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starfoxhound

How to crack the paint and age a Les Paul?

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How can I crack the paint on my Les Paul to look like aged guitars such as Jimmy Page?

I think I can do everything else on aging (like chrome and tuners), but paint is a little harder for me.

Do you think heating the paint and then giving a cold-water shot would work to crack it?

Any other tips to age the guitar's parts?

 

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OMG... I know the aged look is popular, but you really want to do this to your Les Paul? [scared]

 

Pretty sure the standard way those cracks occur is the guitar in the case is quite cold (think transported in the Winter), then brought into a warm environment and the case opened before the guitar has a chance to warm up gradually. Had a Firebird III that was cracked like that when I was younger, always wished it wasn't.

 

You could also do it the way most do. Simply keep and play the guitar for the next 20-30 years, and see what wear occurs in that time. [thumbup] But your guitar, so enjoy it whatever way you go.

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Go over and have a look in the 'My Les Paul' forum.

 

It will save you a lot of time waiting for answers here as there are literally thousands of replies there already which detail many ways to do it.

 

Good luck. I know I wouldn't do it...

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The "best" and most noble way to achieve the aged look is to play the guitar for 40 years most every night. You will not only have honest wear, but a lot of memories and stories.

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I've read that some throw it in the freezer, then remove it to a warm thermal environment, thus checking the finish. [blink]

 

Seems a bit odd to me

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Aging a guitar artificially is like getting a tattoo: Think about it, before you do it.

 

Otherwise, you may end up regretting your decision.

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Just an afterthought;

 

If you are seriously going to do this I'd advise buying a cheap-as-you-can-find throwaway copy to practice your relic-ing on first.

 

The paint will not react in quite the same manner but at least you can try out your ideas on the hardware and attempt something on the finish.

 

At least in this fashion you won't completely ruin your Les Paul in the short-term...

 

BTW; Tom Murphy ages his limited run instruments largely through painstaking and time-consuming use of a craft-knife blade.

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As mentioned, extreme temperature swings - which from what I read doesn't work as well as it used to on the 'new' finishes. Or a craftknife/razor blade.

 

Good luck.

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Is there another way? This is how I've done my fav gtrs. It also helped a few decades ago smoking was permitted in bars and other areas; while I am a non-smoker now that permanent stain looks real nice........ I especially love how the white binding turns a yellowish color; thats just down right sexy.

The binding will still yellow without the smoke (at least if it's made of the same stuff it will). Have a (black) Martin from the early 90's with a really nicely aged yellowed white binding. It sat only in homes (admittedly a bit of smoke, but not much, and all noticeable yellowing took place over years inside the case).

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50% of the retail cost of a Les Paul is down to the workmanship that goes into finishing the guitar.

 

I can't think of a worse idea than trying to artificially relicing your guitar.

 

It won't SOUND any better.

 

But it's your guitar so you can do what you want with it. You could always consider selling it and then buy a beat up old Les Paul that has been aged by honest playing.

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I can't think of a worse idea than trying to artificially relicing your guitar.

 

 

But both Gibson and Fender have made a bundle artificially relic'ing guitars off guys with too much money and too little sense. Somebody thought it was a good idea and the dough they are making makes this guy look like a genius. B)

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But both Gibson and Fender have made a bundle artificially relic'ing guitars off guys with too much money and too little sense. Somebody thought it was a good idea and the dough they are making makes this guy look like a genius. B)

 

+1

 

Craig

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This isn't a personal shot, but I've always looked at artificial relicing as being akin to forging a resume (so I don't do it). The nicer way to look at it is like stonewashing jeans.

 

But I think in some respects, they age fairly quickly on their own these days. I smoke but I make it a point not to around my Gibby's, still the clear coat visibly yellowed on a few of mine after a year or two. Not a bad look, but it surprised me a little. I have couple noticeable cracks that showed up in my 339 in roughly the same amount of time (I'm careful but the heat in my house does get set back during the work day). So these things will happen on their own and it may not even take forever to happen.

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Guest BentonC

If that's what someone wants to do with the guitar, then by all means go for it. I'm sure they understand the risk of damage that's associated with checking the finish on thier guitar.

 

I've heard of all sorts of different options. Gibson has always gravitated to the exceptional work of Tom Murphy, who does indeed use a knife for the checking. That'll likely take some practice...

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Ive been trying to think of something positive to add to this but cant, a guitar gets it mojo over time. the whole new relic guitar looks like they just skimped on shipping materials.

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The "best" and most noble way to achieve the aged look is to play the guitar for 40 years most every night. You will not only have honest wear, but a lot of memories and stories.

+1

[thumbup]

Best advice EVER.

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Ask yourself why you're doing it before you go through with it. Murphy's an artist, but not many people can accomplish what he does on a guitar especially a newbie.

 

Why not just pay your dues and play it till it feels and looks like a part of you? It'll mean more to you.

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...Gibson has always gravitated to the exceptional work of Tom Murphy, who does indeed use a knife for the checking. That'll likely take some practice...

I laughed out loud!

 

A bit of understatement there...

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There's a lot of variation in Gibson's nitro over the last decade. I currently own or have owned a lot of Gibson electrics & acoustics from this period as well as some from the '90s. While all have been kept in the same environment, some have developed checking cracks while others have not. Some on the body, some on the headstock, one acoustic around the bridge, some with very straight cracks, some with the squiggly old look - there's no rhyme or reason to it. If you wait for it to occur naturally, you might get a pleasing effect, or you might not. My advice would be to have a pro do it, like Gord Miller, or trade for one that already meets your ideal vision. If you try it yourself, you'll most likely decrease the value of the instrument.

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If you try it yourself, you'll most likely decrease the value of the instrument...

 

I laughed out loud!

 

A bit of understatement there...

 

 

 

[lol]

 

Sorry.

 

True, though.....

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Noooo.

 

Don't fake it son.Let it age for real,it will have tons of REAL mojo/character).Have you noticed a guitar with REAL wear,whether twenty years old or fifty years has a REAL character or vibe feel.

 

Eventually noone will want to buy imitation relic guitars because they will be everywhere and people will want the real thing and not the fake ones.I understand if a wealthy person wants one to display on a wall or music room.

 

I find "artificial" wear has none of both.It just does for the deluded owner who secretly wants credibility(whether they know it or not)and dream about how they got that fake wear,on world tour with a imaginary band.I've heard all the arguments,but its still "faking it".

 

Read this article.The writer is correct.

 

http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/19666-last-call-if-you-relic-your-guitar

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