Fading a Guitar's Finish

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Pointbreakd, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. Pointbreakd

    Pointbreakd Member

    Messages:
    608
    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Location:
    MA
    So i have G&L Legacy and I love it but I hate the bright green finish. Before I decide to re-finish it, I'm going to try and relic it.

    So far I have gone over the body with Micro-mesh (sandpaper) and it worked well, the color is not as shiny, its more dull and aged.

    Now I want to fade the actual color if this is possible. Is there anything that will fade it? (other than playing it a lot, time, etc etc )
     
  2. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

    Messages:
    13,080
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Location:
    Scotland
    Leave it outside in the sun for a week or two.

    If that doesn't do it, it's probably fade-proof.

    Here's one that wasn't ;).

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Pointbreakd

    Pointbreakd Member

    Messages:
    608
    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Location:
    MA
    Is sun bad for the wood, because of the heat?


    Any other quick fixes?
     
  4. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

    Messages:
    13,080
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Location:
    Scotland
    You could try a tanning bed :).

    I don't know if the heat would be all that bad a thing - it would help simulate the years of temperature cycling that cause checking etc and make a guitar look old. I'd maybe be inclined to take the neck off with a bolt-on though.

    A funny thought struck me, which is that I dislike the concept of 'relicing' a guitar by deliberately damaging it, or even faking wear using tools (including sandpaper), but for some reason I have no problem with aging a finish using sunlight or even artificial UV - or deliberate temperature extremes. I suppose it's the difference between creating 'wear' as opposed to 'age'.

    :)
     
  5. cvansickle

    cvansickle Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,835
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA USA
    Ultra-violet light is non-invasive. It's like laser surgery instead of an ectomy.
     
  6. Pointbreakd

    Pointbreakd Member

    Messages:
    608
    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Location:
    MA
    Ya but where do I get UV light?
     
  7. tiptone

    tiptone Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    750
    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Location:
    Montgomery, TX
  8. Pointbreakd

    Pointbreakd Member

    Messages:
    608
    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Location:
    MA
    ha. ok fine. I meant like from a bulb. I'm worried that outside will cause heat and condensationa and ruin the wood.

    Anyway I talked to the guy from Relicguitars.com and I guess my G&L legacy is probably a Poly finish. So it's not going to fade.
     
  9. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

    Messages:
    13,080
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Location:
    Scotland
    That PRS is a poly finish. It depends on the stability of the chemical dyes in the finish, not the material itself.

    You can get UV light from a tanning bed, like I said. You may have to hang around with a bunch of women in bikinis while getting your guitar tanned of course. The only problem is that they'll think you're weird :).
     
  10. tiptone

    tiptone Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    750
    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Location:
    Montgomery, TX
    Sorry, natural-born-smart ass. :)

    I've seen HID lights (metal halide, high pressure sodium, mercury vapor) do relic-type things to plastics. Gives them a really nice coloration, metal halide gave a mint greenish tint and high pressure sodium a more tea or coffee color.

    I'm not sure if they would do the same for paint, but HPS and MH lights can be had cheap at Home Depot/Lowes if you wanna give it a try.
     
  11. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,554
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    UV light is the best source for fading a see-through color. It doesn't matter what type of finish it is, it still will fade. I Don't recommend putting your guitar in the sun as it can cause a whole of other damage with necks, fingerboards, etc...

    Uv lights used in curing automotive paints are a small fortune. They start at about $1500.00 for a lamp that does about a foot of area.

    Your best bet might be to get a refinish job(if you can afford) or just wait 20-25 years.(ha ha)

    Larry
     
  12. Pointbreakd

    Pointbreakd Member

    Messages:
    608
    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Location:
    MA

    Hmm interesting...Maybe I'll give that a try...
     
  13. Pointbreakd

    Pointbreakd Member

    Messages:
    608
    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Location:
    MA
    The guitar is totally gutted. So it's just the body we're talking about. It's not see-thru its a retro looking green.
     
  14. baald

    baald Member

    Messages:
    497
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2004
    Location:
    west side of the east bay
    if you have a place in a cool building that has a window that gets sunlight, you can probably get some UV happening, though i think even plain glass absorbs quite a bit of UV. you could also put a fan on it if youre worried about it getting too hot in the sun; you can get a black light from home depot or a headshop for some UV action. possibly some flouroscent grow-lights. i'd stay away form HID lights inside if you're worroed about heat as they get VERY warm

    baald
     
  15. tiptone

    tiptone Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    750
    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Location:
    Montgomery, TX
    The lights are easy to spot, they're the kind that light parking lots, really most outdoor places that aren't still fluorescent. Metal halide is the white/blue color and high pressure sodium is the orange tinted one. Those are the colors that they tend to turn white plastics so I would try a metal halide with that green body of yours.

    Most Lowes-type stores carry smaller 70W HPS and MH lamps pretty cheap. I do notice more HPS than MH for some reason, you may have to look a bit.
     
  16. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,554
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    It's the see-through colors or neons that are real colorfast(or subject to fading quickly).

    I have a Les Paul (cherry sunburst) that I painted a little dark for what I wanted, and have exposed it to Uv light for years and the color has not faded a bit, or ever so slight.

    I think you could expose a solid color for years and see very little change (if any).

    Them paint co's. seem to make products that hold up to Uv light much better than before. Heck, My sunburst has the see through colors that they say are light sensitive, but I just can't get my Les Paul to fade after years of uv exposure.

    Maybe it's just me.

    Larry
     
  17. Joe

    Joe Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,526
    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Obviously none of you own a lizard.

    Lizards need UV light to survive, so you have artifical UV lighting inside your home to keep a lizard.

    In a pet store you can buy a bulb and fixture for about $15.00 total.
     
  18. aeolian

    aeolian Member

    Messages:
    6,083
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA.
    Seriously, I think John's suggestion of a tanning lamp is about the best way to get enough UV on it. Glass attenuates IR (heat) more than UV but it does get in the way. The parking lot lamps do generate a fair amount of UV, but as paintguy says, the UV stabilty of most modern finishes is vastly improved. Especially polyurethane, which used to be fairly sensitive.

    Guess the question is do you get a tanning lamp at home, or suffer the strange looks (and the odd tan lines :) ) at the local saloon? :eek:
     
  19. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,792
    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Whatever you do, *don't* tell those women you are putting your guitar in the tanning bed to make it look old! It will not go over well....:D
     
  20. Pointbreakd

    Pointbreakd Member

    Messages:
    608
    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Location:
    MA

    Haha that's really funny. I'm gonna do it. Tommorow I am going to a tanning salon. I figure there will be some cute girls there too.

    That UV light from the petstore is a great Idea. I'll try that too. The color is borderline Neon green so maybe It'll fade. We'll find out
     

Share This Page