Hi, I have an old Gio Ibanez GAX30, which was my first guitar. I can't sell it so I thought I would just make it a bit better so I can actually use it. It's not my go-to guitar, so I don't need too many changes to be made. Basically all I want is to make it look cooler(see ideas below) and I want to make a few hardware and setup changes.

1.) Ok, so this guitar will be my down a whole step guitar. So do I need to make any changes so it better suits the heavier strings I'll use on this? If I do, what needs to be done and how will I do it?
2.) Is it possible to get a tremolo bridge on this guitar? It has a string-thru body bridge at the moment. I don't need the trem but it would be cool, so if it requires lots of work and money then I'll just keep the current bridge.
3.) Replace tone and volume controls, can they be bought loose? And How are they attached?

Appearance changes ideas:
1.) Cool design on the pickguard.
2.) Maybe repaint, if it will be expensive and will take a long time then don't bother.
3.) Scratch off the Gio logo
4.) Finally, I want to give it an aged/roadworn look. How can I do this?

Any other suggestions and ideas on making this guitar look cooler are welcome.
1. You might need to cut the nut slightly, but you'll probably be okay. You might need to adjust the action and neck relief. Just get the strings on and tuned up, then see how it is - hopefully the combination of heavier gauge and lower tuning will balance out.

2. It's possible, but you'd need to route the body and might need to shim the neck. The easiest option would be a Strat style bridge. A Floyd Rose would be hard work with the routing and locking nut. IMHO, it's not worth it.

3. Volume and tone pots and knobs are available here, there and everywhere. Fancy metal knobs usually come as singles, and you can often buy plastic ones as a set. Get yourself to eBay and have a gander. Some fasten with grub screws, others just push on (and off).
I would try to replace all the wires for the knobs as well as the pots if you are feeling ambitious. Maybe 20 bucks in parts and some soldering.
Forget about the trem bridge. Too much work.

The nice thing about a pickguard is that you can take it off and paint it however you want.

I've painted a few bodies in my day. You will need a few cans of whatever paint you want to use, spray paint. And a couple cans of clearcoat. Aging it is probably the easiest thing to do. Just sand down the finish in places like the edges and where your arm sits on the body, beat the back of it a little for some manufactured buckle-rash etc.
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