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Jesse_Dylan

Can I repaint my pickguard?

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I've noticed that I am already wearing off some parts of the flowers on my Hummingbird pickguard. I have played it quite a lot, but I didn't expect to wear through the paint so fast!

 

I think it's from anchoring my pinky, not from any kind of actual pick wear. Luckily, where my fingers tend to fall are not on the bird itself! I can live with parts of the design disappearing over on that end. The other end should be totally safe, and I think the bird itself is safe. (sorry, but I have a thing about hummingbirds, like a deep-seated issue... don't ask...)

 

Anyway, the whole thing to me just seems like a stencil. These are the "engraved" guards, where the engraving is just machine-etched in, and then I suppose another machine puts the yellow paint where the yellow paint goes and the white paint where the white paint goes (or the same machine or whatever--I don't know how science works).

 

Hell, if a machine can do it, I should be able to. It's paint by numbers.

 

Anybody know what kind of paint it is and where I could get something that would work just as well? Then it would just be a matter of replacing the paint where I've inadvertently taken it out.

 

2015-10-05%2015.45.56.jpg

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Same thing is happening to my SJ200 also where my pinky rests and it did kind of bother me too at first because I thought it would be a little more resistant to wear than that. I also thought about repainting the worn areas but didn't want to make a mess of it. Plus it will just wear off again. Now it doesn't bother me so much.

I do still want to remove my pickguard sometime in the future and reattach it with stew-macs 3m double sided tape.

Are those white flecks by the hummingbird's tail painted on or is that lint or something?Let me know if you do repaint your guard and how it turns out.

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Same thing is happening to my SJ200 also where my pinky rests and it did kind of bother me too at first because I thought it would be a little more resistant to wear than that. I also thought about repainting the worn areas but didn't want to make a mess of it. Plus it will just wear off again. Now it doesn't bother me so much.

I do still want to remove my pickguard sometime in the future and reattach it with stew-macs 3m double sided tape.

Are those white flecks by the hummingbird's tail painted on or is that lint or something?Let me know if you do repaint your guard and how it turns out.

 

The white flecks, which look massive in the picture, are very very small in reality, and I think they are actually the paint that my fingers have worn off the flowers!

 

If this is as bad as it ever gets, I should be okay. I don't think there's any danger to the bird, and I think the bird knows the flowers are imaginary anyway :P But heck, I figure if my damage is really that localized, it shouldn't be too hard to repaint when I change strings or something ha :)

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I know this answer won't be what you're looking for, but over the years my luck was with a bunch of small bottles, and I meant small bottles of "model enamel" I believe the brand name is or was "Testors". Many colors. It took a fairly steady hand with a roll of paper towels and a jar of mineral spirits, just in case. This "stuff" has held up better than original factory paint. Good luck...

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Go to a crafts store like Hobby Lobby, etc. (might even find it at a Wal Mart) and get a bottle of clear varnish. The kind used for hobby work like protecting a painted picture or something that's been painted and you don't want the paint to flake off or fade from handling. Not the varnish for cabinets...lol.....The same thing you describe happened numerous years ago when I bought the J150 I had. Right where my pinky finger rested the paint started coming-off. I got a small brush and did the entire pick guard. Just be careful at the edges. Unless you're a heavy strummer using a pick, the problem will be solved. Over the ten plus years I had the guitar, I likely re-did it once every couple years, just to be safe. You can get a gloss coat or dul-coat. I got the dull because I didn't want the pick guard to be shiney. I was told that the gloss gives more protection, but the dull worked great for me. I primarily fingerpick. It works. Make sure you get a "clear" varnish.

 

To be clear, I'm talking about protecting your original colors, not re-painting them.

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Used to have a limited run '04 Les Paul purchased new with a nice blue metallic finish. Had a few rubbed off finish spots on the edges, so I bought a number of different bottles of Testors to experiment with & ended up with a very close match. Could virtually no longer see the spots after careful blending, unless held to light at certain angles. Traded off the guitar, but still have lots of little bottles of blue metallic paint!

 

If you decide to go the Testors route, keep a few of their small bottles of thinner on hand, too.

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Disclaimer: I do NOT have a Hummingbird.

 

My advice is to leave it alone. If you are a Pinky Anchor player, that's just your target.

 

I once broke a bolt off a fixture, and replacing it cost me $4,000 in bathroom remodeling costs. I have since become a big believer in not trying to fix things that don't really need fixing.

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Of course you can repaint the flora-fauna, , , all it takes is painting skills. There's nothing to it that doesn't show so go ahead and try.

 

Said in all modesty, I'm fairly precise with a small brush from childhood airplane-models and have refreshed a few lines myself - and modified some from white to yellow.

But the thin ones are impossible for me - even with a needle-cut match.

 

It'll take a ready cloth or cotton-stick to remove spill-overs - as said : Throw your hands'n'focus into it.

 

Bozeman stage - BirdGuards3it.jpg , , , there's a woman involved in this (know nothing in detail).

 

 

 

My ring-finger wears the bird's beak and the surroundings, , , but I actually like the patinated look. Makes the guitar real.

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I think this is the reason the flubber guard was born, and like it or not, it does solve the problem. Some would argue that it creates other issues, but I like the fact that my thistles are safe.

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Yeah, on second thought, I don't think I have the skills to do this after all. If Em7 can't do it, I definitely can't. I'm just happy my fingers never fall anywhere too dangerous!

 

I know people complain about the flubber guards, but if I'd had a choice, I would have gone that route.

 

Just play the guitar for god sakes geez hahaha

 

That's how this happened! You're trying to trick me!

 

I wonder if anyone famous who played a Hummingbird a lot, and had a vigorous strum or wandering fingers, ever accidentally deleted thistles, birds, butterflies or flowers from their pickguard and hired a creative solution. :P Like a repaint or something. I've seen a lot of classic Birds with worn pickguards, but I don't recall ever seeing a famous one with a worn pickguard. Sure they must be out there, though. Good thing Willie Nelson never bought a Hummingbird.

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I once broke a bolt off a fixture, and replacing it cost me $4,000 in bathroom remodeling costs. I have since become a big believer in not trying to fix things that don't really need fixing.

 

I hear you there! Can't believe the number of times I've tried to DIY and ended up just wrecking something. ha! DIY stands for Doom It Yourself for me

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Until this thread, I wasn't aware that the Hummingbird True Vintage was coming with a pick guard that was merely a painted imprint. I'd be sorely disappointed if I'd paid that kind of money for a new guitar and the foremost item in its legendary appearance was no more than what I have on an Epi Ej200. I figure that the replacement cost of these painted pick guards is reason enough to make an effort to protect them. When I bought the J150, its appearance was one of the things that I really liked. The pick guard was a major part of the guitar's appearance.. At the time the guitar cost me 2300+, so seeing the design on the pick guard begin disappearing in a span of several days was an issue for me. I expected it to have the same pick guard as my Hummingbird, but it didn't, so instead of returning the guitar or replacing the pick guard, I did something to protect it. Some people don't get too involved about the pick guard and that works for them. I like keeping my guitars looking-good, even though they get played. For me, "just play it" doesn't address the problem if one buys a guitar because they think it looks as good as it sounds. I want to keep it looking good. I would bet that most people who buy a fully-adorned Hummingbird and get one of these pick guards with a painted design are somewhat disappointed to find that the durability of the pick guard doesn't match the quality and legend of the guitar. The looks and the sound are sold as a package and that combination is what attracts. There are lots of great sounding guitars out there, but very few of them sound quite like a Gibson and even fewer look like a Gibson. That's just my view. Doesn't make me right and someone else wrong.

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I think I might look into getting a clear varnish. I'm lucky, because even though I do strum heavy with a heavy pick, I never seem to hit anything besides the strings (not very often anyway), and I think the damage here is from fingerpicking, and localized to a pretty small, two-flower area. Maybe I should consider some varnish, though. I probably should have just done that to begin with.

 

I agree that the pickguard is a big part of this guitar. I have no idea how much time/money the pickguard actually costs Gibson to produce (I swear it can't be that much!), but they certainly charge a lot for a replacement!

 

Some people aren't satisfied with the "flubber" guard, I realize. Again, I think I'd have preferred that, even if it's not period-correct. If something goes wrong with the flubber guard, it is considered a defect and fixed, but stuff going wrong with the period-correct guard is par for the course, unless you never use an anchor finger and never hit the pickguard with a pick.

 

it seems like with brilliant minds, someone should be able to think of an alternative to both the flubber and to one that will wear off! Heck, you'd think Gibson could do some kind of pickguard varnish themselves, or some kind of protection over it somehow. (Maybe that's what the flubber actually is.) Meanwhile, us poor folks are wearing the bird off our Birds and the thistles off our SJs! :)

 

(as a sidenote, one thing I miss on the SJ-100 is the poinsettia pickguard)

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If only Del was still here, he'd tell you his epic story about his HB TV pick guard.

 

My advice, leave it the way it is. part of the charm is having a somewhat faded pick guard on a Hummingbird.

 

Having said that other then where my pinky lies the pick guard on my Bird TV has not been fading.

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Having said that other then where my pinky lies the pick guard on my Bird TV has not been fading.

 

There's a sentence that , taken out of the walls of a guitar forum , sounds like someone has lost the plot.

 

Like something you would hear in an espionage movie.

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There's a sentence that , taken out of the walls of a guitar forum , sounds like someone has lost the plot.

 

Like something you would hear in an espionage movie.

 

haha..."yes comrade, some pinkies lie...others just can't tell the truth "

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Don't know if anyone remembers, but I posted about this a while back. Sharpie has some oil-based touch up pens that do the trick. The problem is that the plastic materials used today don't stick the way they used to like back in the 60s and it ends up just sitting in the engraved channels, susceptible to flaking.

 

Back in the 60s they used cellulose based pickguards where paint would actually melt into the pickguard at the surface level. Those had a way worse problem of curling and warping so the materials today are superior however do come with some maintenance.

 

Link below:

 

http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/107009-hummingbird-pickguard-paint-touch-ups/

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Yeah, on second thought, I don't think I have the skills to do this after all. If Em7 can't do it, I definitely can't.

 

Ha ! , , , you're probably right - but also challenged, young man.

 

I wonder if anyone famous who played a Hummingbird a lot, and had a vigorous strum or wandering fingers, ever accidentally deleted thistles, birds, butterflies or flowers from their pickguard and hired a creative solution..

 

Fact is that no one on the rock-firmament apart from The Stones played Hummingbird back in the day.

Now it's different and both one of the Oasis-bros and Thom York use vintage Birds (probably more).

 

But Hogeye and I have an interesting discussion goin' on these pages :

 

I claim that pre-68 H-birds have embedded wildlife motifs and therefore never wear off (look them up, they're all intact).

 

Hogeye for his part, says they are engraved like the contemporary TV's.

 

Now I'm not 100 % certain and the topic is still open for me. Not least because this board's king-collector, tpbiii, when I asked him to kindly check his 1962 Bird, gave the mystious answer that it was both engraved and imbedded. Now grasp that, , , and let's get light on the grass in time. . .

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Is this vigorous enough strumming ... take a look at the pick guard, half gone though.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1nFB-R-_gI

 

 

Ha ! , , , you're probably right - but also challenged, young man.

 

 

 

Fact is that no one on the rock-firmament apart from The Stones played Hummingbird back in the day.

Now it's different and both one of the Oasis-bros and Thom York use vintage Birds (probably more).

 

But Hogeye and I have an interesting discussion goin' on these pages :

 

I claim that pre-68 H-birds have imbedded wildlife motifs and therefore never wear off (look them up, they're all intact).

 

Hogeye for his part, says they are engraved like the contemporary TV's.

 

Now I'm not 100 % certain and the topic is still open for me. Not least because this board's king-collector, tpbiii, when I asked him to kindly check his 1962 Bird, gave the mystious answer that it was both engraved and imbedded. Now grasp that, , , and let's get light on the grass in time. . .

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Is this vigorous enough strumming ... take a look at the pick guard, half gone though.

 

You're right - but this is a narrow-necked Bird. Maybe I should change my theory to pre-65/66.

 

Unless of course you can come up with a worn guard from between 1960 and 64.

 

Another thing is that this guitar is so over-strummed that it probably would have taken 'damage' through the plast anyway.

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You're right - but this a narrow-necked Bird. Maybe I shuld change my theory to pre-65/66.

 

Unless of course you can come up with a worn guard from between 1960 and 64.

 

Now you're giving me a challenge Em7. I also wonder if its a long scale as it sounds awfully bright, sounds a lot like my 69er.

 

Have a listen to the Passenger clip that is going in the forum now, that is a classic Bird sound, albeit played much softer and with fingers.

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Don't know if anyone remembers, but I posted about this a while back. Sharpie has some oil-based touch up pens that do the trick. The problem is that the plastic materials used today don't stick the way they used to like back in the 60s and it ends up just sitting in the engraved channels, susceptible to flaking.

 

Back in the 60s they used cellulose based pickguards where paint would actually melt into the pickguard at the surface level. Those had a way worse problem of curling and warping so the materials today are superior however do come with some maintenance.

 

Link below:

 

http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/107009-hummingbird-pickguard-paint-touch-ups/

Very interesting!!! I might have to try that. I am lucky like EA said, and I guess I can just leave a flower or two eventually getting rubbed off. I'm lucky it is not like Thom's. :) If that were the case, I would take drastic measures. Which makes me think maybe I should try a varnish if the bird is that important to me (which it is). But at the same time, I never touch it...

 

Ha ! , , , you're probably right - but also challenged, young man.

 

 

 

Fact is that no one on the rock-firmament apart from The Stones played Hummingbird back in the day.

Now it's different and both one of the Oasis-bros and Thom York use vintage Birds (probably more).

 

But Hogeye and I have an interesting discussion goin' on these pages :

 

I claim that pre-68 H-birds have imbedded wildlife motifs and therefore never wear off (look them up, they're all intact).

 

Hogeye for his part, says they are engraved like the contemporary TV's.

 

Now I'm not 100 % certain and the topic is still open for me. Not least because this board's king-collector, tpbiii, when I asked him to kindly check his 1962 Bird, gave the mystious answer that it was both engraved and imbedded. Now grasp that, , , and let's get light on the grass in time. . .

Yeah, that is confusing, which is even more confused by the below...

 

Is this vigorous enough strumming ... take a look at the pick guard, half gone though.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1nFB-R-_gI

First of all, one of the best Bird videos I've ever seen. My Bird doesn't sound quite that vintage, even with a torrefied top! I hope it does someday. I realize it's a non-standard tuning which can fool the ears. Wonder what strings he's using.

 

At first I thought he had put red tape across his pickguard. It looks so strange, almost smeared. I guess that is what happens to cellulose and the old kind of paint vs. celluloid where the paint does not blend in and flakes instead of smearing?

 

If you notice his vigorous strum, he does not appear to come into contact with the pickguard, but I guess he must, or maybe it's all from fingerpicking.

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