One of the questions we’ve been asked is, “what should be the right paint to use on acoustic guitars?”. The paint and color of an acoustic guitar can make a big difference in the sound and resonance. It’s also a personal choice or preference, but we recommend using traditional or natural paints, such as mahogany or walnut. These colors will tie in well with most guitars but will not overpower the tones. Some of the top guitar paints include Rust-Oleum Enamel Spray Paint, Liquitex Spray Paint and others.

Kinds of Paint for an Acoustic Guitar

Nitrocellulose Paint

The type of paint used for more than 50 years is pure cellulose nitrate, with less volatile nitrates added. Nitrocellulose is the traditional formula used by luthiers. It can be sprayed or roller painted. It dries to a hard finish in about 1 to 2 days. Due to their heavy chemical content, these paints are generally only recommended on stained or laminated wood because they can reactivate themselves.

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paints are a new type of paint with a great variety of colors. They have a lot of water in them and tend to be more transparent or translucent. These paints can also be spray painted or applied through a roller. All of the benefits that traditional nitrocellulose paint has, but more controlled chemical content without the risk of reactivity, which ensures for better quality and higher durability of your finished product.

Enamel Paint

Enamel paint is very similar to acrylic paint, but it’s more sturdy than acrylic. Enamel paints are applied either by brush or roller and can be up to 50 years old without any problems. It dries completely after two days. The drying time is faster than nitrocellulose paints but also makes it less suitable for undercoating.


Polyurethane paint produces a glossy finish that is resistant to deformation and cracks. Unlike acrylic paint, it retains its finish for a long time, making it a great choice if you want your acoustic guitar to look new for a very long time. It is also less expensive than the other types of paint.

Why Do We Need To Paint An Acoustic Guitar? 

The sound and resonance of an acoustic guitar can be significantly affected by what is applied to it. The interior surfaces of an acoustic guitar can be painted to lock the sound in the instrument while also making it more durable. Teak decks or guitars that have been made out of rosewood or mahogany are not only more durable but will also add a more solid tone to your music.

How Does Painting Affect the Sound of a Guitar?

The thick layers of paint applied to an acoustic guitar’s entire body tend to alter tonality. The sound tends to get muffled and possibly lose depth when painted with a thick coat of paint, especially on quality instruments; the heavy paint tends to dull the overall quality of the tone source, thus negatively altering the tone.

Top Brands for Guitar Paints

1. Rust-Oleum Guitar Paint

The brand is supposedly the best solution for painting your acoustic guitar. Rust-oleum tends to last the longest, ensuring that you can use it for years and years to come. However, this type of paint is not the cheapest: you’ll have to spend about $40 for a spray can and $20-$30 for a container of paint.

2. Liquitex Acrylic Paint

Liquitex Paints are also a great choice when it comes to the best paints for acoustic guitars. It has a variety of colors and tends to last longer when properly applied. These paints come with spray, brush and rollers and can be found in most art supply stores. The price is also around $20 for a can of paint and $35 for a set of three colors.

3. Valspar Enamel Spray Paint

Valspar is a brand that has been around for a while. It doesn’t come in a variety of colors, but it has a good reputation for durability. At about $13 for a can of paint, this brand is also cheaper than the other types of paints on the market. It should be noted that these paints work best on solid wood because they tend to fade when applied to laminated or stained wood.

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A guitar is a great instrument and will provide you with many years of enjoyment. By choosing to protect it, you can make sure that you can enjoy it for a long time and use it in any setting without worry. You can find paint at any local store, usually at hardware stores. Or you can purchase them online or from music stores like Hamer Guitars. If you want to protect your acoustic instrument against moisture, cracking, and other issues, acrylic might be the best type of paint for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Which is the best type of paint for a wooden guitar?
A. Water-based paint is probably the best choice if you look for a protective finish that won’t fade or dry up quickly. It will give your guitar a bright sheen which can look good in different types of settings. Acrylic paints provide a lot of protection, but they also leave behind an oily residue that is hard to clean. They require a lot of maintenance, so you may not be able to play as often if you choose them.

Q. Can paint be used on different types of guitars?
A. Yes, acoustic and electric guitars are both great candidates for protective paint. However, some paints may be better suited for one type than another, so it is essential to look at the characteristics of each before choosing the right kind of paint for your acoustic guitar.

Q. What is the best type of paint for the body?
A. The best type of paint to use on an acoustic guitar depends on the surface you are working with. If you are painting solid wood, you should consider applying water-based enamel paint because these paints are safe for lacquering the guitar’s body. For laminated wood, it is better to use lacquer that will help protect against moisture because it will adhere to the surface, making it difficult for water to penetrate.