Source of Gibson gold paint or something close?

judson

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anybody try this yet....im iching to spray a top that prior owner stripped years ago

 

cooljuk

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There is a photo somewhere showing a bench at Gibson where they did the headstock silkscreening. Not only was there an image of a "US Bronze" container of metal flake but also the screen mesh sizes written on the wooden screen frames. I wish I could find that photo again. All I know is that it definitely exists and I ordered a jar of that metal flake from the photo off eBay about 10 years ago.

Maybe not much help but - "US Bronze" was definitely the name.

I'm pretty sure the gold they did the headstock silkscreens with was also what was on PAF decals. ...and probably just the same paint as the goldtops.

I'd love to hear more from anyone else who knows more.
 

judson

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i went ahead and ordered a can after looking around for the past few days...im not sold 100% on spraying the top but if i have the supplies, i might just go for it if i have a free day or two.....
 

cooljuk

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Well, I took a quick search in my email from exactly 10 years ago and actually found the details!


"US Bronze Products Venus Bronze Karat Gold Leaf Powder #3"

My own note says:
(looks like this is extinct, but any "karat gold" colored bronze powder pigment should work if it's 300 mesh size or smaller)"

In the photo Gibson was mixing the pigment with a large can of:

"Nazrad M28 Mixing Clear"



...and for anyone interested in the screening part, rather than just the painting, Gibson was using 6" x 8" 280 mesh screen printing frames.

I can't believe I was able to find that! I keep good notes, but I lost data a few times.
 

Ripthorn

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For the actual gold tops, they used Crescent Bronze #256, I think (or #255, I don't recall exactly which at this point). We did a group buy of it back in 2014 or 2015 and I used it on my '54 style gold top. It turned out great, and I still have so much leftover powder. I have used it in inlays and such, but the 1/4 lb or whatever it was of each that I originally had is still at least 80% full. You just mix it straight into thinned clear nitro and go to town.
 

fretout

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Do you have any pictures of the final product? There seems to be a lack of photographic evidence of how this turned out.

I’ve recently fallen in love with the gold finish. So much in fact, that I don’t just want a gold top, I want the WHOLE guitar gold!

I really like the look of the gold finishes when they approach the more “bronze” or “copper-tinged” colors.

I find myself frustrated that from what I have read, Gibson only used this “bronze powder” on their Custom Shop / Historic offerings, and not the Standards/Classics!
 

cmjohnson

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Google for photos of original Les Paul gold tops. Easy. Lots of photos come up.

Doing a real gold top with Crescent bronze powder is tricky. The resulting finish is pretty thick and uses a lot of lacquer to bury the powder to get a smooth finish.
If you want the look but want a slightly easier way to get the finished product, consider going with automotive finishes. (Automotive acrylic urethane) Your local auto paint supply store can set you up with literally hundreds or thousands of possible gold metallic finishes including fully custom mixes, with metallics in multiple flake sizes to choose from, from dust fine to absurd "bass boat" metal flakes that require a larger spray tip to apply, almost like you're shooting sequins out of the spray gun.
 

beerbelly

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I used Mohawk 'Rich Pale Gold' M104-0438 on an LP kit that turned out pretty well:

m104-0438.jpg
Screen Shot 2022-10-15 at 11.36.50 AM.png
Goldtop front.jpg
LP front.jpg
LP lower front.jpg
 

fretout

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Google for photos of original Les Paul gold tops. Easy. Lots of photos come up.

Doing a real gold top with Crescent bronze powder is tricky. The resulting finish is pretty thick and uses a lot of lacquer to bury the powder to get a smooth finish.
If you want the look but want a slightly easier way to get the finished product, consider going with automotive finishes. (Automotive acrylic urethane) Your local auto paint supply store can set you up with literally hundreds or thousands of possible gold metallic finishes including fully custom mixes, with metallics in multiple flake sizes to choose from, from dust fine to absurd "bass boat" metal flakes that require a larger spray tip to apply, almost like you're shooting sequins out of the spray gun.

While there are plenty of pictures online of Goldtops, i wanted to see the results from the Members who attempted using this product. Thanks for the advice though!

I used Mohawk 'Rich Pale Gold' M104-0438 on an LP kit that turned out pretty well:

View attachment 642829 View attachment 642830 View attachment 642831 View attachment 642832 View attachment 642833

That looks great, and was a rattlecan? Wow! I didn’t even know that there were any set neck/ long tenon kits on the market! i like the hue of the Gold you used! It looks similar to the modern Goldtop Coloration!

Did the paint flow fairly well, or did the can jam up often? Great work!!!

Rip, that looks amazing! You certainly have some skills sir! Thank you for posting! That really has a vintage type tone to it. It almost has that “olive green” vibe to it like I’ve seen the Historics with!

Did you cut the checking with a razor, or did subject the guitar extreme temps? I aKeats worried that I’d I tried putting a guitar in the freezer to cause checking, I’d have checks that ran vertically…which I haven’t grown an appreciation for yet. Again, that looks great!
 
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Ripthorn

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While there are plenty of pictures online of Goldtops, i wanted to see the results from the Members who attempted using this product. Thanks for the advice though!



That looks great, and was a rattlecan? Wow! I didn’t even know that there were any set neck/ long tenon kits on the market! i like the hue of the Gold you used! It looks similar to the modern Goldtop Coloration!

Did the paint flow fairly well, or did the can jam up often? Great work!!!


Rip, that looks amazing! You certainly have some skills sir! Thank you for posting! That really has a vintage type tone to it. It almost has that “olive green” vibe to it like I’ve seen the Historics with!

Did you cut the checking with a razor, or did subject the guitar extreme temps? I aKeats worried that I’d I tried putting a guitar in the freezer to cause checking, I’d have checks that ran vertically…which I haven’t grown an appreciation for yet. Again, that looks great!
I used Sherwin Williams Hi Bild lacquer and the checking is 100% natural, no cutting, no temperature cycling.
 

LtDave32

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You can get 5oz packets of several shades of gold mica powders that give you a superb rich gold, no metal to turn green. I've used them with great results. Or you can go with Crescent #256, if you buy from Crescent it's $74.00 for a 1lb can.

I just went to eBay last week and bought a slightly dented can of #256 for $20.00, unused.

The 1lb can will last you through more gold tops than you'll ever want to do. You only need a few tablespoons of powder in the lacquer cup to cover .

Either way with mica or metal powder, plan on buying an affordable gun and then dedicating that gun to metallic spraying exclusively. Don't try and reuse it for any other non-metallic finish. No matter how well you clean it, you will wind up with metallic particles right smack-dab in the middle of your next spray job, and every job thereafter with that gun. Fine for other jobs, candy apple with a silver base coat, etc. But it will mess you up on trans or solid color jobs. The particles will hide somewhere, between threads, whatever. You'll never get it completely out.

I might also mention that these particles are extremely fine and will get airborne,. Finding their way on top of rafters, high boxes, etc. They will come loose by a fan, gust of wind, etc and find their way onto future work. So best to shoot your top outside if you can.

This is the voice of experience,. sharing these experiences in hopes of saving you trouble you didn't count on .
 

fretout

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…Either way with mica or metal powder, plan on buying an affordable gun and then dedicating that gun to metallic spraying exclusively. Don't try and reuse it for any other non-metallic finish. No matter how well you clean it, you will wind up with metallic particles right smack-dab in the middle of your next spray job, and every job thereafter with that gun…
I’ve heard this same statement from other members that shot Metallics/sparkle finishes.,

I noticed the saguaros in your sig. Are you also located in AZ?
 
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moreles

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"Nazrad M28 Mixing Clear"
I thought the brand was Nazdar, but maybe I'm misremembering. I used to do loads of silkscreening. It's actually easy to do the screening if you're mechanically inclined and careful.
Bronze powder is crazy stuff -- don't sneeze! -- but easy to use in silkscreening. You can screen direct onto a guitar or onto decal stock.
 

fatdaddypreacher

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I used Sherwin Williams Hi Bild lacquer and the checking is 100% natural, no cutting, no temperature cycling.
i used to use sherwin williams and it did quite well for me til the last batch checked like crazy on 3 builds. problem is, only one of the customers liked it. I started using cardinal instrument lacquer, but if someone wants a checked finish, i know what to use. that was crazy. yours looks fantastic, i might add.
 

Tollie

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i went ahead and ordered a can after looking around for the past few days...im not sold 100% on spraying the top but if i have the supplies, i might just go for it if i have a free day or two.....
If you mess up you can just sand it off and you will be back to how it was. Go for it!
 

Notts1965

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I bought one off the original branding irons used by Gibson on their firebrand models off eBay years ago for only a few quid. I have 3D printed gold inlays into the band recess it comes out looking great. Just an alternative to paint
 

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