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Jar fell from the shelf, denting my Mother's Gibson - what to do?


Qmaster
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My mother left me her '79 Gibson Les Paul Custom.  It's a silverburst, with a rather unique gold discoloration that I adore.

Recently, as I was adjusting some things on the shelf adjacent to it, I knocked a jar off and it landed right on the edge of my Gibson, leaving a white dent (see attached photo).

More or less, it just bugs the absolute hell out of me that the dent is there now.  It did encourage me to throw some stuff away, and it's the only real imperfection the guitar has, but it's pretty damn noticeable, and I'd like to have it fixed; anyone have any idea on what I should do or if it's that bad?  I really want to keep it in my family, but I also hate that I damaged it.

Is there anything that can be done for it?

IMG_2538.jpg

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A couple fortunate circumstances, that it's not an area that gets play wear, and that the aged yellowed paint didn't chip beyond the edge of the black striping.  If you're lucky, there will be a near dead-on paint chip match at your local hardware store, and then with a set of paints like in the link, you could mix and test until you hit the color.    Remove any remaining paint that's flaking around the dent with 360 grit sandpaper using very light pressure, folding it so you're sanding edge is as focused an area as you can get. A fine artist brush should allow you to feather paint in from the puddle of mixed color on your palette. Less is more.  Looks like satin sheen level will match the shine of the rest.

https://www.amazon.com/Testors-Acrylic-Value-Finishing-Paint/dp/B0006N72QG/ref=sr_1_25?dchild=1&keywords=Paint+for+Plastic&qid=1603787522&sr=8-25

Edited by jedzep
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Why would you use acrylic on nitrocellulose? And a paint chip at the store sounds like you’re recommending an opaque house paint? 
 

This is a valuable vintage guitar. I would leave the damage as is or take it to an excellent tech for whom this touch up is a piece of cake.

 

All a luthier will need to do is mix some yellow dye in a small amount of nitrocellulose and dab a tiny bit on with a Q tip. But to do a shitty job of this will make it worse so don’t do anything unless you are going to do it right

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All it has done is chip off a bit of the aged surface of the originally-white plastic binding. If you sand it, you will expose more white beneath the oxidized surface.

I would leave it alone.

If it really bothers you, take it to a luthier who is capable of making good cosmetic repairs, and don't mess with it yourself. Amateur cosmetic repairs de-value vintage instruments almost every time.

In the grand scheme of things, this is much better than if it had left a similar ding in the wood. I'd say you got lucky on this one. It could have been much worse.

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Thanks guys, it definitely makes me feel less sick about what happened, and I agree, it's miraculous that the only point of impact was the gold trim (it's also so symmetrical it almost doesn't suck that bad).  I certainly wouldn't dare do any restoration myself, I know for a fact I wouldn't be any good at it, but there are a few luthiers in my state from what search results show; frankly, I wouldn't mind taking it a bit further, either, for whoever does the best job; lord knows I could use a fresh vacation.

What are some professional you guys know of who would probably do the best bit of work for something like this?  I'm in Missouri, so it's not like I'd be able to make it as far as New York or California.  Is Gibson's Repair and Restoration as good as anyone else?

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I'd say you could make a cup of very strong black tea and slowly dab, let it dry, and keep applying until it's almost colormatched. another forum suggest tinting clear nail polish with woodstain until it's the same tone. HERE is how an expert luthier would do it- if it's worth it to you, it seems like you have a range of options. I'd say you've just started the journey of making it your own and it'll pick up some bumps and bruises if you honor your mom and use it in good health. 

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