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  1. #1

    1994 Studio Refinish Project - Help needed.

    I have a Les Paul Studio that I've had now for 25 years (god, I can't believe it's been that long). I saved up all my grass cutting money one summer when I was 17 to buy it. I know it's not worth a lot (even has a neck repair) but it has sentimental value. I played so many gigs with this back in the day. It was beautiful when I first bought it, I can remeber staring at it for hours at night after playing it ;-) but many years of playing and neglect and spilled beers/too close to heat lamps, years under the bed have rendered it just plain disgusting (although it still plays and sounds great). I decided I'm going to try to give it a new life and I know I'll invest more than it will ever be worth to others. I've restored snowmobiles and even a few houses in the past, but I've never restored a guitar so I could use some help. I've been reading some of the refinish posts here and yesterday I dug in to stripping it. Here's some pictures of the process.

    Before:



    During:


    During:


    Where I'm at now:




    I am totally torn on what I want it to look like in the end. I'm thinking of doing a honeyburst with nickle and cream hardware and maybe zebra pickups but I'm totally 100% open to suggestions and opinions. Only thing I know for sure....I definitely want grover tuners, I'm not a fan of the Klusen style. Some questions:
    - What about the headstock? I haven't stripped that yet because I have no clue how I would get the silkscreen back on there. SHould I just preserve that and just spray clear on it?
    - Where is the best place to get finishes? I've heard of reranch but their website isn't that helpful. I don't see any honey burst products for example. StewMac? Others?
    - I have an HVLP gun/compressor and I've painted a few things before. I'm not an expert by any means but I have the basic concepts down. Should I go HVLP or aerosol?
    - If anyone has (new) hardware laying around they are looking to part with, LMK.
    - Completely open to any tips/suggestions opinions.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member Mars Hall's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    Re: 1994 Studio Refinish Project - Help needed.

    Sorry, I'm not gonna be any help with your finishing questions. However, I do know that these mid 90's Studio LP's are quite nice. One thread posted here, showed a guy repainting his to a burst and by using tape was able to pull off a nice looking faux binding, if you have thoughts of making it look more like a Standard. Either way good luck with your project!
    "What's that man movin' cross the stage?
    It looks a lot like the one used by Jimmy Page..." Paul McCartney

  3. #3

    Re: 1994 Studio Refinish Project - Help needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mars Hall View Post
    Sorry, I'm not gonna be any help with your finishing questions. However, I do know that these mid 90's Studio LP's are quite nice. One thread posted here, showed a guy repainting his to a burst and by using tape was able to pull off a nice looking faux binding, if you have thoughts of making it look more like a Standard. Either way good luck with your project!

    thanks for the reply. I am definitely going to try for the faux binding look. Right now torn between the honey burst idea and SeaFoam green stain (yes, completely different looks).

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Apr 2002
    Location
    Lake Ontario shore
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    Re: 1994 Studio Refinish Project - Help needed.

    You have to decide the look. Sand it out and get it perfect and think on it. It will come to you AND GO WITH YOUR GUT!! Leave the headstock face alone and clear coat it. Whatever you decide to do will be cool and personal and be all yours.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  5. #5

    Re: 1994 Studio Refinish Project - Help needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mars Hall View Post
    Sorry, I'm not gonna be any help with your finishing questions. However, I do know that these mid best washing machine in india 90's Studio LP's are quite nice. One thread posted here, showed a guy repainting his to a burst and by using tape was able to pull off a nice looking faux binding, if you have thoughts of making it look more like a Standard. Either way good luck with your project!
    Thanks man
    Last edited by markcowell23; 10-02-19 at 10:36 AM.

  6. #6

    Re: 1994 Studio Refinish Project - Help needed.

    You're doing really well for a first time. Very well.

    Al as usual makes a very good point, about the headstock face. The rest ...... dah-dah-dah--dummmm..... is all you man! I have been exactly where you are quite a few times and each guitar ended up better than what I thought it would be.


    I must warn you however..... tweaking out/refins/whateveryawannacallit can be addictive. After the first one I did,it hasn't stopped to this day. Like 35 years or something. --- I have a problem man!
    ​We Are The People We Have Been Waiting For

  7. #7

    Re: 1994 Studio Refinish Project - Help needed.

    It looks to me like you are doing very well for a first time attempt. Very well.

    I'm going to agree with Al about the headstock face....fragile! Save that.


    The rest is all you man! ---
    ​We Are The People We Have Been Waiting For

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