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Re-finishing Lower End Gibsons - Worth Less > Same > More?


6th Stringer
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What are your thoughts on re-finishing low end Gibson models? How does it effect the value for you? Does a nicely done non-original re-finish deminish or add to the value? 

I re-finished a 2003 Flying V. It started as "faded"or worn  Cherry. I stripped it, sanded it. filled the grain and re-sprayed it in Olympic White as sort of an homage to Hetfield. I left the neck the original cherry stain finish and made the headstock white on the back and metallic black on the face.

I have a 2017 LP Studio T that is also Cherry with the gloss top. I was thinking of re-doing just the top in gold metal flake and leaving the sides and back red.

20200105_172936(1).jpg

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Not sure it effects the value that much.  On the one hand if I know a guitar has been refinished, the first thought is that something was wrong with it, and the refinish was necessary as part of a major repair.  But if close inspection shows no major repairs then it's just a matter of if the new finish appeals to a buyer more than the original color.  If you find the right guy who always wanted an antique white V with a cherry neck he might even give you a premium for it.  

Looks like you did a  very nice job by the way 👍

The Les Paul on the other hand might not be as good an idea.  A gold top usually has a tan back and sides, and it's not really "metal flake" per se.  So you would be creating a weirdo colored guitar and it might be hard to find a buyer when there are millions of LPs out there for sale.

Lastly, how they play and sound to a potential buyer should influence how much they are willing to pay over just colors.  

Edited by Twang Gang
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Good job on the refinish.

Biggest thing about a refinished guitar that Twang eluded to was why, what they hiding; if I was a buyer 

Second thing is how you've described it in the ad, and you're not expecting standards price for a guitar that wasn't a standard or custom 

Edited by Eracer_Team
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There was nothing wrong with the V. Its all structurally solid. I just do not like the open pore/grain finish style. Some Taylor acoustic guitars are like that on the neck.

I always liked the late 70s Les Pauls with the metal flake finish. I believe they were mostly red or blue. I though the LP Studio would be kind of a tribute to that.  A "goldtop" , yet non-traditional. I have a bunch of gold flakes left over from painting my motorcycle.

I also have an old Peavey Mystic that I am refurbishing and will have to paint it as well. It had a really bad rattle can job when I rescued it from a pawn shop.

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It is unlikely to be worth more, unless you found a buyer who wanted exactly that modification. If done well, it's probably not going to be worth less than an unmodified example (at least when talking about a Les Paul Studio and not a higher-end model).

Your design seems good in my imagination, and your Flying V looks good enough that I'm not afraid of seeing what happens to the Les Paul.

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If it is a lower-end model and the refinish is factory quality it might not affect the value much at all, at least not in a negative way.

I don't think originality makes as much difference at the lower end as it does at the higher levels.  There are so many Tributes and Studios out there that a nicely-done refinish might be popular.  Those models are bought to be played, not collected.

I've got a 2019 Tribute LP with Iced Tea nitro finish.  I've been considering adding some red and brown to the sunburst then a few coats of clear and hand polish to a gloss on the front face only, leaving the back and sides in satin.  In this case I'd be doing it for me, to have something different and I don't plan to ever sell it so don't care about the value.

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This was my first total guitar refin. I had painted several motorcycles before. For the clear, I used a 2-part poly from the auto paint store that is kind of like epoxy. It has plastic qualities, but it's flexible and resists gasoline well, so it would probably be resistant to sweat and oils. It dries/cures quickly because it is chemically activated. I sprayed it on with a Preval. Then smooth with progressively fine sandpapers and polish with McGuire's Ultimate Compound.

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