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Painting the tremolo??


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I've got a couple old Edge tremolos that are pretty well pitted.

One has been stripped of all its plating with a wire brush sander.

I remember seeing one of the GOTM guitars with a painted tremolo, but I was wondering what is the best paint to use for tremolos so it doesn't look junky.

Any other ideas would greatly be appreciated.

Also - if anyone has pics of painted trems, I'd love to see them.

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I haven't painted one, but a friend had his chromed, He sand blasted the black paint before and it came out nice... I know you can powder coat, but be careful since the coating is thick and it might be a really tight fit... I think if they are chomed, you can file the chrome finish from the sides, (just file until the copper coat is gone) if you have a black just get the paint out. I think this is lkike a black chrome coating now adays. Other than that, that's all the advise I can give you.

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im pretty that he also said that it wasn't very durable


Painting by spray can.

I used this method to paint my hardware white. It is the easiest and cheapest method of the three, but I wouldn't recommend it to anybody.

The biggest problem with this method is that the paint peels off very easily, leaving you with a poor result. Because of this problem I already had to re-paint some of my hardware.

As always with finishing, the preparation, pre-treatment, and post-treatments are often more critical than the "painting" step itself

First you have to disassemble all the parts.

With a fine grade sandingpaper the parts have to be sanded lightly, to achieve a somewhat rougher surface. Be carefull with the knife edges, threads and other important stuff --> the do not require sanding / painting and must be masked-off!!

Thirdly you have to get rid of all the dust, grease and other stuff by applying aceton(*) or a similar solvent.

(*) Be carefull with solvents! They can cause you harm. Read the safety instructions first.

If you don't want to use a solvent of any kind, you can wash the parts with a detergent like soap.

So next is painting.

I used spray-can automotive paint. Apply multiple thin layers to fully cover the parts. Wait a few minutes between two layers. PATIENCE is the key-word in this stage !! Don't let the paint build up too thick otherwise you will have problems re-assembling the parts.


Electroplating is the deposition of a metallic coating (chrome, silver, gold) onto an object by putting a negative charge onto the object and immersing it into a solution which contains a salt of the metal to be deposited. The metallic ions of the salt carry a positive charge and are attracted to the part. When they reach it, the negatively charged part provides the electrons to reduce the positively charged ions to metallic form.

I won't go too technical on the subject, it's a difficult process and it is not something you're going to attempt at home.

It is expensive to get into the plating business. And it is foolish and possibly lethal to mess around, without adequate knowledge, in a business where many have been killed or seriously hurt (and dozens have been sent to jail). Please treat as quackery any promise that it is easy.

Resulting to that, you can see it's not a cheap thing to electroplate your tremolo, tuning machines,...

And if you want it done, you'll have to let it do for you in an industrial environment.

All the hardware on a jem 7VWH is gold-plated.

link to finishing.com

Powder coating.

This is probably the best solution if you want your hardware painted.

Powder Coating is an advanced yet simple way of spray-painting a very fine, dry plastic powder paint onto a metal surface. As the powder paint cloud gently leaves the front of the spray gun, it is charged with static electricity. The charge attracts the powder paint to the part that requires coating. The part is then placed in an oven, where it bakes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. While in the oven, the powder paint melts and flows into a beautiful and durable finish. Primers are not necessary. And there are no unsightly runs or drips, as often results with the use of wet paint. Prior to baking, powder coating is very forgiving of coating mistakes. Because it is powder, the paint can be blown with a low-pressure air nozzle, quickly and easily covering up the mistake.

This *can* be done "at home" IF you have the right equipment!! Which includes a powder spray-gun, oven, spray booth,... So it will cost you ALOT!

Another possibility is letting it do for you, again in an industrial environment were they are specialised in the process.

Edited by bowser
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