Nitrocellulose lacquer is the primary recommended paint for painting a guitar outside of a professional factory. While some professional guitar paint shops use large sprayers, small aerosol cans of specialty paint may be used by amateurs at home.
Taking a few practice runs before painting a guitar for the first time is highly recommended. Scrap pieces of wood similar to the guitar work well for practicing. Nitrocellulose cans must be shaken well for at least 2 minutes before use. Holding the can about 10 to 12 inches away from the surface, short, quick sprays are used to create thin layers. Sanding or wet sanding between each coat improves the gloss associated with nitrocellulose lacquers.