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My Gibson Project. (pics)

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Hi, this is my first post over here, so ill just jump right into it.

I have put together and customized a strat before, and have painted/lacquered the wood and installed everything. but i have never done anything with gibson/epiphone.

so i recently picked this up, i think its a 3rd party body(i dont care, its my own custom guitar!):





here is what i would like the the project's outcome to be:


it was just something i did quickly in photoshop to have an idea. if your wondering about the plus sign(yes i know its crooked), im currently a premed student, and in love with what i do, so i wanted to incorporate it into my guitar. its very tom delonge. hah.

Im planning on putting in Gibson '57 pickups and maybe change those creme knobs to black speed knobs, as well as put in gibson tuners.

I will post pictures as i do everything, but i have a few questions.

how can i finish the headstock so its brown like in my picture(varnish etc). also, i would like to keep the paint looking that flat color, so i dont think i would be putting lacquer on it. so i need to know what to put on it once i put a few coats of paint on it.

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im not installing dirty fingers. im installing 57's


i need to know what kind of paint(i was suggested auto paint)

i need to know how to apply it (paint brush?)

i need to know how to get a satin finish like in the second post.

i need to know how to get the headstock to be brown like that.

I'm not positive on which paint type, I still haven't found the right one yet. I do not recommend Enamel, it is very picky with what finishes go over it.

Either use a compressor with a gravity feed gun or an aerosol can. Using a brush will take LOTS of sanding to get it nice and smooth.

Minwax satin poly, possibly? You can buy this type of finish at home depot. I'll be testing a couple of these home depot finishes on my basses, so I'll have hands on experience with the stuff soon enough.

Paint the headstock the same as the body. Just be sure to use paint tape and news paper to mask off the fingerboard and areas you do not want paint on.

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I would use nitro lacquer. You can get a satin clearcoat. You may want to check out reranch.com. They have tons of info and products, but I'm not sure about custom colors.

You may also want to look into automotive aerosols. A lot of people here have used them with pretty good results. Just make sure the clear is compatible with the color coats. You'll also want to check out automotive masking tapes.

As for the headstock, I would put a mahogany cap or veneer over it, and finish it with the same satin finish.

There may be other options, especially if you have access to a spray rig, but I figured I'd throw my ideas into the mix.

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