The Fender Stratocaster guitar is the most copied in the world and it inspired Eddie Van Halen to assemble his mythical Frankenstrat guitar. As well as being a virtuoso of the electric guitar, our follower Josro Nemattollanhi, wanted to make his own version. and in this tutorial he shows us how to use spray paint to make a guitar look just like the mythical “Frankenstrat” ?.
It goes without saying that Josro’s intention was not to make an exact replica, but to base his version on the original design and to adapt it to his taste. To achieve this, he bought a cheap body and mast on the Internet for €70 (about £60). Although they turned out to be an acceptable quality, he also invested in a bridge by Schaller.
Materials for painting a guitar
To customise your “Frankenstrat” inspired guitar ??or any other design you will need the following materials:
- Masking tape
- 1 x 200ml can of Pinty Plus Basic Black 9005
- 400ml of Pinty Plus Basic White 9010 (2 x 200ml or 1 x 400ml)
- 400ml of Pinty Plus Basic Live red 3020 (2 x 200ml or 1 x 400ml)
- Special polyurethane varnish for guitars
How to paint a “Frankenstrat” ??guitar with spray paint
These are the steps that Josro followed to achieve such a magnificent result.
1º.- Prepare the guitar before painting it
First, the guitar will be dismantled and cleaned. It is essential that there is no dirt residue for the paint to adhere perfectly. Regarding the primer, Josro used a mixture prepared by a luthier (a guitar repairer) and sprayed, but we would also recommend the use of the Pintyplus universal spray primer.
2º.- Apply the Pintyplus Basic black
Once the primer has dried, a layer of Pintyplus Basic in black will be applied (a 200ml can will be sufficient). One of the most common problems when painting with spray is the paint running. Pintyplus Basic was reformulated a few years ago in order to lower the firing pressure of the nozzle and thus avoid the involuntary dripping.
For a correct application we recommend to follow the following steps:
Shake the spray can a couple of minutes. Direct the first press on a cardboard or paper to check the pressure with which the paint comes out. Spray at a distance of 25/30 cm, apply thin layers horizontally and then vertically.
Although the first layer does not cover completely it does not matter. We continue making thin layers until it covers completely, then reverse the can and press until the gas comes out to clean the nozzle. We recommend waiting several hours before applying masking tape, either following the design of the original “Frankenstrat”, or with the variations that you think appropriate.
3º.- Paint with Pintyplus Basic white
Next, the guitar will be painted with Pintyplus Basic in white. As we are covering a dark paint with a light one, we used two cans of white to ensure a good covering. Next, the masking tape is removed, revealing the black areas, as you can see in the following image.
4th.- New layer with Pintyplus Basic red
Once the white paint has dried, the guitar is wrapped again and painted with the bright red of Pintyplus Basic. The result after removing the tape can be seen below.
For the final varnish Josro used a special polyurethane resin for guitars which hardens a lot and protects well from the knocks and wear and tear on stage. As a side note, the original Frankenstrat guitar was not varnished and for that reason, the painting has chipped over the years.
Eddie Van Halen and the Frankenstrat guitar
Eddie Van Halen is one of the best guitarists in the world. Together with his brother Alex they created the group Van Halen. The guitar “Frankenstrat” ??arose from the need to have a guitar adapted to his way of playing .As Van Halen were not yet famous and did not have the money to have a Fender Stratocaster, he bought a copy of the mast and body of the Stratocaster with enough defects.
He mounted the guitar first painted black, then painted it white with areas masked off and, finally, red. The guitar itself was a fudge in every way. In fact, the name of Frankenstrat is the acronym for Mary Shelley’s monster, Frankentein, because it was built with pieces of diverse origins. In spite of everything, when Van Halen became famous, Eddie recorded many albums with her. In fact, the guitar solo of the song “Beat It” by Michael Jackson was played with this guitar.