What Will You Need?
Swirling Your Guitar
Official Jem Swirls
Out Of This Swirled
Swirling - The Borax Method
A bit of history
When I first started out swirling in 2005 there was virtually no information available. The only thing which I could find to help was the tutorial over at
This really helped but I wasnt happy with the results so tried out a number of other paints. I finally found
Humbrol gloss enamel paints
worked the best and after a couple of months testing and lots of help from the guys at
See my original post here, I am BlackKnight
) I managed to get good results.
GMC swirl video
which can be found all over the internet was the result of this testing and was recorded in the summer of 2005. At the time I started to write a tutorial for a website but university took over and swirling took a back seat.
That was until a good friend of mine saw the video and told me to put it up onto youtube which I did. The response I got blew me away and I decided to create this website.
About this method
The Borax method of swirling is not the correct way to swirl finish a guitar, and by correct way I simply mean its not the way its done on official Ibanez Jems; however, many people including myself get great results from it. The way this method works is breaking the surface tension of a volume of water; this allows a thin layer of paint to spread evenly accross the surface of the water. Oil paints are used as they dont mix with the water or each other very well.
There are lots of enamel paints out there, of which 'some' can work. I have heard people saying they get good results from Testors enamels but I only ever use Humbrol paints as they work for me.
Using this method does have its advantages.
Its the cheaper of the two methods.
Almost anything can be swirled as the enamels stick to EVERYTHING.
Its a bit easier for beginners.
Unfortunatly it has its dis-advantages as well, the top one being the choice of colors which are available. Most of the colors which can be bought are fairly drab and require a coloured undercoat to bring out various differant effects.
Anyway, lets get to the tutorials....
My name is Tony and I am a Web Developer by trade, I created this site after I recieved huge numbers of emails about my GMC swirl YouTube video on how to swirl a guitar to look like a Steve Vai Ibanez Jem.
I have been a fan of swirled guitars since seeing the first GMC in the Ibanez brochure, unfortunatly I could never afford one so went about figuring out how it was done. When I started swirling I was living in Guernsey and I bought a mahogany Jem body which is the one in the first GMC video.
Copyright 2009 by The Swirling