How to Paint a Homemade EVH Frankenstrat Guitar

Written by matthew anderson
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The EVH Frankenstrat is a distinct-looking guitar created by Eddie Van Halen using Schwinn bicycle acrylic lacquer and masking tape. The result is a red guitar with overlapping black and white stripes of different sizes. Because of this crude application, the EVH Frankenstrat finish is very easy to replicate. It takes far less time, effort and cost to create a homemade Frankenstrat than almost any other guitar finish.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Black spray acrylic lacquer
  • White spray acrylic lacquer
  • Red spray acrylic lacquer
  • Masking tape cut to desired width
  • S-hook
  • Screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Remove the pickups, controls, pickguard and neck from the guitar body. The only thing that should remain is the wood body.

  2. 2

    Hang the guitar in a well-ventilated place. An S-hook is the easiest tool to use to hang the instrument. Place one end of the S-hook through one of the neck bolt holes and hang the other end from a pole or rod.

  3. 3

    Spray the entire guitar body with black spray acrylic lacquer. The entire guitar should appear black when finished.

  4. 4

    Allow the black lacquer to completely dry. Check the label on the can to see the manufacturer's recommendation.

  5. 5

    Place masking tape pieces across the body where you want the black stripes to lie. Smooth the masking tape flat onto the surface of the guitar to avoid air bubbles.

  6. 6

    Spray the entire guitar body with white spray acrylic lacquer. The entire guitar body should appear to be white. The masking tape will block the paint from hitting the covered black stripes.

  7. 7

    Allow the white lacquer to completely dry.

  8. 8

    Place masking tape over the body where you want the white stripes to lie. Do not remove the masking tape placed to block off the black stripes.

  9. 9

    Spray the entire guitar body with red spray acrylic lacquer. The entire guitar body should appear red.

  10. 10

    Allow the red lacquer to completely dry.

  11. 11

    Remove all of the masking tape from the guitar body to complete the job. Unlike most guitars, Eddie Van Halen did not put a clear coat finish over the original Frankenstrat paint job.

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