How to Paint Stripes on Your Guitar

Written by matthew anderson
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How to Paint Stripes on Your Guitar
Eddie Van Halen's Frankenstrat has a distinct painted stripe pattern. (Incase Designs/

Stripes can be added to a guitar for a unique look. Eddie Van Halen's Frankenstrat is the most well known striped guitar. The method used for painting stripes on guitars in counterintuitive. The entire guitar body is initially painted the same colour as the guitar stripes. Tape is placed over the guitar body where the stripes will be. Then the actual body colour is painted over the entire guitar body. Removing the tape from the guitar body reveals the stripes.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Spray paint
  • Painter's tape of different widths
  • Sandpaper

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  1. 1

    Remove the strings, pickups, control knobs, strap pins and any other hardware on the guitar body.

  2. 2

    Remove the neck from the body, if possible. Tape a sheet over the neck if it is not removable to protect it from paint.

  3. 3

    Sand off the paint from the guitar body.

  4. 4

    Paint the entire guitar body the colour of the stripes.

  5. 5

    Place painter's tape over where the stripes will be. The tape will block the stripes from being painted over when the body colour paint is added.

  6. 6

    Paint the entire guitar body with the body colour. The tape will protect the first paint colour you put on for the stripes.

  7. 7

    Remove all of the tape from the guitar body to reveal the stripes.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure the tape is placed flat over the guitar body. This will prevent the body colour paint from seeping under the tape into the stripes.

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