May 19, 2013
I am like a goldfish.
I buy guitars that I think will be a cool project, then lose interest and forget about them. 99% of the time they end up getting sold off without any work being done on them.
Recently, when I bought an old Model series Charvel, I figured I was probably in the same boat. I had a vague idea of doing a Van Halen-style 5150 stripe job on it, but I knew that it probably wouldn’t happen, and in 3 months’ time I’d just sell the guitar.
That is, until I picked it up.
I was greeted at the door by an old lady, maybe in her early 60s. Assuming that it wasn’t hers, I made the mistake of asking who owned the guitar. That’s when she told me – it had been owned by her late husband, who had died many years ago, she said sorrowfully, and she finally was able to let it go.
As I packed the guitar into its case and turned to leave, she wistfully asked me to take good care of it.
I can never sell this guitar, for fear of being haunted by some old lady’s dead husband.
So… Van Halen stripe. I’ve never painted a guitar before. What can go wrong?
I didn’t want to go with the usual colour scheme – I wanted something a little different. In the end I settled on white, blue and red. As fate would have it, that was not to be, as come painting day some 3 weeks later, I could not for the life of me figure out where the fuck I’d put all the spraycans. I had to go back to the hardware store to get more, and on a whim, I decided to get blue and silver instead.
Since I wanted to keep the underlying white finish, happily that meant that I didn’t have to sand right through to bare wood. I just grabbed some 320 grit sandpaper and sanded through the clear coat, to get it ready for painting. Too lazy to properly get rid of the ugly sticker residue from the previous owner, I opted for extra elbow grease and just sanded right through it, which actually took a bit more effort than I’d anticipated.
Masking it up
Time to get some masking tape! I didn’t really try to follow the classic 5150 pattern, but rather just chose an arbitrary point up by the top horn and followed around the body as far as it took me. Then I added stripes in between to taste, just eyeballing it for the most part.
I have a blue house with a blue window, blue is the colour of all that I wear
Time to spray paint! Lacking a proper garage, and much in the way of tools, I MacGyvered a hanging solution from a bunch of metal clothes hangers, and got to work with the spraycan. I put three coats on, with about 20 minutes drying time in between each one.
Once it all dried, and the masking tape came off… voila!! Looks pretty cool – except for those random squiggles, which were inspired by the squiggles on Eddie’s own one, but really, just came off looking kinda stupid. Don’t worry, we’ll fix that in Part 2 of Project 5150, when we spray the silver on there!
Have you done an EVH inspired project? Share it in the comments, I’d love to take a look!!