DIY Guitar // Part 3: Staining

Guitar Staining Intro

It’s time for the next part of our DIY Guitar Series, staining! This is the step where the guitar really started to transform. Jake and I are so pleased with how this baby is coming along, and we are happy to share the entire process with you! Enjoy!


If you are working on a guitar project and want to prep for stain, the first step is to sand the
entire guitar body. This helps the stain adhere to the wood, and also creates an even stain application over the entire surface. Looking back, we wished we had spent a little more time and attention sanding, because after staining there were a few spots darker than others. Our advice is to take special care with the sanding process!


Next, we covered any exposed hardware to prevent it from getting stained. The only exposed portion we had were these bridge post holes. Jake covered them with blue tape, and then used a sharp knife to cut around the edges for a perfect seal.


These are the supplies we used to stain: rubber gloves, Minwax Emerald Wiping Stain, and staining pads which can be purchased at Home Depot. The only other thing we used was a plastic trash bag under the guitar body to protect our surface.


Now, we were ready to stain! To begin, you can either squirt the stain onto the staining pad, or you can put a small amount on a plate and dip the staining pad in the stain and then apply. We used both methods! Note: If you use any Minwax wiping stains, be careful because they come out super fast when squeezing the bottle! We may or may not have made a few messes that way…


We then began applying the stain to the body. In this photo I am applying it in a circular motion, but we switched to applying it with the grain instead. We stained the entire top while it was sitting on the table, and then when moving to the sides and back, one of us would pick up the guitar in the holes and hold it while the other person stained. If you are alone, you can make a makeshift stand out of cardboard tubes to prop up the guitar while you stain.


Here you can see the body fully stained while Jake evens out the color. We paid close attention to ensure that the guitar got an even look on the entire body. If you aren’t totally pleased after the first coat, don’t worry! Ours didn’t look great after the first coat, but the second coat created a rich color and evened out any imperfections.


Here the is the entire body after one coat! We are really pleased with this stain and love the color. In part four of this series, you will be able to see what the body looked like after 2 coats of stain, and then we will move on to the oiling process.


We hope you have been learning a lot through this series! It has been a big learning process for us as well. Thanks so much for reading!

Looking for all of the parts of this series? Check them out here: 1/2/3

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