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This was my first time. So I went with gold over black (after some heavy sanding and then some extra heavy sanding in spots) I'm hoping this finish will wear nicely over time and if Not I won't feel bad sanding and repainting the body.

I guess I'm worried that it doesn't look quiet authentic, but that over time the wear will emphasize what I did to it. This guitar has never been in a case anywhere I've taken it because its really the only way to get authentic wear is to expose it to the elements.

Anyways, Thoughts?

Last edited by caw1 at Jun 8, 2013,
The wear looks odd because it's clear that it was done on purpose without a lot of consideration of how or why guitars get worn in the way that they do. For instance, the narrow but deep grooves are odd since that's not really how your hand would rub against the instrument. Wear that deep would have a wider pattern radiating out from it. The placement isn't very thoughtful either - why would there be wear on the bottom edge of the guitar? That's typically a place for dings and dents from being dropped or set down hard, but there wouldn't be rash or slow wear there. The elbow cut also wouldn't wear in two distinct but narrow places. You'd have more even wear across that surface. It also doesn't make a lot of sense to have wear on the outside edge of the stomach cut and on the upper horn, where there's typically no contact between the player and the instrument

Relic jobs are always really tough to do right, and especially with your first one it's really easy to just take a sander to the body without a lot of regard for where actual playing wear would show up. I hope I don't sound too critical, this is not at all bad for a first job, but I think with a little bit of practice you could really nail it. You certainly avoided the more egregious pitfalls of going nuts on the thing with a screwdriver, or just blasting the front with a belt sander.

Take some time to look at some really old beat up strats and note where the finish is damaged and how, and why. You can also take a marker and outline places where your hand touches the instrument when you're playing, and where it touches the ground when it's set down. Then you can sand around there and get a more realistic outline that will complement the natural wear if you decide to keep it for a while.
I completely agree with Roc, the wear doesn't look natural in the slightest and very little of it is located in the right places. It's a valiant attempt though, but personally I wouldn't have used a desireable Strat for my first attempt when there are $50 Squiers all over the place
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
2003 Gibson Flying V w/ Moon Inlay
2006 Fender All-American Partscaster
SVK ELP-C500 Custom

1964 Fender Vibro Champ
1989 Peavey VTM60

[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
+1 to Roc's post

It looks too planed and not a normal wear pattern at all.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
That's for the feed back.

So its back to square one, and you see what I kinda want it to look like. Gold over black for sure. I guess as I was doing it I was trying to sand in a way that would allow the gold to scratch off into the black then into the wood over time, I didint want to sand the whole spot where my wrist/are rest cause i though it would look way to fake. I did the edges in a way that i thought it would look like it had been rested against anything and every thing in just a few spots.

I thought the back looked more authentic than the front, so now how do I go about fixing this? What wear really can be forged with out looking like it.


Maybe now that it looks like this I can try to relic from here. Looking at photos of relic strats from google it looks like I just need to do some sanding work and file the edges to get that beat up look.
Last edited by caw1 at Jun 8, 2013,
I don't really get the whole relic thing, and that video gives me the heebeejeebees, but I guess I can appreciate the skill and thought that goes into it. As such, caw1, I'm not sure what you have now is a reasonable place to start as it already has simulated wear in places that don't really naturally wear. Maybe you can pull it off though.

However, I would like to commend everyone who's posted in this thread so far for avoiding the dreadful "ing" word.
The body wear still doesn't look right

Something else, the hardware and pickguard are too new looking. Together with the mediocre relicing it just looks all wrong. I'm not trying to come off as harsh, just some criticism . I can definitely appreciate the effort in doing this type of refinish though

I've had good luck using a random orbital sander in relicing rustic furniture, especially along edges and contours. It feathers nicely into the existing finish instead of hard, distinct finish/no finish lines. It looks wayyyyy more authentic, as if it was worn in that way.
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
2003 Gibson Flying V w/ Moon Inlay
2006 Fender All-American Partscaster
SVK ELP-C500 Custom

1964 Fender Vibro Champ
1989 Peavey VTM60

[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
Last edited by Flux'D at Jun 18, 2013,
Quote by Flux'D
The body wear still doesn't look right

Something else, the hardware and pickguard are too new looking. Together with the mediocre relicing...
D'oh! It was going so well, too. In English, "~cing" is pronounced the same as "sing". You need a 'K' in there.

Have to agree with everything else though. Sorry, caw1.
I think if you want it to look geniunely aged then you have no option but to start again. I think you've applied the techniques really well, they just don't really match up with natural wear.
If you just want it to look beat up, and you're happy with how it looks now, then you can call it finished.
At the end of the day, the only person you really need to please is yourself.
(Unless you're doing comission work, of course.)
The finish doesn't tend to wear away on the top horn like that, that part of the guitar is generally untouched. I have a Road Worn with extra relicking from a previous owner and he wore away the same spot and I can't figure out what type of technique someone would have to wear that part of the guitar so much.

Gibson 2005 Les Paul Standard
Fender Road Worn Strat w/ Noiseless pickups
Marshall JCM 2000 401C
Marshall Vintage Modern 2266
Marshall 1960A cab (Dave Hill from Slade's old cab)
Ibanez TS9DX
EHX Little Big Muff
Freshman Acoustic

Look thru google images. while my two wear spots on the body are a little goofy the rest is close and similar to the wear alot of other relic guitars have. Some of those where the whole body is down to nearly the wood seem more fake than mine.

also. the damage above the pick guard on almost EVERY strat ive seen looks fake. I get thats where the pick would wear things down but some of them are sanded nearly to the wood half way across the body.

I want mine to look well played, not stripped down to the wood to look played.
this looks fake to me as well, all the wear on the inside of the neck pockets... most real guitars never get worn to the wood there. http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l4wkx76k9d1qaqkvpo1_500.jpg