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solid color spray over pearl inlaid headstock


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I'm currently restoring an old Ibanez les paul neck.

A previous owner has sanded the original black finish off the neck and hand painted shellac on it. It looks terrible.

The Ibanez logo is intact because it is a pearl inlay. I want to spray paint the whole neck black and have the logo showing.

My only current option is to hand paint very carefully around the logo with a tiny brush.

Is there any other professional options?

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If the inlay is completely intact, you could spray over the entire headstock and carefully block sand down to the inlay. Using a very fine grit of course because eventually your going to have to polish it up anyway.

I've had to do that to a PRS headstock before that had his signature in chrome metal inlayed.

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I'd stain the headstock black first, so that there's a cushion between you sanding through the paint and actually revealing the naked wood. Also I'd use as little paint as possible to still cover the surface. That way it just soaks into the grains more than resting on the surface. Then use clear to build up to your final depth. If you spray heavy black you might just be using a razor or exacto to scrape the inlay clean. If the pearl is porous the, black will get in there so tape off any of those parts, and I would tape off any joints between two pieces of pearl. They may look tight but if black seeps in there you'll have a line that is hard to clean because it will go deep.

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  • 2 weeks later...
i have this idea, dunno if it will work, cover the logo with a clear mouldable silicon,

its silicon something. (they use is to make moulds of ears for hearing aids.) then paint the headstock and pul off the silicon leaving the logo perfect.

just an idea though

Sorry to rain on your parade again, but I'd recommend keeping any silicone based product away from a surface you're about to finish. Silicone is *the* finishers nightmare if it contaminates your surfaces. This approach might work well if you used high grade masking tape and exacto'ed round the logo before spraying your colour coats. It would be easier to get crisp edges with the tape, and it won't mess with your spraying (at least not till you try to peel it off cleanly :D)

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My method is usually to spray over the entre head with a light coat of matt black - just enough to build up a solid colour - once its dry you can see where the inlay is under the paint and then carefully scrape off the paint with a scalpel - after this leave for a day to let the black cure a bit and then spray on a few very light clear coats ( if you go too heavy at this stage it can cause the edges of the black to bleed back onto the pearl ) - then leave a couple of days and put the finish clear on.

I have tried using masking fluid before, but it doesnt always come away cleanly and you always end up retouching around the edges of the inlay.

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Don't use anything with silicone or you will forever have fisheyes appearing in your paint.

The best method I have found is to take a piece of clear frisket film, lay it over the inlay and carefully cut the film to match the inlay edge, peel off the excess and spray, then remove the mask, you can clean up any edges that don't look quite tight enough with the pointy end of a toothpick soaked in reducer afterwards. Liquid mask works ok but you can't always see if the edge is built up enough to really mask it, plus you have to rub it to remove it, with many paints this is difficult to do without damaging the paint itself.

Sanding back the paint over the inlay is a bad idea in my opinion, you run the risk of hitting the paint and sanding through that, or even just putting scratches in it which may or may not show through after you clear it all. Plus, sanding it back will ONLY work if the inlay is proud of the headstock surface which I don't like, I sand all my headstock inlays flush and then mask if I have to paint it.

Anyway, just my 2 cents.

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How does a pearl logo "melt"??

In your first post, you said it was pearl. Now your saying its a decal. Which one is it?

At first I thought it was a solid inlay logo. But it turns out while i was scraping(after I applied paintstripper)it was just vinyl or plastic glued on to the surface, so it wasn't even cut into the head.

I was very annoyed because I halved the price of the guitar within seconds!

Does anyone know where i can get an exact replacement as apposed to a waterslide decal?

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I'm currently restoring an old Ibanez les paul neck.

A previous owner has sanded the original black finish off the neck and hand painted shellac on it. It looks terrible.

The Ibanez logo is intact because it is a pearl inlay. I want to spray paint the whole neck black and have the logo showing.

My only current option is to hand paint very carefully around the logo with a tiny brush.

Is there any other professional options?

Sorry I'm chiming in late here, but I'm new. I masked my inlay off. Use a magnifying glass to get it real good with an Xacto knife. I used something similar to this:

http://www.dickblick.com/zz252/01/products...am=0&ig_id=1593

It's like the stuff that comes on the display of a new item ie watch face, radio lcd display. Things like that. 1st mask it, paint it, put the mask off CAREFULL not to pull paint, it helps to do under manifier and use Xacto. Then, clear coat several coats to build the inlay area up to the color coat level, wet sand. Mine turned out well. See Links below for pics.

Good Luck!!

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That inlay is BADASS! :D  imumwell2

Inlayed LP guitar shape inside all that cool tribal(almost Celtic?) style inlay.

WoW! :D

hmmm...Would even make a cool armband tat :D

Thanks for the compliment. I'd like to take credit for the design, but I can't most of it was copied from a t-shirt. I modified it a little bit that made it a lot more difficult, but it came out OK. It was quite a bit of work. The difficulty is that the LP body is contoured in various directions.

As for the arm band, that is a plan that I have, coming off the cash for it is another story. B)

That's what I love about this forum is seeing work like that.Great finish too,did you do that?Any other pics of work that you've done?

Thanks to you also. Believe it or not, this is my 1st attempt at doing inlay, and really my 1st finishing job. I coated some autographs with lacquer to preserve them so I could play the guitar, but that was it before this job. I am now trying to get a little side business going doing inlay work. I have been trying to figure out how to advertise this guitar to get more work. I even give thought of giving it to the right band member. I'd like to see it in a video one day. :D. Maybe wishful thinking, but we can all dream.

Here is a link with progress pictures:

http://temp.corvetteforum.net/c3/im181owne...arProject.shtml

Thanks again!

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