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That aged amber glow

58 Korina V

New member
Jul 26, 2001
A while ago I had a friend that bought one of those 40th anniversary Les Pauls . Black hardtail 52 style with p-90's and an ebony fingerboard and gold hardware . I liked the way the Factory shot the pickgaurd and covers with amber nitro to give it an old amber patina . My question is ; is their a way to attain that glow in a traditional creme pick gaurd and such without using the nitro . For example a chemical soak or fumigation ? It seems like the missing link to the 'new' plastic look . Thanks david_scott


Goldie's Man in London
Jul 15, 2001
There's a guy who sells aged scratchplates on eBay for about $50 a time. He has three different degrees of "aged look", the most aged variation looks great.

So, yes, it's possible. And no, I have no idea how :(


Active member
Jul 16, 2001
Fender used to spray or still does the Relic Tele pickguards with amber Nitro.

Another method that I've been using is Stew-Mac's aniline Vintage Amber dye.. I would only use extremely diluted amounts and work slowly as the stuff is really powerful and dyes your fingers and everything else it touchs.. (Most normal people wear gloves, I just happen to like amber stained fingertips) I mostly use the stuff in the shellac I use on my amps.. Better than using the oraneg shellac that looks too brown with no yellowing.

The REAL trick is to not dye consistently and have it sort of concentrated more in certain areas than others.. I would get some pickgaurds to experiment with first tho..

I've had great luck dyeing Fender pickup covers and vol/tone knobs with the stuff.. Remember VERY diluted quantities..



New member
Jul 17, 2001
Although I really didn't have confidence in it at first, shoe polish can work really well. I believe that different kinds of dyes would work well too although I haven't tried any yet. I don't think the nitro on plastic looks real because there ain't supposed to be nitro on the plastic in the first place. I agree with NOCD...the real ones are darker and more damaged in certain spots and not so much in others. You gotta practice with it and be really carefull. The other secret is knowing when to stop when you generate good results...it's easy to get carried away and ruin a good job. Then it looks fake. It also tends to look fake if you age only in terms of coloration. You need to have physical wear represented too (like a real 40 year old pickguard would have). Rounded edges in certain spots, scratches of various depths, widths and sharpness and more concentrated/less concentrated polishing in certain areas all lend to a real look. Get a hold of some good reference material for old plastic parts and look at as many real examples as possible and you can convincingly match the way it looks in terms of coloration AND wear patterns, which Gibson doesn't do on it's plastic parts. You can do a much better job than Gibson does on its "Aged Historic" models if you have attention to detail.

Just like dyes, shoe polish will stain the hell out of your fingers for a few days...you'll look like you smoke 10 packs of Chesterfields a day...the chicks don't dig that.
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