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How To Stain A Guitar Kit – 5 Tips

By September 27, 20187 string guitar kits

How To Stain Your Guitar - 5 Tips To Make Staining Your Guitar Easier

how to stain your guitarOh man, figuring out how to stain a guitar kit can be paralysis by analysis. 

At least I think that is the way you say it!…

This is especially true if you have never done it before.  It’s kind of like being given a really hard problem to solve but you are not really sure where to start.

Should you start at the back or the front, should you spray it, should you use a brush or rag or foam brush to apply it, how many coats, would it be better just to spray paint it, what if you screw it up?…

It’ll make you give up before you even start!

We’ll here are some tips that will help you get it right or “right enough” the first time so you can be happy with the results of staining your guitar kit.


If you have no experience with how to stain a guitar than a good idea is to practice on a test piece of wood.  This is probably a good idea even if you have some experience applying stain to wood.

Get a test piece of wood, preferably the same kind of wood that your guitar body is made out of, so that you can get a sense of how the stain you want to apply is going to react with the wood and how it will look.

This will give you an idea of how many coats of stain you will want to use and how many coats of urethane you will want to use on top of the stain to get the desired effect.  This will also allow you to experiment with different brushes and how each one effects the finish.

You can also play around with using wood filler on your practice piece of wood to see how it helps or hinders bringing out the grain of the wood.

Once you have figured out a process that gives you a finish that you are happy with then you can feel more confident about applying the stain to your guitar for real.

Now no two pieces of wood are the same and finish applied on once piece of wood may look different on another piece of wood.  The point of practicing is you want to build your confidence with how to apply the stain to your guitar and have some idea of how the finish will look and if you can be happy with that.

START AT THE BACK how to stain a guitar

When you are ready to start applying the stain start on the back of the guitar body and start on a small area. 

If you really want to be picky you could just as easily start at the front but if you start at the back and don’t like what you are seeing or just change your mind it would be easier to hide or sand down to bare wood on the back of the guitar than on the front of the guitar.

At any rate if you start to apply stain and then decide you don’t like it you will be needing to do a fair bit of sanding to get back to a blank slate.

Some of us are lazy and instead of sanding the whole one side of the guitar might just sand the part where the stain was applied.  This is not advisable but you could get away with it more on the back of the guitar body but you shouldn’t do this on the front of the guitar body.  If you did the front face of the guitar body would look uneven and nobody wants that.


There are lots of guitar staining kits that can be found on the web that are specifically made for staining your guitar.  If this is the route you want to go a good place to look where you will find tons of selection is Amazon.

The other option is to head down to your local hardware store and check out what they have in the paint section.

A good idea would be to talk to someone there and explain to them about your project, what type of wood it is and they will be able to direct you to what kind of stain would be best whether it be a water-based stain or oil based stain.  Since you won’t be keeping your guitar outdoors than you will probably be using a water-based stain and water-based varathane.

Another advantage of talking to someone knowledgeable at the hardware store is they might have some tips and tricks of their own for applying the stain that may help to give you a better finished on your guitar.


If you are breathing and have a pulse you already know this.  Pretty much the first place many of us go to these days when we need to fix something that broke or we need to learn how to do something is Youtube.

These days chances are that somebody has had the same problem that you have, has found the solution and has made a video about it.

This is very true when it comes to how to apply finish to guitars.  A simple search on Youtube will bring up hundreds of videos by people showing you how they applied finish to their guitars with tips and tricks.

This is a great way to see all the different things people have tried when building there guitars and how it worked out for them.  You should pick a handful of videos to watch.  Watching someone else do what you want to attempt to do will give you a ton of confidence in doing it yourself and also let you learn from some of their mistakes so you don’t have to make the same mistakes also.

Watch Youtube, learn and then do it yourself!


You don’t have to do this but you might want to consider it.

Why do it?

Depending on how thick or how long you leave the stain on before wiping off the excess it could effect how the grain of the wood comes out.

If you don’t care about showing the grain of the wood or you are going for a solid stain than perhaps this step isn’t as important.

If you do want the grain of the wood to be more prominent than sanding between coats will expose more of the grain and make the finish more interesting.

 Even if you are going for a solid finish light sanding between coats with a fine sand paper will make for a smoother finish with less imperfections in the end product.

Thanks for reading! Hopefully you found something in this article that will help you have an easier time applying stain to your 7 string guitar kit.

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