Refinishing a USA Gibson Special

BrianH

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
470
Reaction score
150
This is my first refinishing project, a pretty new Original Collection USA Gibson Special. I refretted it recently which came out well but I did mess up the binding a bit while dressing the frets. I'll fix all that now. The finish is very opaque and what you can see through the paint is mismatched. Half the body is dark while the other half is light. Paint job is blotchy and school bus yellow. While adding a new nut I cut the nut slot too low and added a mahogany plug, tried to match the paint which didn't come out well so I said screw it, I'm going to refin the whole thing in my favorite color, ocean turquoise metallic nitro.

Before pic:
5.jpg


Here it is stripped. I used scotch brite pads and Klean Strip lacquer thinner which is messy but works well.
SNZP3688.JPG

F91DD4AB-8A64-4E7E-8322-7B96D7402189.jpeg

FHNH0588.JPG

4.jpg



Pickup routes have heavy metal plates for various pickup mounting options, so I removed those and added some small mahogany plugs to do direct mount of the P90s. The guitar is on the heavy side and the metal pieces are 2 ounces alone.
6.jpg

8.jpg


More to follow...
 

BrianH

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
470
Reaction score
150
Here is a pic of the binding scraped at the factory, leaving a gouge through the center for about 7". I fixed it with melted binding scraps in acetone along with touching up any other spots I dug into with my previous refret (it was my first!).
7BE9282B-1AA4-4063-A533-A21D0FF2A86E.jpeg


Here you can see some melted binding fixing some gouges that I'll sand flat. I also installed a set of Retrospec cellulose inlays I've had in a drawer for years.
7AAB3145-301F-42B9-9C55-51637FCD3B26.jpeg


Refretting with Jescar 51100.
PDDZ7523.JPG

PNJR2752.JPG



4910A334-02B8-4DBA-8F38-06942D9AB497.jpeg

WLFY3023.JPG

OXHT1817.JPG

IMG_7153.JPG
 

Rob H.

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2012
Messages
1,411
Reaction score
2,453
Nicely done! Those fret ends look really clean.

Looking forward to seeing the new color.

Just curious, why the refret?
 

BrianH

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
470
Reaction score
150
Nicely done! Those fret ends look really clean.

Looking forward to seeing the new color.

Just curious, why the refret?

Thank you! Cuz my initial attempt at leveling them got them way too low. So I figured why not refret, ive been collecting tools for years when on sale. After my second attempt, I think I’m getting better. I’ll know when I string it up!
 

BrianH

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
470
Reaction score
150
Pore filling. Next up, sanding and painting! Got my shipment from Oxford in Canada to USA very quickly.
37AFE142-C38D-4B1E-B21B-C2E1621A4577.jpeg

D1CB4B45-DDFC-4681-BDD2-27E5AEE033A3.jpeg


F8518583-A518-4576-BC8A-9A9A7277FB80.jpeg


I will be taping off the binding and headstock face with 3m vinyl tape. When should I pull off the tape... immediately when I’m done with the spray coats, after an hour, or when dry?
 
Last edited:

BrianH

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
470
Reaction score
150
Epoxy sanded back. Guitar all prepped and it’s go time! Sanding sealer can heating up.

Stuff I had on hand: Pallet wrap and pop up tent. Plastic bag is the door flap. Not air tight but keeping most of the bugs out.

9B38ED08-D354-4B24-9BAE-513E9E958F2D.jpeg

64EE7C21-8784-4DFA-9695-8C8332987B04.jpeg
 

LtDave32

I'm walkin' on sunshine
Super Mod
Silver Supporting Member
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Messages
50,825
Reaction score
172,973
Pore filling. Next up, sanding and painting! Got my shipment from Oxford in Canada to USA very quickly. View attachment 611502
View attachment 611503

View attachment 611504

I will be taping off the binding and headstock face with 3m vinyl tape. When should I pull off the tape... immediately when I’m done with the spray coats, after an hour, or when dry?

Nice work, buddy!

What I do is remove the tape about 20 minutes afterwards. An hour is fine, though. Too soon, and you run the risk of the tape hitting the color coat and buggering it up. Too late, and you run the risk of the color attaching itself to the tape and drying, then coming up when you pull the tape off.

If for some reason I have to wait until the finish is dry and hardened on the surface of both the color and the tape, I take the time with a very fine razor point pen to cut along the tape line to separate the color coat from the tape, then gently pull the tape off.

But if you do this 20 minutes to an hour after spraying, it will come of clean and it will be fine.
 

BrianH

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
470
Reaction score
150
Nice work, buddy!

What I do is remove the tape about 20 minutes afterwards. An hour is fine, though. Too soon, and you run the risk of the tape hitting the color coat and buggering it up. Too late, and you run the risk of the color attaching itself to the tape and drying, then coming up when you pull the tape off.

If for some reason I have to wait until the finish is dry and hardened on the surface of both the color and the tape, I take the time with a very fine razor point pen to cut along the tape line to separate the color coat from the tape, then gently pull the tape off.

But if you do this 20 minutes to an hour after spraying, it will come of clean and it will be fine.
Thank you for the advice!
 

BrianH

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
470
Reaction score
150
Color coats came out great but back got spitty at end of the can and the front needs one more coat. Ordered a new can arghhh. But I’m loving it. And that 3m vinyl tape is the REAL DEAL for binding.
042FBC24-33A8-4318-8325-4CF9A1C60ED2.jpeg

62CB5243-8A6C-4C40-836B-40D5BCD8D394.jpeg
 

cmjohnson

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
3,157
Reaction score
2,828
Very nicely done. Clean work all around. Very happy to see your workmanship.

I'm really happy to see you change the color on this one. TV yellow is a pet peeve of mine. Let's just say that on the list of my top one Billion favorite colors, it isn't even ON the list.

You've chosen a much nicer color. Really looking forward to seen the final finished results.

Yes, the 3M vinyl pinstriping tape is amazing. If I ran Gibson I'd order that it be used to mask off binding before all color coats. It'd save a lot of time in scraping and prevent gouges while scraping, a problem you are certainly aware of.

It takes a lot less time to perfectly tape over the binding than it does to do a mediocre job of scraping the color off the binding. Gibson should have figured this out by now.
 

LtDave32

I'm walkin' on sunshine
Super Mod
Silver Supporting Member
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Messages
50,825
Reaction score
172,973
I'm really happy to see you change the color on this one. TV yellow is a pet peeve of mine. Let's just say that on the list of my top one Billion favorite colors, it isn't even ON the list.

TV style (foxtail) finishes are the most requested finishes to come out of my shop. Especially the correct yellow. Done right, it is superb.

But I'd rather encourage a guy to paint what he wants, rather than try and sway him one way or another. It's his guitar, not mine.

OP, fantastic job! looks great..
 

Tollie

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Messages
167
Reaction score
232
What a project. It is really coming out great! Thanks for posting all the pictures and walking us through it step by step.
 

ArchEtech

Gold Supporting Member
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2007
Messages
2,401
Reaction score
1,661
Was the before really TV yellow? I though that was a semitransparent color? Well in any case I like both colors.

Props for the spray booth.
 

Freddy G

V.I.P. Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
17,887
Reaction score
49,057
Funny, I've seen this mentioned many times. I leave any masking or plastic fine line tape on until lacquer is cured for days even. Never once had a problem....always unmasks with crisp, clean lines. :dunno:
 

BrianH

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
470
Reaction score
150
Was the before really TV yellow? I though that was a semitransparent color? Well in any case I like both colors.

Props for the spray booth.
Exactly! Most of the USA tv yellow finishes are very opaque. On this one it was hiding two very mismatched body halves. Not a problem anymore :)
 

Latest Threads



Top