Once the final guitar body had been shaped it was time to paint it. I decided to follow a painting strategy of undercoat then top coat of spray paint. The undercoat was just a wood primer and undercoat combined, which I sanded down after the first coat and then undercoated it again and sanded it again to try and get as smooth a finish as reasonable. The undercoat did show up many imperfections which I thought I had eliminated by using the wood filler. I must have been looking the other way as there are several quite obvious dips and imperfections. Still, I was in the painting phase and I didn't want to delay any more.
For the top coat I decided to spray paint as I thought this would give me the smoothest finish. I made myself an ad-hoc spray booth inside my garage as it was too wet and cold to do this outside. I first sprayed everything with a white acrylic gloss finish which was pretty good but showed up even the tiniest imperfection. It would feel smooth but imperfections could still be seen. I'm not sure what size imperfections can be detected by a finger tip but I have always thought it was in the microns, but from looking at my guitar I think I may be wrong!
In the photographs it doesn't look that different but you can just seen the gloss sheen on the bottom edge near the pickup hole.
As the backend of the guitar body has the 'classic' arrow feather shape I decided to carry that forward with the paint. Having seen other guitars that were white and red I decided to use the same combination. The brightest red I could obtain was cherry red which was exactly what I was looking for. I used masking tape to cover the white part with newspaper, hoping it would not pull off the white when it was removed. Fortunately it didn't but somehow part of the newspaper must have become wet as some of the ink transferred to the guitar body. Fortunately I was able to just touch it up with white spray.
It looks OK but the paint surface is quite fragile, probably because it is just acrylic rather than enamel, but the acrylic was cheaper. You make your choice and then you have to stick with it. I could cover everything with a clear varnish to protect the paint and get a better gloss finish but time is running out and it would be even more expense. I think I have spent more on paint than anything else for this project.
I think it looks OK. I re-assembled the string holding parts and tensioning as all the holes were still available. I think it might even sound a little bit better.
All I have to do now is re-insert the pickup and add the headphone amplifier and it will be finished. There is just about enough time to get that all done before the end of the competition.