#1
I've been wanting to put stickers onto my my Satin White Gibson Les Pail studio with a nitrocellulose finish. I've heard in a lot of places that this can damage the finish?

This seems quite vague
How can it damage the finish?
What does the "damage" look like?
How quickly can it damage the guitar?
Is it in the removal process it damages or while its on there?
If its removing the stickers, is there a way to do it without damaging?
Most importantly, is the damage repairable?

My white les Paul is genuinely worth more to me than a child would be, but I do mod it, I've added a third p90 pickup, and on top of this, I let it wear naturally, some finish has stripped at the edges. I also leave blood splatters from stage on (side note: does this damage the guitar?).

Any advice would Be much appreciated

Here's the guitar body/finish profile http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/Les-Paul/Gibson-USA/Les-Paul-Studio-60s-Tribute/Body.aspx
Last edited by Paddynbob at Apr 1, 2013,
#2
Ive always said, if you want stickers on your guitar, why not just get some made out of window-cling material. As far as I know, it doesnt do any damage, and they can be swapped out, taken off, or repositioned.

There are lots of things that apparently damage finishes. Like all things in the music world, its hard to tell the difference between best practice and actual effect. The question I would put to you... if you care about the finish, why are you wanting to cover it with stickers?
Best practice is to not put stickers on, polish it with appropriate materials, keep it clean etc etc....
However, if it were me, wanting to have fun with my guitar as the #1 priority, lacquer is pretty resilient. There may be some damage or coloration in the long run with stickers, but clearcoat can always be fixed by a professional if you get in a pinch.
Last edited by ohaple at Apr 1, 2013,
#3
Quote by ohaple
Ive always said, if you want stickers on your guitar, why not just get some made out of window-cling material. As far as I know, it doesnt do any damage, and they can be swapped out, taken off, or repositioned.

There are lots of things that apparently damage finishes. Like all things in the music world, its hard to tell the difference between best practice and actual effect. The question I would put to you... if you care about the finish, why are you wanting to cover it with stickers?
Best practice is to not put stickers on, polish it with appropriate materials, keep it clean etc etc....
Laquer is pretty resilient. There may be some damage or coloration in the long run with stickers, but clearcoat can always be fixed by a professional if you get in a pinch.


I'm putting stickers on because I quite like stickers, haha... But I'm sure regretfully ill eventually grow up, and take them off in a cinematic, coming of age montage. How long would you say it would take to damage it? And how effectively could a professional fix it?
#4
I have no experience with the actual effects, as I dont like stickers on anything I have lol. But my point was, if you are worried about the finish, I would play it on the safe side. If you plan on leaving the stickers on forever, or refinishing it later, or add ming more stickers over time, have a field day of it. Still, window clings are what I would (and have) done. You can custom order them to whatever oyu want, whatever size you want, and take them on and off with no impact. Maybe you want to change your look some, cause you joined a metal band, well get some new clings. You decided to play country cover band, take them off or get some new ones.
#5
I've just started putting stickers on one of my basses, but quite frankly the finish is completely ruined already
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
#6
Nitro finishes, especially matte, worn, aged, thin, etc, are definitely susceptible to damage from stickers. There are two ways this happens - the first is that the actual chemical gunk from the sticker seeps into the nitro and discolors or mars it. The second is that the sticker shields part of the finish from UV exposure, so it doesn't age or discolor like the rest of the finish. There also might be some damage from the process of removing the sticker itself, depending on what you have to use to get it off.

So a lot of times you'll see an old white Gibson with a bright white square on it where a sticker used to be, or a black one with a dull spot where one was removed. That kind of damage is really hard to fix, since you'd have to strip and respray at least the top, and at worst the whole instrument depending on the color and aging. I'd think long and hard about whether you really need that sticker on there - chances are it will leave it's mark long after you've decided it wasn't what you really wanted.
#7
Vinyl reacts with nitro finishes and can do all kinds of bad things to your guitar from discoloring to bubbling. Stickers are a no-no on nitro.
#8
Quote by Roc8995
Nitro finishes, especially matte, worn, aged, thin, etc, are definitely susceptible to damage from stickers. There are two ways this happens - the first is that the actual chemical gunk from the sticker seeps into the nitro and discolors or mars it. The second is that the sticker shields part of the finish from UV exposure, so it doesn't age or discolor like the rest of the finish. There also might be some damage from the process of removing the sticker itself, depending on what you have to use to get it off.

So a lot of times you'll see an old white Gibson with a bright white square on it where a sticker used to be, or a black one with a dull spot where one was removed. That kind of damage is really hard to fix, since you'd have to strip and respray at least the top, and at worst the whole instrument depending on the color and aging. I'd think long and hard about whether you really need that sticker on there - chances are it will leave it's mark long after you've decided it wasn't what you really wanted.



awh, **** it D:
#9
i keep stickers off all of my guitars except for one that is my official Frankenstein mod guitar, that one i just sticker up and mod and go crazy with it. It comes down too if you will regret it or not, my MIM fender strat will never be worth a crap so i just have fun with it. Other guitars i have are beautiful and i want to keep them looking and playing nice.

If you like stickers then do it up and worst case you get the guitar repainted in 10 or 15 years, best case someone loves the "relic" look you got going on and offers you a million dollars for your guitar.
Quote by BlackVoid
Every guitar and bass forum I've visited has some people chasing some magical tone that will shoot jizzing unicorns riding on a rainbow out of their amp.
#10
decals work good.. stickers wont do to much.. if you decide to take the off use goo gone.. works well if it does anything it may take a bit of clear coat off.. but theres so many lawyers of the ****ing crap you wont even notice.
#11
Its not the least bit harmful to the finish honestly provided you know how to remove them if you decide you dont want the stickers on anymore.
#12
Quote by Darkdevil725
Its not the least bit harmful to the finish honestly provided you know how to remove them if you decide you dont want the stickers on anymore.

Did you not read any of the thread? On a poly finish, sure, go nuts, but saying that stickers are not harmful at all to nitro is completely wrong.
#13
about 10 years ago I put stickers all over my base. 4 years after that I "grew up" and decided to take them off. A razor blade and some goo gone got them off with no visible ill effects to the finish.
I have since refinished that bass, but only cause i didn't like the shade of blue that it was.

I'm not saying that stickers aren't bad for the finish, just sharing my experience.
#14
Quote by Roc8995
Did you not read any of the thread? On a poly finish, sure, go nuts, but saying that stickers are not harmful at all to nitro is completely wrong.

Its a LP Studio, it doesnt have a nitro finish so what I say is still correct. Also who would want a nitro finish, just stupid.
#15
Quote by Darkdevil725
Its a LP Studio, it doesnt have a nitro finish so what I say is still correct. Also who would want a nitro finish, just stupid.


Pretty sure most if not all Gibson LP's have a nitro finish.
#16
Quote by Darkdevil725
Its a LP Studio, it doesnt have a nitro finish so what I say is still correct. Also who would want a nitro finish, just stupid.


Thanks for the experience, but I'm afraid it does have a nitro finish. Check the attached link
#17
Quote by kingnothing7718
about 10 years ago I put stickers all over my base. 4 years after that I "grew up" and decided to take them off. A razor blade and some goo gone got them off with no visible ill effects to the finish.
I have since refinished that bass, but only cause i didn't like the shade of blue that it was.

I'm not saying that stickers aren't bad for the finish, just sharing my experience.


Hmm... I'm torn. Thanks for the response!

Edit: was that a poly or nitro finish?
Last edited by Paddynbob at Apr 4, 2013,
#18
Quote by Darkdevil725
Its a LP Studio, it doesnt have a nitro finish so what I say is still correct. Also who would want a nitro finish, just stupid.

Studios have nitro - and the guitar in question actually has an even more sensitive finish than most. And apparently a lot of people like nitro.

Might want to be a bit more careful throwing the 'stupid' label around.
#19
Nobody is going to be able to tell you what will happen if you put stickers on a nitro finish, it may or may not react to the nitro. The only thing for certain is Nitro finishes have been damaged by coming into contact with certain materials. Like those guitar stands with the foam where the neck rests, those react with nitro finishes and will put a black stain on your neck. Vinyl, (stickers) also reacts to Nitro, to what extent? Who knows. There is definitely a risk of damaging the finish.