This is my "gilded crap" SG Project.

I got this Epiphone SG for free and it was in pretty rough condition. It's scratched, chipped, and cracking in places. Nevertheless, despite the plywood body, the tone isn't terrible. It doesn't really have any character, it's not really bright or warm sounding, but it's not dull either. So, what the hell, I figure I'll do a budget refinish and at the very least make this look better than it sounds. Electronics aren't too bad either. It plays well so I want to keep it as a beater guitar.

Last edited by X-plorer88 at Feb 20, 2012,
Originally I wanted to strip and stain this guitar wine red and give it a classic SG satin finish. But upon learning it's got a plywood body that wouldn't work. After I stripped down the gallons of clear, paint, and base coat, I realized the grain looked terrible.

Not to mention that it was right on the transition between two pieces of ply. Parts of the grain were so thin you could see the perpendicular grain of the ply below. So I'd either have to give it a solid coat or a veneer.

Decided on a Curly veneer, ditching the pick guard, and augmenting the puckup routes. Plenty of sanding, Dremel-ing, cutting, gluing, and wood filling here is what we've got so far.

Adding those pieces of pine in there may make the tone worse but who cares.

She approves.

Just waiting on the veneer now, more to come soon. Stay tuned.

Last edited by X-plorer88 at Mar 8, 2012,
Never knew Epiphone used plywood for some guitars, cheeky bastards
Good choice of finish though, I look forward to seeing it completed.
My goal with this project is to do it as cheaply as possible. So far the only things I've needed to buy is the veneer and dyes. I originally thought I may use Rit dye for the green stain but I read that Rit doesn't hold it's color well long term and they didn't have the exact color I wanted anyway. I went and ordered a TransTint Green, it's more expensive, but made for wood. I'll use black RIT dye for the shadowing stain.

As far as clear, I think I'm going to go for a urethane finish. I like nitro because it's easy to apply and polish. But Nitro based paints are expensive and I'm not a fan of the drying times. And I already have a couple cans of minwax polyurethane anyway.

I'm not sure if I can pull off that fade gradient effectively with spray cans. I may just hit up my local auto body shop artist and see if they can give it a few nice coats of black.

I sanded through most of the urethane base coat on the top which is okay since it's getting a veneer anyway, but there a few spots on the sides and back where the grain needs to be filled before the color coats. I'll do a couple of urethane base coats today then sand smooth once it's cured.

Last edited by X-plorer88 at Feb 20, 2012,

I'll just let the pictures do the talking.

Next comes a few coats of clear and then the black fade around the edge, sides and back.
Once the final coats of clear go on the stain will keep that "wet" look and the color will be much richer.
It's coming along nicely.

Last edited by X-plorer88 at Feb 20, 2012,
Gorgeous and it's not even done yet!!
"When the power of love over comes the love of power the world will know peace."
~Jimi Hendrix
Thanks guys.

Quote by inkandlead
Are you bursting the back or just doing black to cover the ply?

Both... kinda. I need to have a black fade around the edge because I could only apply the veneer over the flat top of the guitar. So yes, I will have to cover up the ply layers with black paint. But since I'm going to be attempting that fade with spray cans I'm also using black dye to aid the transition from green stain to black laquer paint.

Looking really awesome there xD, loving the way you got veneer to stay pressured over the body hahaha, i could imagine myself doing something like that if i were back home

Can't wait to see it clear coated and shiny new
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Haha yeah, well all my clamps weren't big enough. You must have a lot of pressure when gluing veneers. At least 5 or 6 psi. I think those stones amounted to almost 300 pounds.

I finished scalloping the neck today. I treated it with a little finger board oil. It had some nice figure.

LOL, one of the dot inlays came out while sanding the neck. I took a pearl guitar pick and cut out a new dot and glued it in place. You'd never notice.

Last edited by X-plorer88 at Feb 24, 2012,
Great quality so far in your work! Keep the pictures coming!
Man this thing would look divine with a black pickguard, just my opinion of course, but this is coming along great!!
"When the power of love over comes the love of power the world will know peace."
~Jimi Hendrix
Still a work in progress. Up till now I've been applying and sanding away the nitro in order to have a level surface for painting. I tapped up the face in order to paint the sides and back. Later I removed the tape to paint the fade. On a side note, don't ever do that. The blue painters tape normally would come off clean but in this case it left glue residue all over the face of the guitar and it was a bitch to sand off.

Mind you the color looks all wonky because I'm taking these pictures with my shitty iPhone camera . The color is much more even and richer in person.

Last edited by X-plorer88 at Mar 3, 2012,
More pictures!

Still have a fair few coats to do on the headstock. Once it's sanded and polished it'll be smooth.

Before you jump down my throat about labeling Gibson instead of Epiphone I'm not going to ever sell this guitar. It's a piece of shit and it's full of inperfectons because I'm lazy and impatient. Honestly the only reason I didn't use a Epiphone decal is because I couldn't find one. They're all copyrighted so it's actually very hard to find a licensed name brand logo. I just happened to find a Gibson laser cut decal on eBay. And since I bought it it was taken down. So yeah.

Last edited by X-plorer88 at Mar 8, 2012,
You ruined it by puting Gibson on the head stock. It was looking great untill you did that dumb manuver

You should deff remove that.
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Quote by Axelfox
Hi There,
As it has been some years, you might not be here. But if you are, could you post some pics about the refinish job? The old photobucket pics have disappeared. I am in the process of doing the same. 
That doesn't work either. The only image that I see from my side on this very page is the image from Photobucket saying "Please update your account to enable 3rd party hosting..." Thanks anyhow. 
Photobucket has become just the worst.

I know this is old now, but I would suggest for anyone with the same issue to switch over to something like Imgur for image hosting. That's what I did, and it's much, MUCH better in every way. Still free, just a better interface, more intuitive/easier to use, and they don't pull bullshit like this.
Last edited by ExDementia at Sep 5, 2017,