hey guys, here's my first post in this forum, comments and questions welcome! I'm not a luthier. I make art for a living and have some experience sanding a painting things, so the project described hereafter is anything but a "pro" job. more, a refinishing trial-by-fire that came about after an 18 month wait for some custom Ron Ellis pickups to be built and sent to me (only 14 months late!). when they arrived, I had no decent guitar left to stick them in: I'd sold the original destination guitar almost a year earlier, and as such was left with great donor organs and no wounded patient, so to speak. also, was low on cash. on the internet, I found a sad Orville by Gibson Les Paul custom that some Japanese fellow had painted, with a brush, and a pail of white enamel. fine. let's do this. the pictures will tell the story from here, but I'll add a few details: I wanted to paint the entire instrument gold and did so. got all the paint from reranch and the products and the customer service was really, really excellent. I reckon this guitar was factory painted with polyester paint because sanding it all off was a monstrous, grueling undertaking. weeks later, I discovered that, as it turns out, scraping binding for the first time is way, way harder than I thought it would be. after numerous gaffs and mistakes, I was ready to give up, throw the guitar against the wall and go home. before doing so however, and trying to keep the chin up, I accidentally slipped with the X-acto knife and sliced a 1.5 inch scratch through about 9 coats of paint, down to the wood, on the front. melt down. after regrouping, I got philosophical and remembered that this is not a perfect world we are living in and mistakes are plentiful; perfection, a myth... so i made a water slide decal that says "this is not a perfect world" and slid it on there, right next to the scratch and poorly scraped binding and carried the hell on, with clear coats! cured, sanded, polished, reassembled and loaded with top-notch electronics, the guitar is no beauty queen, but it plays great and sounds amazing! In all, this was a rewarding experience replete with gut-punch pitfalls and ego-lofting lessons wrung from blood, sweat and tears. a blast! thanks for looking!