EGR’s Great Tele Relic Experiment: The Poor Man's Paint Room

Finishing The Tele Relic 1OK, so here’s our lovely little Baja Telecaster after about five days of start & stop finishing via my “poor man’s paint room”–– otherwise known as a cardboard box.

One of the beauties of building a Relic, I suppose, is that the finish doesn’t need to be absolutely perfect, so we were able to get away with painting this thing in less-than-desirable conditions. There were high winds all week, and the weather was all over the place, but my little cardboard box pretty much did the trick.

Nitrocellulose lacquer finish was purchased from Guitar ReRanch (we went with Olympic White,) and came in easy to apply aerosol cans. It took a few coats to get the hang of just how much to apply, but we managed to get the whole thing painted quite nicely with a single can.

The basic process was A.) lay the guitar on one side, B.) give it a solid but not too thick coat of paint, C.) come back in an hour and lay down a second coat, D.) wait another hour and lay down a third coat, E.) let the whole thing sit for 24 hours before flipping the guitar onto its other side and repeating steps A through D again.

That’s pretty much it… when the front and back were done we just stood the guitar on one side at a time and repeated the process along the edges. Because of the wind and dust that was flying around we made sure to always cover the top of the box while the finish was drying.

In five day’s time we had a really beautifully finished guitar, and then last night I rather hesitantly went to work sanding a lot of that lovely nitro finish back off again––ouch.

Up Next: a look at all of our Telecaster’s Relic’ed hardware after a few hours of heavy tumbling. It came out really sweet!