Hi everybody. Thanks for visiting today to take a look at an advanced do-it-yourself Glitter project. The subject is an inexpensive electric guitar, but you may have a bicycle, a helmet, a toy or any number of articles that may be crying out for a Glitter coating in order to bring out the bling and set your item apart from the pack. A little sparkle can go a long way and it’s never been easier now that modern Glitter aerosols are readily available at many paint retailers.
Let’s get started. Here’s a guitar body, hardware removed, guitar neck unbolted, painters taped, and roughed-up with a green scrubbing pad. Since there’s no spray booth handy the guitar is hanging from a backyard swing set. Choose a nice day with low humidity and please wear safety glasses and a surgical mask.
There are many ways to coat Glitter onto a surface. You may choose to just sprinkle large Glitter particles atop white glue. That’s not a bad idea for many decorations, but for a finer surface appearance a tiny glitter (smaller than .008” Hex) may be more appealing. Glitter aerosol cans use tiny Glitter so that they don’t clog. That’s ideal for this project. When spraying Glitter from a rattle can it’s a good idea to choose a color that matches the base color of the subject. In this case Glitter Blast Cherry Bomb looks like it will do the trick. The first step is to soak the spray can in warm water for a few minutes. Shake the can vigorously for about ten minutes. Hold the can approximately ten to twelve inches from the body and begin spraying alongside the top left of the guitar body and slowly sweep across to the outside top right of the body. Don’t stop spraying. Continue across from left to right slightly overlapping the first coat by almost fifty percent. Keep spraying until the body is covered. (You may want to practice on a piece of scrap wood first.)
If you choose to apply a second coat with the same can it is best to ensure the spray nozzle is clear by removing it and soaking it in mineral spirits for a few minutes, wiping away any stray Glitter that could clog the flow of Glitter. Another tip that may prove helpful is to spray the tricky parts of the subject first and save the large flat areas for the final spraying. In the case of the guitar you may want to spray the sides and back first, leaving the front of the guitar for last. Don’t get too close with the can. You want to avoid drips.
Now for the keys to a factory-like professional Glitter finish: It’s all about using plenty of clear coat and waiting for weeks before sanding and buffing the guitar. When the Glitter spray paint is applied and dried it will feel rough to the touch. It requires many coats of compatible clear paint to successfully encapsulate the Glitter. Five cans of clear should do the trick for a professional job. At this point the guitar looks like this:
You may notice that the clear-coated guitar body appears slightly dull. Don’t worry. Wait for the paint to cure. Hang it up in a well-ventilated spot like a storage shed with screened windows. Leave it for weeks or even months. Forget about it. This is often the most difficult part. You must let the paint cure. Then elbow grease brings out the sparkle. Beginning with 320 grit sand paper and moving up to 800, 1500 and even 2000 grit, the body is wet sanded to look like this:
Finally it’s time to use rubbing compound, polishing compound and then guitar polish to get the sparkle finish you’ve been waiting for. Now the guitar can be reassembled into a truly unique instrument to be cherished.
Thanks for stopping by to check out Joe Glitter’s blog. We’ll be back soon to talk about Glitter particle sizes. Until then, stay happy and don’t let anybody dull your sparkle!