If you love show cars and hot rods, you’ve seen engine turned aluminum used on everything from truck beds to tailgates. I found a paper that looks just like the swirled pattern so that you can get the engine turned look on your guitar while preserving the traditional wooden guitar tone. For my first experiment, I took the finish a step further by spraying a transparent candy apple red over the pattern to get a holographic look that really jumps. It ended up being my top attention-getter at the Nashville guitar show.
Hot Rod Lover
In my younger years, I worked in an auto body shop while attending a trade school for body repair and painting. I was always drawn to working on show cars and street rods. I loved the creativity of incorporating modern design and paint with a vintage feel.
Several years ago, I attended a car show and saw a beautiful candy apple red ‘32 Ford. Every bit of it was candy apple red – even the engine compartment. What caught my eye was the engine turned aluminum firewall. Normally, if you see turned metal used for a firewall, it has a simple clear-coat applied over the basic aluminum color. But this owner had sprayed his with a transparent red before clear coating it. It looked unreal! Depending on the angle of the sun, it took on different shades of red with a unique, almost holographic depth. I never forgot this car.
Car Becomes Guitar
Recently, I was at my graphic person’s shop when I spied a roll of paper that looked just like engine turned aluminum. I remembered the ’32 Ford, and a light bulb went off. I thought I could use the paper to make a killer looking guitar!
The engine-turned pattern paper is fragile and tears easily, so I had to very carefully adhere it to the guitar front and back. I sealed it and sprayed silver on the sides. Then I added a tight burst on the front and back with a bright aluminum style paint. A lot of Facebook friends said to leave it at that stage, but I wanted the pattern to pop. I sprayed the candy apple red, which added contrast to the swirls in the pattern to get that holographic look I wanted.
What color do you think would make the engine turned aluminum guitar stand out on stage?