Start by separating all the metal equipment from the guitar. They may include wires, studs, and knobs.
  2. Now coat the wooden structure with three to four layers of primer.
  3. Now let it dry for a few hours.
  4. Sand the wood to remove any inconsistencies from the surface.
  5. Spray two or three coats of nitro paint on your guitar.
  6. Wait some hours until these layers are crisp and dry.
  7. Take sandpaper, wet it, and rub it on the surface of your guitar to give it a finished look.
  8. Now with the help of a towel, remove any residues left behind.
  9. It’s time to apply some wax to the guitar for a shiny surface.
  10. Compose the metal parts, and your guitar is ready to go.

Acrylic Paints

Guitars covered in different mesmerizing patterns and sceneries catch our attention the most. It gives your guitar a classy and creative look. To carve such portraits, you will need acrylic paints.

Let me mention handling acrylic paints is not an as easy a job as spray painting is. You need to be very conscious about the amount of material you are applying, as it can damage the entire structure of your portrait.

The ideal way to start with acrylic painting is by applying a base color to the surface of your guitar with spray paint. Here are the steps you can follow to get the maximum out of your acrylic painting:

  1. Disattach any metal such as strings or knobs attached to the guitar.
  2. Apply primer and wait for a few hours.
  3. Sanding will help to smooth out the surface.
  4. Spray three to four layers of base paint and let it dry.
  5. With the help of a drawing pencil, draft the portrait that you want on your guitar.
  6. Now with the paintbrush, trace the draft and fill it.
  7. Remember not to apply too much paint. Let it be crisp and dry.
  8. Now apply transparent varnish to your portrait to give a finished look.
  9. Now use a dense layer of clear spray and let that dry.
  10. Compose the setup back and enjoy the rhythms.

What Kind of Paint, You Can Use on Guitars?

Now the question is, what type of paint will be most compatible with your guitar? Strictly speaking, not every dye will get along with your guitar, and some types of pigments can seriously damage your guitar. For instance, water and poster paints will only result in poor looks.

Ceramic paints and spray paints are the healthiest options available on the market today.

Ceramic paints will go smoothly for patterns and prints. Users review this product as safe for both acoustic and electric guitars. Ceramic dyes don’t oxidize and hence will last longer.

On the other hand, spray paints are a good option if you want a monochromatic tone or thinking of creating an even fusion of dual or more colors. Like ceramic paints, they tend to last longer and don’t affect the exterior or interior of your guitar in any harmful way.

Best Paints for Acoustic Guitar

Here are some of my top picks for the best paints.

ColorTone Tinted Aerosol Guitar Lacquer

The first on my list is ColourTone Tinted Aersol Guitar Lacquer (Amazon Link). The best thing about this painting is that it keeps in view the need for musical instruments. Their exterior, texture, and sound quality affect factors.

Nextly, it gives your guitar a flawless natural finish without disrupting the grain.

It comes in a variety of colors which will surely meet your artistic taste and guitar needs.

TransTint Dyes

Next on my list is TransTint dyes (Amazon Link). The entrance of this dye into the market is the start of a new revolutionary era in the world of guitar painting because the dyes are available in such versatile shades to choose from.

It adds variety to your creativity without damaging the fabric of your guitar.

Its water-based formula ensures that the paint dries quickly without creating a mess. It adds durability and ensures a smooth surface for your guitar.

Does paint change the sound of a guitar?

Yes and No. It depends upon the work and type of your guitar. If you have an electric guitar that works on pickups and amplifiers painting will not affect your guitar. On the other hand, if you have an acoustic guitar, painting can ruin your audio quality.

As the output of an acoustic guitar depends much on the density and hollowness of the guitar, painting an acoustic guitar will directly affect its sound quality. Most of the painted acoustic guitars you see online or in markets are for decoration or aesthetic purposes only.

Another way to satisfy your craving for painted acoustic guitar is to buy a guitar whose base material is initially colored wood. Or by introducing a painted sheet for it. After use, you can wrap it in the sheet and satisfy your creative buds.

Does the paint color affect the guitar tone?

No color of your paint does not affect the guitar tone. Color has something to do with the light and physical aspects, but vibrations build the output of the guitar, so the color of the paint will not affect the tone in any way.

But remember not to use too thick paint as the density will directly affect the quality of your guitar output.

Will acrylic paint hurt my guitar?

Acoustic guitars should be hollow to process and output the right frequency tones. The input and output lie in the density of the material of your acoustic guitar. A lightweight medium allows the vibrations to pass and reflect smoothly.

On the other hand, heavyweight stuff opposes the vibrations from passing through them. When you apply paint to your acoustic guitar. It adds an extra layer of density and weight to your guitar. That will directly affect the vibrations and output of your acoustic guitar. On the other hand, it will not affect the electric guitar.

Because electric guitars have amplifiers and transistors for processing. In other words, the architect has nothing to do with the results of an electric guitar. Moreover, getting the appropriate density and quality paints for your guitars is also necessary.


Guitars painted in different colors look so appealing to the eyes. They portray the uniqueness and creativity of their user. It is essential to gain adequate knowledge of guitar painting before starting with the process.

Some guitars endure different paints very well without any outturn on their tone or sound quality. Electric guitars are excellent examples of such guitars. They work on pickups and amplifiers.

Their body has little to nothing to do with their tone. You can use spray paint to print monochromatic looks on their body and acrylic paints to paint portraits.

At the same time, many guitars such as acoustic, will not be able to handle any paint, resulting in damage to their sound quality. Choose the right paint for the right guitar. It will make it easier to print your thoughts on the guitar.

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