96 Epi and 81 Gibson LP refinishes - Black and Gold

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WezVWezV Frets: 9123
edited July 1 in Making & Modding
I have had this guitar since new in 1996, every part has been changed in that time and i finally decided to do somethign about the green finish



So it now looks like this


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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 1403
    noice!... how did you get rid of the green?
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 9123
    I didn’t get rid of it.  Most people doing goldtop relics want a touch of green peeping through so I keyed the surface and went from there... used it to my advantage.

    the green isn’t that deep, it’s on top of a thick coat of sealer, so I have gone through it on the forearm wear and left it at the edge of the wear.   Still needs a bit of work to look right but it’s mostly there 
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 9123
    here is a 69 which shows why i did not feel the need to strip the green, although i would have had to do it differently to get it to look just like that.  i decided just in the cracks and dents was enough

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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3408
    Is it worth trying to disguise some of the original green colour with fake dirt and grease *ageing* effects.
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 1403
    Looks cracking... there’s going to be a rush on green les Paul’s now! ;)
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 9123
    Is it worth trying to disguise some of the original green colour with fake dirt and grease *ageing* effects.
    yes. I have not done any fake dirt on this yet, that will be the next step
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 1403
    WezV said:

    yes. I have not done any fake dirt on this yet, that will be the next step
    Care to share a recipe for the fake dirt? Can’t seem to get that one right!.
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 9123
    A few things.  Walnut wood stain, wiped on and wiped off. Colron liquid scratch cover, applied and left for an hour before buffing off.  And Fiebings brown stain too... although I am still getting my method right for that one.

    if you see my last goldtop build thread I show various stages of getting the look right.  Some go too far and need softening off a bit.  It’s a bit of back and forth to get there
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 1868
    Did you nitro over the epiphone poly or did you use something else?  Iooks like nitro.  Really nice, just need to cover those humbuckers : )
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 9123
    It’s nitro over the poly.

    The humbuckers are an early set of dimarzios and will be staying.  They may not be the ideal look, but they sound great and suit the guitar.  Just a shame they have that pinky cream colour as actual white/ivory would look much better
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 1403
    WezV said:
    A few things.  Walnut wood stain, wiped on and wiped off. Colron liquid scratch cover, applied and left for an hour before buffing off.  And Fiebings brown stain too... although I am still getting my method right for that one.

    if you see my last goldtop build thread I show various stages of getting the look right.  Some go too far and need softening off a bit.  It’s a bit of back and forth to get there
    I have the Colron stain... in walnut as well!... I think they have changed the recipe in recent years, I’m sure it use to have naphtha in it... the new stuff never seems to take!!!!
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 9123
    The walnut wood stain isn’t Colron, it’s a traditional spirit based wood stain.

    others have reported the Colron  scratch cover doesn’t take, but it works for me on most things.

    you can always make a paste from briwax and stains. 

    Remember old guitars are not caked in dirt.  You need something to gather in the cracks, preferably not too consistently
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  • normula1normula1 Frets: 262
    WezV said:.

    The humbuckers are an early set of dimarzios and will be staying.  They may not be the ideal look, but they sound great and suit the guitar.  Just a shame they have that pinky cream colour as actual white/ivory would look much better
    Are they the ubiquitous Paf & Super Distortion combination?
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 9123
    normula1 said:
    WezV said:.

    The humbuckers are an early set of dimarzios and will be staying.  They may not be the ideal look, but they sound great and suit the guitar.  Just a shame they have that pinky cream colour as actual white/ivory would look much better
    Are they the ubiquitous Paf & Super Distortion combination?
    Technically I think the bridge is a Dual Sound as its 4 conductor, although they later made the SD 4 conductor too.  

    Both these are early square foot models that came fitted to my abused John Birch.  I think they are from somewhere between 78-82


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  • WezVWezV Frets: 9123
    I am also working on another les paul refinish at the moment and its at a similar stage.   I will include it here as the theme  is similar.  Both Les Pauls have features that the purists hate, both will proudly keep those features, whilst being refinished in a more popular colour choice.

    This one is a bit more controversial because obviously it has a lot more value than the Epi, and to some it would be considered vintage.  Some may even like the dull wine red colour it started as.   Never mind all that, the discussion was had before work started.  The wear isn't randomly generated on this one, it is a recreation of all the existing wear on the guitar, plus some subtle crazing.



    the inspiration
    https://historicmakeovers.com/product/rds-791409-jackson/

    the current state


    harsh light to show the crazing


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  • SteveRobinsonSteveRobinson Frets: 1832
    It looks far better in black. It's the (close) second best best colour for a Les Paul.
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 1868
    This one was I assume nitro, on the back it looks like white underneath so did you strip this one or is nitro over nitro?

    Looks great I'm not into les pauls but am always drawn to black ones.
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 9123
    edited July 1
    It’s not white underneath.  This one got fully stripped and redone in black nitro.  Deserves a bit more effort than the epi, and nitro is easier to strip

    any white you see is either buffing compound or a reflection 
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  • DannyPDannyP Frets: 778
    The black is great - but that one was asking to become a 'Lucy'!
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  • Adam_MDAdam_MD Frets: 2974
    The goldtop looks great much better than before but I definitely preferred the wine to the black on the Gibson.  
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  • markslade07markslade07 Frets: 344
    edited July 3
    I have a wine red Epi Les Paul and keep contemplating getting it refinished, but I just can never make up my mind. This goldtop just looks all kinds of awesome.

    Mine (on the top left)
    https://i.imgur.com/je0WojB.jpg
     

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  • Hick81Hick81 Frets: 69
    I think the black looks rather fetching 
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 9123
    now got the 81 all done... annoyingly i am out of strings, so the current ones are reliced to match the guitar... will solve that and do the final set-up int he next few days.

    I changed the original ceramic disc caps to orange drops.  I kept all the original pots as they are actually in very good condition.  It helps that this era has them all in a metal can for additional shielding, its kept them very fresh.

      



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