Gibson's satin finish - how does it evolve over the years?

Tobaccoburst83

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I am quite curious to see how the finish will evolve over the years and whether it will discolor, yellow, etc. Of course this has to be considered in each individual case and there are always different influences on each instrument. I can well imagine that the finish - as sensitive as it is - discolours quite quickly. I don't care about it and I even welcome it. :cool: As I've heard the finish will become glossy when stressed enough at some point?!

Are there any guitarists here with a Les Paul Standard Faded from around 2002-2007 who can show their finishes?
 

CerebralGasket

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I have a 2004 SG Special Faded Worn Yellow that I had stripped, grain filled and refinished to gloss. I requested it to be TV Yellow, but it turned out more of an Aged TV White and under different lighting has a greenish tint to it.

I had it refinished because I did not care for the feel of the open grain on the back of the neck.

Before and After...







Refinish...



 
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Christosterone

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I can’t deal with a pitted surfaces...drive me crazy....
pore filled and gloss all the way if given a choice...

except my sg...though I don’t play it too much and it has aged ok
granted I Live in North Texas where the climate vacillates between surface of the sun and swamp at the north pole...

-chris
 

lpfan1980

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I have a 2004 SG Special Faded Worn Yellow that I had stripped, grain filled and refinished to gloss. I requested it to be TV Yellow, but it turned out more of an Aged TV White and under different lighting has a greenish tint to it.

I had it refinished because I did not care for the feel of the open grain on the back of the neck.

Before and After...







Refinish...



lovely SG! :cheers:
 

Cjsinla

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Unfortunately, it’s usually the clear coat that turns yellow and most satin finishes do not have clear over the color coat, especially the ones with the pitted finish.
 

metalmike222

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I have an 05 SG Faded. The finish has indeed gone glossy, but only in a few spots where I touch it the most. The back of the neck, circles around the volume knobs, the forearm bevel. The result is a fairly uneven finish up close, but from a distance, no one would ever notice. I've thought about polishing the whole guitar to get it glossy all over, but I also worry that doing so would only shorten the overall life of the finish. Maybe one day I'll take it to someone and have them hit it with a few coats of lacquer.
 

CerebralGasket

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3-4 mils top coat

 
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moreles

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I would never by a new satin guitar, so I can only go by innumerable reports on this and other forums. Word is, these finishes wear very quickly (because they are both thin and sprayed onto a non-smooth surface). In addition to very rapid wear, these finishes yield an ugly look (shiny spots, bare spots) that is nothing like the lustrous, rubbed look of a smooth, thin, gloss finish. IMO, these modern satin finishes (that is, the ones done these days without pore filling or undercoating) are junk finishes done to save substantial time and mony in surface prep. Ask any builder, and they will almost universally say that filling pores is an unpleasant process and surface prep is tedious. But as is sometimes the case, doing what is hard can be the secret to a superior result. I understand why some people like the "faux" vintage look of satin -- I don't -- but too often that's what you get when you open the box, but not for long.
 

Tobaccoburst83

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Ok, so they also sprayed a clear coat on the satin finishes...

@moreles
I'm not a finish-nerd at all and I do like the feel and the look of the satin-finish. When it's worn, it's worn, simple as is and it's not my goal to keep the finish in it's best condition as long as possible. It was just interesting to know how it will evolve as time goes by and I cannot remember any hard feelings about the desired Standard Fadeds from the early 2000s when they came out.:thumb: They have the same type of finish.
 

Tobaccoburst83

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Ok, thought I had a few in my hands at the time I have worked in a guitar store during 2001-2004.
 

jbash

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There used to be an " official faded standard thread" around here. I thought it was stickied at one point. Lots of pics in that thread.

Might try doing a search.

Someone posted sometihng recently where they tried to polish their faded standard and it wore through to the wood.

I sold mine liong ago so I can't help. I've had a few other satins since including a 2018 Tribute I still have. That one I polished up recently (the top) kinda half -@$$ and it looked good. If I really put some effort into it, I belive it would look great.

Personally I like the "bare wood" feel of faded finishes. Feels like a wooden guitar in your hands. Many gloss finishes make a guitar feel like plastic or a countertop or something.
 

CerebralGasket

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Some Satin finishes do have the grain filled from my experience with SG in the past.



Satin finishes pictured below...

 
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Stinky Kitty

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The satin finish on my 2008 Studio VM is glossing up nicely in all the places play polish buffs.
 

Tobaccoburst83

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The Standard Faded have also unfilled grain, as far as I can see?
 
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filtersweep

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Satin pros: less likely to get finish burn on a stand. Neck never feels sticky.

Cons: looks a bit rough. You can feel every pore.

I like mine. But I don’t believe they belong on high end guitars.
 

efstop

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My '14 Melody Maker had a satin finish that felt quite chalky and was easily marked. I polished it. The finish looks better, doesn't mark so easily, and it doesn't seem to be especially thin.
 


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