We paint and refinish high-end, vintage, custom or specialty guitars.
When looking for guitar restoration services, it may be difficult to know who to trust with your guitar. When it comes to custom guitar painting, there are even more questions that are often overlooked or remain unanswered. We’re here to fill you in on the details.
Mythic Guitar Company offers a high-end, high-quality custom guitar and bass guitar paint and restoration services in Austin, TX.
We use only the highest quality instrument grade water-based stains and nitrocellulose lacquers or PPG Epoxy Primer, Polyurethane auto paints and clears. Since you are bringing us a guitar, not a porch, deck or house, we do not use stains or paints that are made for them.
While this does add to the overall cost, doing things right the first time often costs more up front, but gives a better result immediately and will last longer into the future.
(If you REALLY want house paint, we will do it for you… Begrudgingly)
We specialize in nitro finishes.
Nitrocellulose Lacquer Guitar Finishes:
Nitrocellulose lacquer was used on Fender and Gibson guitars until the 1970’s. It is very smooth. Today, Nitro Finish guitars are sought-after due to their ability to be “reliced”, or antiqued. Over time, or with certain weather conditions, the paint will “check” (create lattice patterned cracks). Playing guitars with nitro finishes will polish them where your body comes in contact with the guitar.
With lots of use, you will eventually wear through the finish and stain. The perks of Nitro paint are that it technically never dries, therefore, can be more resilient to minor dings and dents, and the patina and ability to be worn in like a new baseball glove is desirable to a lot of players.
Nitrocellulose paint has a limited variety of solid colors, however the guitars can be stained and then a nitro clear coat can be applied over the top.
Nitrocellulose takes a minimum of 6 weeks to paint (not accounting for other scheduled or unscheduled work), spraying very thin layers, once an hour, over several days, sanding in between coats, then it takes another 2 weeks to cure well enough to polish without it shrinking. Then it has to sit another 4 weeks before it’s “cured”. Nitro never fully cures. It can take between 300-700 labor hours to paint the guitar and give the guitar a 100% mirror-polished finish. Most of that labor is sanding and buffing!
Because of this and their highly toxic nature, Nitro paint jobs START at $700. The average restoration is between 1200-1500 for Nitro. For a more affordable option, try poly.
Polyurethane Paint Guitar:
“Poly” paints are typically applied in multiple stages. Sealer, Primer, Base Coat and Clear Coat. Single stage paints are also available. Single stage paints have the paint and clear in one. The benefit of Polyurethane paint is that it is very durable, resists micro-abrasions and minor dings. The downside, is that the poly paint is harder than the wood that it is covering, so, when you ding a guitar hard enough, a large “chunk” of the finish will fall off of the guitar, usually exposing bare wood. For guitar players who wish to relic their instruments naturally, Poly paints are a lot more difficult to wear evenly, and usually, sandpaper, tools, etc are required to relic the guitar.
Our Poly paint supplier has over 175,000 paint codes!
Poly paint jobs start at $450
Which do we prefer?
Ultimately, it is up to the customer, however, we prefer polly! If we can ever convince a customer NOT to use Nitro, we will. Poly is less expensive for the customer and we are very experienced in it’s use. It’s more durable, and takes days instead of months!
“Great, so, how does this work?”
Typically, customers call us and say “I want kind of a sort of green-ish, blue-ish kind of color that is a cross between grass green and a blue lucky charm marshmellow – but not really 50’s blue, but kind of greenish, with metal flake and i want it to be candy with pearl metal flakes.”
We love those conversations, but, we have made the process much easier for the both of us!
1. For Polyurethane guitar paint, find the year make and model of a car that you like that has the color you want. Remember that when we are discussing “Poly” paint, we are really talking about car paint. If you can find the name of that color, and the year make and model of the car, our auto paint supplier can match that exact color from their database of 175,000 colors.
2. If you do not have an exact color in mind; For Polyurethane guitar paint, go to your nearest home depot or lowes and pick through their paint chips. Find one that you like. Bring that with you when you drop off the guitar. We can take the paint chip to our auto paint supplier and have them match the color, add metal flake, pearl, or anything else. (We will not purchase the house paint from home depot.)
3. For Nitrocellulose guitar paint, the “name” of the paint and which Fender or Gibson model guitar (and possibly year range) it was used on, is generally enough. They may or may not have that color available, but all of the major and well known fender and gibson colors are available (Blonde, TV yellow, Sun burst, Tobacco Burst, Sherwood Green, Fiesta Red, Sonic Blue, etc).
4. For Guitar staining, it is pretty much impossible to match an exact color due to several factors. You would basically tell us “I want a green and yellow fade” and send us a photo from google to reference and we will match it as closely as possible, then clear coat it with Nitrocellulose lacquer, or Poly clear.
“How much does this cost?”
There are several factors which can drastically affect the price of a custom painted guitar finish. Some of these factors are, the color itself, the type of paint, the number of colors, the level of gloss, whether we have to fill dents, holes, chips, whether we have to sand the guitar down to bare wood, whether we have to disassemble and re-assemble the guitar (which requires a full setup once it’s completed) etc.
Please call us for a quote today! If you email asking for a quote, I will send you a link to this page.
Supplies for one guitar body cost me between $250-600 before markup. Labor is typically between $150-1000, depending upon poly or nitro, and level of gloss and polish.
A guitar body will cost you a minimum of $450 for unpolished poly clear coat over raw wood. The average guitar body paint job is around $650 for Poly.
(QUOTES will not be given by email. If you email, please ask to schedule a time to speak about your project.)