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Removing Gold Plating


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All the hardware on and for my guitar is gold plated. I didn’t set out to have a gold equipped guitar; just that I got lucky as heck and found a new (not awful quality) set neck hollow-body guitar (w/ case), a Schaller roller bridge and a left handed Gretsch/Bigsby B6G all for less than $200 (got to love Craigslist).

Now, the problem is, I don’t like gold plating…at all… I’m not a big fan of chrome either.

My plan is to media blast the hardware bits with glass bead to remove the plating. Depending on what the bead blasted parts look like, I may stop there and just shoot a clear coat on it all.

This whole guitar ‘relic’ing thing has caught my eye so I’m also looking into a liquid solution from a company called Sculpt Nouveau (http://www.sculptnouveau.com/). According to their website, they have a solution that will put a similar tone black patina on both aluminum and steel. After the parts are patina’d, I’ll shoot them with a matte clear.

My questions are:

Is this a stupid idea? Am I just going to destroy perfectly good (albeit cheap) guitar parts? Obviously I’ll mask off the important surfaces and openings to prevent blasting media from getting in places it shouldn’t.

Are there any known problems using guitar hardware that has been clear coated?

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I say do it!

The clear coating probably isn't necessary. Metal patina is generally permanent. Unless the person playing it is rubbing it like crazy, it should be fine. Test it after you make the patina. You should be able to judge if it needs the clear or not. If you do, I would recommend thinning the clear quite a bit and blotting it on very thinly. Spray it on or add too much and you'll lose the aged look.

Thanks for that link, BTW! I don't know how I've gone this long without hearing about Sculpt Nouveau.

Here's a recent one I did. I did not clear coat any of the metal:




Edited by NotYou
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If you just want the gold off, then a strong bleach will strip off cheap gold plating. Just put the part into the bleach & leav it for about 15 mins, Take it out & rinse off to check your progress. A light rub with some scotch brite will speed it along.

leave the part in the bleach for about 15 mins at a time, check it & then leave it longer if need be. Gold will be gone in no time.

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Thanks for the feedback. I just ordered the "Slate Black" patina solution from Sculpt Nouveau. According to the nice woman I spoke to, this is the only patina solution that will darken aluminum. My goal is not to have a relic'd guitar, just something with unique aesthetics that I'll enjoy learning to play.

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