Paint mask for old Gibson headstock respray?

If you have a string instrument of any kind that needs fixing, a mistake you made in building a new instrument that you need to "disappear," or a question about the ethics of altering an older instrument, ask here. Please note that it will be much easier for us to help you decide on the best repair method if you post some pictures of the problem.

Paint mask for old Gibson headstock respray?

Postby Martin Keith » Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:40 pm

Hey everyone!

I'm refinishing an old '60s SG after repairing a broken headstock (surprise, surprise...).
The headpiece face suffered pretty badly and had to be significantly repaired.

I now need to respray the black lacquer over the repairs.
On top of that, the old lacquer is flaking off in bits just from handling - the guitar is in rough shape!

However, on this instrument, the inlays are the big blocks of pearl that were masked at the factory to only reveal the "Gibson" logo and "crown" ornament. In other words, when the paint flakes off, it reveals extra pearl outside the perimeter of the logo and ornament.

Can anyone suggest a source for paint masks so I can reshoot over the blocks and then peel away the right shape?
I thought of using faux-Gibson vinyl logo transfers (from eBay) for the logo, but am striking out on the crown.

Finishing gurus, please help me out! :D

Best wishes,
Martin Keith
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:36 pm

Re: Paint mask for old Gibson headstock respray?

Postby John Hamlett » Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:25 am

You might have to print out a photocopy of the head stock so you have a full size paper template, lay that over an appropriate masking tape and carefully cut out a mask with an Xacto knife or similar. You might even be able to do that in place on the head stock after first taping over the whole pearl area and peel away everything but the logo.
Just guessing (but it's an educated guess), but I doubt if you can get anything from Gibson corporation, and if anybody makes an accurate aftermarket mask I'll be surprised.
John Hamlett
Posts: 110
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:59 am

Re: Paint mask for old Gibson headstock respray?

Postby Dick (DT) Trottier » Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:36 pm

Hi Martin,

If you have a known design, there's a technique using wax as a mask that may be useful... check out how Ukranian Easter eggs are made on line. Will it work with lacquer, I don't know.

Good luck...
Dick (DT) Trottier
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:49 am
Location: Massachusetts

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