Guitar, Bass, Pickup, and Effects Resources

How To Sand A Guitar Body


Final Sanding A Guitar Body Or Guitar Neck



Sanding A Guitar Body | How To Sand A Guitar

Page Update 3/7/2016


Final Sanding an Electric Guitar Body

This page assumes that your guitar body has been sanded at the factory, we are only describing the final sanding process.

  • Sandpaper Grits Needed - #150, #220, #320 (Aluminum-Oxide Sand Paper)
  • It's a good idea to wear a Safety Respirator so that you don't inhale wood particles when sanding your electric guitar body.  Purchase one at your local hardware or department store.
  • Pick up a Sanding Block from your local hardware store.  This will make it easier to finish sand your guitar and you can easily attach sand paper to the sanding block.
  • Start by attaching your #150 grit sand paper to your sanding block.  Sand your guitar body with the wood grain using the #150 grit sand paper.  Make sure that you see consistency after the sanding process. 
  • Do not sand the Neck Pocket.  This may interfere with attachment of the neck at a later time.
  • There's No need to sand the cavities for the pickups or wiring
  • Now Sand the guitar body using #220 grit paper.  You can lightly sand over the outside edges of the body as well.
  • Wipe the body with a damp cloth to remove all saw dust and raise any wood grains.
  • Sand again with #220 grit sand paper to sand the raised wood grains.  Repeat wiping and sanding as needed.  You'll want a nice smooth surface free of big nicks or large scratches.
  • If you plan to Stain your guitar instead of painting, you can now apply stain at this point as long as the guitar body is wiped free of saw dust and dirt etc.  Some apply what's called a sanding sealer after the guitar has been stained.  Check your local hardware store for a good brand to use. 

(This is a final sanded Tele Style Body with a See Thru White Stain Applied. Click to Enlarge)

  • To paint the body a solid color you'll want to apply a primer to the guitar body at this point.
  • Once your primer is dry or your sanding sealer, Sand lightly with #320 grit sandpaper.  Make sure you don't sand to the wood,  You want the primer to cover the bare wood so the guitar body accepts whatever paint you apply. 
  • Use this same process to final sand your guitar neck.

Please consult a guitar technician in your area if your unsure about any guitar assembly or maintenance techniques.