Buff out “les Paul model” silkscreen?

sebastianr240

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I’m trying to figure out how to get rid of the ghost image of a faded “les Paul model” signature? I have a silkscreen to restore it. What’s the best way to go about this? Will just buffing with rubbing compound work? Or is sanding required? Want to avoid that if possible. Thanks in advance to anyone who chimes in.
 

LtDave32

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I don't know how thick the clear coat is. But offhand, I'd say gently sand the face of the head stock with 800 grit, then with some 1200 grit.

GENTLY. Just enough to get rid of it. and with the 1200, just enough to take out the scratches left by the 800.

Do your new silk screen.

Shoot it with a fresh coat of clear lacquer. Make that a few coats.

Now, people are going to come in here with "Don't do that" etc etc.

-But that is the way I would do it. YMMV, and their MMV.
 

sebastianr240

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I don't know how thick the clear coat is. But offhand, I'd say gently sand the face of the head stock with 800 grit, then with some 1200 grit.

GENTLY. Just enough to get rid of it. and with the 1200, just enough to take out the scratches left by the 800.

Do your new silk screen.

Shoot it with a fresh coat of clear lacquer. Make that a few coats.

Now, people are going to come in here with "Don't do that" etc etc.

-But that is the way I would do it. YMMV, and their MMV.
Thanks for this. My only problem is that I don’t want to have to spray new lacquer (clear) but I can if necessary. Do you think it’d be possible to remove it with buffing compound or is sanding necessary? The print would have only been on for about a week, only went to rub it off because it was smudged sometime in the drying process accidentally. Or perhaps if I had to sand it then the clear wouldn’t be necessary?
 

LtDave32

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I'd really have to see a pic of it. you might try a micromesh cloth in 3000 grit to see if it removes the shadow. then you could buff the black back up to a shine .
 

pshupe

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On the vintage LPs the silk screen was on top of the finish. Not sure that is true, and should be quite obvious, on the newer ones. It was very easy to rub off those ones. Maybe that's why it is currently under finish? I guess the question is how much finish is on top?

I guess another question would be, why is it fading? Silk sceens usually deposit quite a bit of ink, or at least they can. I'm no expert but you'd think it wouldn't fade if it was quite thick. But then again it is under the finish, so maybe it is a very thin silk screen? I'd love to know the process in the modern silk screening of that logo. Any Gibson factory tours where they describe the process??

Cheers Peter.
 

cmjohnson

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Having done a little bit of silk screening (I silk screen the most common variants of the replica metal front and back panels I make for JMP era Marshall amplifiers), I can tell you that the thickness of the screened ink is so little that when it's fully dried you can barely feel it on the screened surface.)

However, depending on the ink type used, it can be pretty durable. Even now, after many of those amps are 50 years old and have been used a lot, the original silk sreened legends are usually still legible for the most part.
 

sebastianr240

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Hey guys,
Just to clarify this is a reissue les Paul. Therefore the screen is on top of the finish. The reason I needed to remove it is because this headstock was refinished by a luthier and I was left to silkscreen, but my first attempt smudged and when wiped off it left the ghost image.
 

pshupe

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Hey guys,
Just to clarify this is a reissue les Paul. Therefore the screen is on top of the finish. The reason I needed to remove it is because this headstock was refinished by a luthier and I was left to silkscreen, but my first attempt smudged and when wiped off it left the ghost image.

Well that should be easy then. Start with a very fine grit and see how it goes. It should come right off. The head stock should have just as many clear coats as the rest of the guitar.

Cheers Peter.
 

sebastianr240

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Update here..

handpolished the headstock and that got rid of 90% of the ghost image, then buffed with compound for the rest. Just resilkscreened and here’s what it looks like
CE8AC1AE-0F9E-478B-BC6D-409D019B2490.jpeg

Now just hoping it dries in a reasonable time. Used charbonnel gold etching ink with Japan drier mixed in.
 
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pshupe

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Update here..

handpolished the headstock and that got rid of 90% of the ghost image, then buffed with compound for the rest. Just resilkscreened and here’s what it looks like
View attachment 492364
Now just hoping it dries in a reasonable time. Used charbonnel gold etching ink with Japan drier mixed in.
Looks great. Do not expect it to dry in a reasonable time. ;-) Also if you show anyone, keep an eye on their hands and slap them if they want to touch it. I do not know what it is about that silkscreen but everyone wants to feel the edges or something.

To be serious though, I would wait as long as you can before putting the tuners and strings back on. I strung one up one time and one of the string tails swung around and swiped a big path right through the logo.

Cheers Peter.
 

sebastianr240

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Looks great. Do not expect it to dry in a reasonable time. ;-) Also if you show anyone, keep an eye on their hands and slap them if they want to touch it. I do not know what it is about that silkscreen but everyone wants to feel the edges or something.

To be serious though, I would wait as long as you can before putting the tuners and strings back on. I strung one up one time and one of the string tails swung around and swiped a big path right through the logo.

Cheers Peter.
Thanks Peter.
When you did this, did you use the same ink and drier? How long do you think it took to be completely dry? I’m willing to wait I just want to have an idea how long.
 

pshupe

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Thanks Peter.
When you did this, did you use the same ink and drier? How long do you think it took to be completely dry? I’m willing to wait I just want to have an idea how long.
That may have been the issue. I did not use any drier. It was quite a while ago and I remember I silk screened in the morning and then strung it up in the afternoon. I think you should be fine if you leave it over night. It may have also been a bit of a fluke as It was either E or A string and it swung across at the worst angle with pretty good force. I was in a bit of a rush to string it up.

Cheers Peter.
 

pshupe

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That may have been the issue. I did not use any drier. It was quite a while ago and I remember I silk screened in the morning and then strung it up in the afternoon. I think you should be fine if you leave it over night. It may have also been a bit of a fluke as It was either E or A string and it swung across at the worst angle with pretty good force. I was in a bit of a rush to string it up. Resist the urge to touch it. Once you get the tuners on and strung up carefully it is harder to inadvertently brush it on something.

Cheers Peter.
 

sebastianr240

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That may have been the issue. I did not use any drier. It was quite a while ago and I remember I silk screened in the morning and then strung it up in the afternoon. I think you should be fine if you leave it over night. It may have also been a bit of a fluke as It was either E or A string and it swung across at the worst angle with pretty good force. I was in a bit of a rush to string it up.

Cheers Peter.
Yea, oil based inks like charbonnel take weeks to dry without assistance on lacquer. My first try after a week it was still wet, same thing happened with the string. I’m gonna give it at least two weeks, maybe more. I just wanna play it!!
 


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