Made with Xara Gibson Replica Guitar Refinish How-To When beginning a project like this on a wooden surface, the first order of business is to make the surface flat and smooth, with none of the grain of the wood showing.  This is done with a polyester based primer-filler to lock in the fibers of the wood.  After the filler is sprayed and sanded, I then block sand the surface, in which a guide coat is applied then lightly sanded to show any low spots. With all of the low spots identified, a polyester glaze can be applied and sanded smooth.  After every step of sanding, it is important to clean the surface with a solvent based cleaner to remove residue and fingerprints.  Any dust and/or hand oils can ruin a paintjob. Once all of the body work is done, and the substrate is completely flat, the body can be sealed in preparation for paint.  The base coat color is applied wet-on- wet after the sealer has dried for about 30 minutes.  After the color has “flashed”, clear coat is applied.  The clear is the same two component, polyurethane coating that is on your car.  This gives the finish durability.  Letting the clear dry overnight, it is then again sanded and cleaned to prepare for artwork.  As a personal preference, I always clear a piece once before any airbrushing or graphics are painted; I believe artwork looks better over sanded clear as opposed to just the base color.    Now on to the artwork.  When working on a dark surface, I like start with white.  This is known as “under-painting”.  The entire image is now airbrushed in white.  Then transparent colors are layered one by one, slowly bringing the piece to life.  Next, the shadows are addressed with darker tones, and highlights are added.  In this manner, the piece is scuplted by “pushing” the darks back and “pulling” the light areas forward.  By doing this the areas of focus appear to be closer to the viewer. Happy with all of the artwork, I then clear coat the piece again.  This time, it is sanded with much finer grit sandpaper to remove any imperfections in the finish.  Then the piece is buffed with rubbing compund using a small foam pad on a pneumatic polisher to bring back the shine, then a polish is used to refine the swirlmarks.  After cleaning up all of the residue with a microfiber cloth, the piece is finally done! e Click thumbnail to enlarge Return to Gallery