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70s L6s deluxe yellow color stain/paint advice?

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Hey there! My first post here!

im doing a minor restoration on a beloved yellow/blonde gibson L6s deluxe from I think around the mid 70s . My guitar had a nasty dent/gash in it and I’ve managed to use heat and steam to get it mostly out but had to sand off some of the lacquer and color to do it. Is there any way to know what color stain I’d need to match that color? I see some colors of wood and specifically guitar stain online that look similar but does anyone have a truck for getting it to match or at least blend well enough?

the color is a pretty warm yellow but you can see the grain through it a bit.
I’m an artist. I know how to mix paints pretty accurately. I figure if I had a few close colors I could probably mix them.. but I also would rather do it exactly right if I could. So would love to hear advice on staying in general and specifically on this figuring out this 1970s blonde yellow L6s color if possible..

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Here’s a picture of my guitar. You can see the part I wanna fix on the upper left. 

I’ve had this for years and it plays well. But I’m trying to fix a lot of little things. Just ordered some new screws to replace lost ones on the pickups.
I installed the Bigsby myself.. I’ve seen online people places them lower than this.. does it really matter? I like the placement of the tremolo bar in terms of being able to reach it while playing. But it does like to go out of tune when I use it.. not sure if the pavement has anything to do with that? If I get this stain:paint thing figured out I could fill some screw holes while I’m at it..

the autograph is Joe from the dead milkmen.  Ha. I read he had an L6s at one point and that partially inspired the original purchase back in the early 2000s. 

(the website rotates the image when I upload for some reason. The gash/paint repair area is the upper left area near the neck.)


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I replied but deleted my previous comment after doing some research online.

You may be right. the only variants I can see advertised are natural, black and sunburst and my guitar is definitely not black or sunburst. ha. That's nuts that it could age to be such a warm yellow color. I wouldn't want it any other way. I guess my question just evolved to wondering if anyone else has had experience trying to match an aged color like this. I saw that twoodfrd guy on youtube mix some dry pigments almost like dry pastels on an antique guitar and than setting it with a clear lacquer.. maybe ill have to do something like that...

my model is  the "deluxe" variant with a switch instead of the multi-position dial and a darker fretboard, but as far as i can see online those had the same colors. I think..


Edited by Jim campbell
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16 minutes ago, Pinch said:

I'd be more concerned the guitar has writing on it... Sorry, no tips, but good luck. Most  of the time, it's best to leave scars alone though.

ah yeah. that started to wear off and i painted  bit of water based varnish over it (i knew anything alcohol or oil based would destroy the sharpie) . if i did any refinishing it would only be in a couple small areas and not the whole face. I may have set myself up for a difficult task. It wouldn't be the end of the world if it's not perfect. the guitar is a workhorse. looking worn just tells the history. Thanks for your time and thoughts!

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  • 2 months later...

I had one of these and they came in wine red, black or natural maple (and some were made in sparkly purple) according to wiki.  I never saw a natural one though I have seen pics of sunbursts


I think it is possible from looking at the top that yours might have been stripped.   The best thing to do would be to strip and refinish the whole body IMO and re-mount the Bigsby as (with respect)  it does look slightly crooked from the pic. 

They are harder to find now with the original pickups which were designed by Bill Lawrence.

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