Does Painting Acoustic Guitar Affect Sound? Acoustic guitars are famous for their bright and crisp sound.
However, after a few years, the specks of dust and other atmospheric components can affect their tone. Painting an acoustic guitar is considered important because it is one of the ways to restore your instrument’s original look. Let’s find out if painting acoustic guitars could improve and change their sound.
How an acoustic guitar works with paint
The question does painting acoustic guitar effect sound is best answered if you understand how the guitars work. Acoustic guitar bodies are made from wood, and the sound reflected from the body of a guitar is vital for the overall tone. All modern acoustic guitars have a hollow body, which means that some part of the guitar’s interior is not solid wood but has an air space inside it.
A wooden body is flexible, allowing the guitar body to act as a giant speaker cone. When a string vibrates, it causes the rest of the guitar body to vibrate. This movement makes sound waves that travel through the air and reach our ears.
The complex shape plays a vital role in how those vibrations are transferred from the instrument to the surrounding air: Different strings’ vibration patterns set up on different body parts create a particular sound. That’s why guitars with solid bodies don’t sound like hollow-body instruments with f-holes, for example. Their shapes are different, and therefore their tonal qualities also differ.
Guitar materials and Type Of Paint
Does painting acoustic guitar effect sound? Well, painting a guitar will increase resonance and sustain, but it may deaden the tone of your instrument. It comes down to wood density, the wood used, and of course, the type of paint.
The density of a guitar’s body determines its resonance – whether it will ring or not when strummed. If you apply any paint to the body, it will reduce the ability of the wood to resonate. How much depends on many factors, including paint thickness and density.
A good example is to compare an acoustic guitar made from spruce with one made from mahogany. Spruce is a high-density wood, and mahogany is a low-density wood. The spruce guitar will be more resonant than a mahogany guitar because fewer air pockets in the timber can absorb some of its sound energy.
If you paint either of these guitars, you’ll get much less resonance than if you left them bare. And this applies in reverse, too – if you sanded down a mahogany guitar, you’d get more resonance than if you’d kept normal. With sanding, high-density woods like spruce will improve in tone more.
A thick or light coating
The type of paint you choose will significantly affect the tone of your instrument when addressing how does painting acoustic guitar effect sound. If you use high-gloss paint, you may be able to see the strumming of your strings through the body. It is especially true if you use a thin coat or two.
Applying thick coats of glossy paint can cause the body to resonate less and lead to a duller sound. If you’re looking to get a deep, rich sound from your guitar, this might be what you want.
If you want a brighter and more natural-sounding guitar, then you’ll want to use a flat finish. Flat finishes usually don’t affect your acoustic guitar’s tone as much as gloss finishes do. However, matte finishes don’t reflect light as well as glossy paints, so they can be harder to see in low light conditions.
You can also apply different coats of paint to achieve different results. The more coats of paint you put on your guitar, the heavier it will be and the more it will resonate. The fewer coats you put on, the lighter it will be, and the less it will resonate.
Unlike oil-based paints, water-based paint doesn’t have toxic fumes. It is much easier to clean up your brushes and work area when using water-based paint. Also, it is safer to use around children, as it doesn’t contain the toxic chemicals that oil-based paint does.
Water-based paints are generally not recommended for guitars because they can discolor over time. Sometimes they can even react badly with the wood and ruin it.
However, if you’re confident that your water-based paint will hold up well, there’s no reason not to use it when figuring out how does painting acoustic guitar effect sound. The main thing to remember is that water-based paints dry very quickly. That means you have to work fast and make sure that you smooth out any brush strokes before the paint hardens.
Guitars are made of wood, a porous commodity. If you paint it, the paint will soak into the wood and make the guitar sound different. Oil-based paints do not work well on porous surfaces because they soak in and weaken the material. This is a straightforward answer to the question will painting an acoustic guitar ruin the sound.
Oil paint is easy to apply, and you don’t need much skill to get professional results. However, it doesn’t mean that you should skip the prep work – make sure that you sand the surface well and clean off any dust before applying the paint. If you have not prepped the surface properly, your color will not stick properly and will chip off easily.
While applying oil-based paints, keep a thinner handy to clean up your brushes after use. It also helps to use high-quality brushes as they spread the paint evenly and are less likely to shed hair on your guitar body after application.
Here are a few things to consider when thinking about spray painting your acoustic guitar:
How does spray painting work?
Spray paint uses hydrocarbons to carry the pigment or dye to the surface. The solvent evaporates (dries), leaving the color behind. The pigments are usually made from minerals or metals suspended in solution. Some stains are organic, meaning they come from plants or animals (like red and black). These organic pigments can be more susceptible to fading over time with exposure to light and heat.
How can spray paint affect your acoustic guitar?
The finish on an acoustic guitar primarily affects how much resonance or sustain it will have. A thick glossy finish will deaden the sound quite a bit more than a thin coat of satin lacquer would.
The spray paint might enhance the tone by filling in imperfections that may cause buzzing or dead spots on the top of your guitar (which is where most of its tone comes from). It might also be a good idea to fill in any cracks or dents with wood filler before applying the paint.
What are the benefits of using spray paint?
• Easy application – Spray painting is quick and easy to apply. You can get started right away with minimal preparation time required.
• No brush marks – There will be no brush strokes left behind as you would have with a regular brush. The surface will look smooth even after being painted.
• Cost-effective – The cost of using spray paint is much less than buying new furniture or repainting your entire home. It’s also cheaper than paying someone else to do it for you.
Will painting an acoustic guitar ruin the sound? If painting your acoustic guitar will make your guitar sound better with paint, then figure out whether you like your guitar appearance. If the answer is no, go ahead and take some spray paint to it. Just be sure to let it dry completely before playing. And remember that practice makes perfect.
How painting an acoustic guitar effects sound
Painting a guitar does of course impact the sound it will produce. How much largely depending on the type of used in the guitar, and the type of paint and thickness of the coats.
Here’s a solid video explaining more: