Stripped and refinished my 2016 Les Paul Traditional w/ pictures

jbyrd78

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Alright fellas, hopefully everyone had a quiet holidays. I ended up having some free time late last week, so I hoped into the trenches and stripped the front of my 2016 Les Paul Traditional, that I had been trying to fade out in natural sunlight, and a tanning bed.
All I have to say, is that I'm glad I stripped the finish off the front. I tried a heat gun/scraper, and sandpaper, but I ultimately ended up using acetone to get everything off. That finish didn't want to go anywhere. From what I was able to remove with the heat, it looked like catalyzed lacquer, and vinyl sealer was used to finish this guitar.

I ended up wiping Tru-Oil on the wood, then I sprayed:
-3 sealer coats of clear WATCO lacquer in a 50/50 mix.
- 1 wash coat of lemon yellow
- A wash coat of RAF blue/brown shader band
- A wash coat of cherry red ainline dye for the sunburst band
- 4 coats of WATCO lacquer thinned in a 50/50 mix

I took pictures of the process, but unfortunately, it will not let me upload the pics. It says the files are to big. So if anyone could help me out with the upload I will send you the pictures if you could upload them because I really want to share the results. Thanks
 

ChuckHall03

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Would love to see how this turned out!! If you try to upload on mobile, you should be able to change the size to medium or small. This will allow you to post to the thread! Usually current size is a couple MB so that prevents them from uploading to the forum.
 

jbyrd78

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Looking good!! Big undertaking but the efforts paid off! Congrats on knocking this one out of the park
Thank you good sir!
Honestly, this is the second L.P. I've done in 20 yrs. I did my homework before I sprayed the finish because I wanted it right the first time. Once I get this beauty put back together, she will be getting some UV because I wanted the red band gone lol.
 

judson

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looking good !!!!....

i used acetone quite a bit on almost all the guitars i stripped...how did the binding hold up with that , i have not tried acetone with anything that had binding as most here said it would get eaten up by it pretty quick.....:dunno:

i would have stopped after the lemon and brown fade but i see what you were trying to accomplish , hoping my R8 with a similar finish will get the red to fade a bit more over the years...

great job thanks for the pics :yesway:
 

jbyrd78

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looking good !!!!....

i used acetone quite a bit on almost all the guitars i stripped...how did the binding hold up with that , i have not tried acetone with anything that had binding as most here said it would get eaten up by it pretty quick.....:dunno:

i would have stopped after the lemon and brown fade but i see what you were trying to accomplish , hoping my R8 with a similar finish will get the red to fade a bit more over the years...

great job thanks for the pics :yesway:
The binding is fine. I had a couple of areas I need need to sand, but it's all good. As far as the acetone and binding, I was just very careful around it. In most places when I got too close to the binding, I just sanded with 220 grit sandpaper with the grain for that extra insurance.

As far as the red band goes, I didn't want to put it on either, but I really want the ghost shadows under the poker chip, and pickguard. Hopefully the red will fade fast, once I stick it outside for a full day
 

jbyrd78

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You are very skilled. Congrats on a job well done.

Funny, I dread any fading of the red :laugh2:
Thanks man, I really appreciate the compliment. I've actually been finishing guitars as a hobby for about 20yrs. I've done alot of vintage Fender 2 tone & 3 tone sunburst's, but this is the 2nd Les Paul I have ever done. The red dye I used is from a bottle of red ainline dye I bought from Luthiers Mercantile back in 2005. A little bit goes along way with that stuff. I'm curious to see how long it's going to take to completely fade out the red once I expose it to some sunlight.
 

cherrysunburst00

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Thanks man, I really appreciate the compliment. I've actually been finishing guitars as a hobby for about 20yrs. I've done alot of vintage Fender 2 tone & 3 tone sunburst's, but this is the 2nd Les Paul I have ever done. The red dye I used is from a bottle of red ainline dye I bought from Luthiers Mercantile back in 2005. A little bit goes along way with that stuff. I'm curious to see how long it's going to take to completely fade out the red once I expose it to some sunlight.
I have a friend who builds guitars as a hobby. He once told me how difficult it is to refinish a guitar.

My Brother builds furniture as a hobby, and has given me a real appreciation for craftsmanship.

I found it extremely interesting to read about just how difficult it was to strip that original finish off.
 

integra evan

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Great undertaking, good job. I would have stopped at just the lemon color alone....that is a sweet color.
 

jbyrd78

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Very nice job! I'll be doing my first finishes and a refinish this coming spring/summer. I'm a little nervous about it, but seeing threads like yours help bolster my confidence.
You will be alright. Just practice your spray pattern and flow patterns on scrape before you actually hit the guitar.
 


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