• Guys, we've spent considerable money converting the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and we have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!

Yellowing of a 1985 LP Custom

lgking

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
45
For years I had this '85 Gibson LPC (white), that just kept getting darker. I sold it to a friend, and am now considering buying it back (maybe).

What would be the safest way to remove this discoloration without damage to the finish, I don't want a respray, I want to keep it original, just get some of the darkness out of the finish...?
 
Last edited:

lgking

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
45
Hi Bob,

I appreciate your stance, and I (like you), believe in the sacred originality of things. But this guitar is not 'yellow' anymore, it is turning 'rust-red-brown' in a very horrible and ugly way. It looks like somebody really left it outside for many years.

When I bought it in 1995 in San Francisco, it was 'too white'. Brought it back to Bangkok with me and even though when not playing is always kept in a a hard case. A friend of mine said it was due to the air pollution here in Bangkok, which is extreme. I had an 1984 USA Strat in white, and it did not react the same way to the environment.

Here in BKK, the year-round temp hovers around 93-96F, and humidity never drops below 70%, and can be 80-90+%. Being closer to the the equator, things are quite different here.
 
Last edited:

jb_abides

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
3,058
Do not compare with your Strat: poly/urethane-based therefore not subject to the same environmental effects. You have a dilemma, defined: You can't 'safely remove' without 'damaging' it. To 'remove' is to 'damage' the nitrocellulose. Refin or not refin, that is the question. But... another vote for:

Let It Be.
 

lgking

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
45
Thanks JB, not good news. I was hoping I could perform something like what you can do with older car finishes.

I have previously successfully used some D'Addario Restore Detailer on a 1983 Epi Matsumoku Casino, came out beautiful, but I believe those are poly (?) The LPC is just starting to look 'butt-ugly'.
 
Last edited:

LeonC

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 30, 2002
Messages
503
Jeeze I had one of those that I took in a trade in the early 2000. I had no interest in it really as I already had what I thought was a great sounding and playing LP Custom....but after I sold it, it's one of the few times I started having sellers remorse. It was really a GREAT guitar and I was a dummy for selling it. It was definitely getting yellow, but man, that thing played great and sounded excellent from what I recall. Gotta agree with Bob Womack...just let it be.
 

fred dons

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2001
Messages
298
you can try to polish the topcoat with something like 3m cut , this will remove a very very thin layer of the topcoat but this only will help you if the discoloration is in the topcoat only (btw there are some carpaint polishes like commandant 4 which will achieve the same effect as the 3m cut polish)
 

gibson-r8

Active member
Joined
Jul 15, 2004
Messages
514
granted, I am not a fan of the white ones (Customs should be black!) but I don’t see the harm in a good cleaning which could be a big part of the color. I surely would not recommend a refinish.
 

charliechitlins

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
392
I have gone at nitro with very mild auto polishing/buffing products with good results.
A Hand Glaze or Swirl Remover will be very mildly abrasive and leave a shine.
I wouldn't go at it with anything heavier than that.
 
Top