Hey pal, I personally have no experience in doing such things but I did watch this video a long time ago of someone doing a relic job. Hopefully you can pick some tips/techniques up from it .

I personally think the video is worse than blasphemy. Makes me wanna cry. I'm not into relic-ing, but each to their own. Good luck!

^^^ that video is made by a complete moron. He doesn't do the term relicing justice. It seems to be quite harder than one may think. There isn't much information about it however.

Relic'd guitars are played by the pro's such as Slash, John Mayer, Nuno Bettencourt and many others. I think that many guitarist don't quite grasp the concept. Yes, it is a looks thing but a truly good relic can become a work of art. However, done wrongly, it looks like absolute shit.

So, please, don't just start beating and sanding your guitar. Do a lot of research and practice techniques on some spare wood that you might have before moving on to your guitar.

Personally, I have no experience relicing a guitar myself but I will sent my guitar to a company specialised in relicing guitars. Remember: not every guitar tech who knows a to solder a guitar pickup can do a relic job. It takes a completely different set of skills.

TLR; If you want to do it yourself do a lot of research and practise on spare wood. Or sent your guitar to a professional with experience in relicing in stead of some moron, which can be seen in the video above.
Hahahaha. I stand corrected! Watch the video anyway if you want to have your day ruined ever.
Quote by scorpio2billion
It's super easy. Just play it every day.

An have the look he wanted by the age of 50....

See this is another thing I cant seem to understand. Yes, aging a guitar comes naturally if you play it for 50 years. However, somebody might like the way an old guitar looks and feels but doesn't want to wait 50 years. THAT is where relicing comes in.
Send it in to a luthier if you got the money, but if you want to do it yourself, contact someone who knows how to, and ask for advice, I know some people tie a body to the back of there cars and drive at a moderate speed down a gravel road. Some people iv seen do at home jobs took there full key chains, full of keys and trinkets, and pelt the body. It left some pretty good dings. And use sandpaper with lots of grit to make an artificial belt buckle scratches.
I like beat up old guitars, because they have mojo and I don't worry about additional dings. However, I personally find the notion of relicing more than a little daft, to say nothing of being really difficult to achieve convincingly. It isn't just the body, it is also the metal parts and pickups. I would guess that the cost of high quality relicing, such as Fender use on some of their custom shop guitars, would be very more than the guitar cost in the first place.

So I would sell that one and look for a genuinely well-worn used example, maybe an old MIJ Fender.

If I wanted to do it purely as a research project into relicing the woodwork, I would treat myself to an orbital finishing sander and steel wool, and collect some nice dirty oil for treating the exposed timber.
Just be careful man and remember: Less is more!

Watch videos and plan it out. Don't just go hog-wild. Figure out what you feel like would look like a reliced guitar and put it on paper before you pick up a hammer in one hand and an XActo knife in the other.

Buy parts that you can add rather than relicing them yourself where ever possible (pickup covers, pickguard, hardware, etc).

I went about relicing a guitar a few years back and it looks absolutely terrible. I went too far and I didn't plan it out.
I'm not really into relic'd guitars, and I've only dabbled in attempting it. Having said that, relic-ing a guitar is an art and is best left to a competent professional (many so-called "pros" fail to meet this definition so be wary). Not surprisingly, true pros are less than willing to share their methods and techniques. It is also costly. If you must do it yourself, get a couple of beater guitars to practice on.
Not a fan of relic'd guitars. Honest wear through year of playing has character, mojo and vibe. Intentional relics as a fashion statement don't work for me. If you want a real one, do it the way Jimi did. Carry your guitar everywhere without a case. Play it on the street, play it in the subway, play it on the beach. It will fall over, get banged up and scraped soon enough.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Anyplace your hand or body touches is where the guitar wears so that is where you want to eat through the finish. But your body isn't abrasive so scraping the finish off with a knife or sandpaper doesn't work. You need to get a buffing wheel and use some of the buffing compound made of brown wax. This will chew through the finish but keep it shinny at the same time and add a bit of a brown, dirty, tint to everything that you buff.

There are a couple places that wear that don't come in contact with your body and this is where you might want to be a bit more aggressive and possibly take out chunks. The butt of your guitar is one place and the horns are another. If you want it to look heavily played and like its been dropped and abused then go crazy in these spots. If you want it to look well taken care of then keep these places relatively clean.

Here is one of the guitars I've done. It's a lefty guitar set up for right handed playing so the wear marks are a bit backwards and that makes it look a but funny when someone isn't actually holding it but you can see what I talked about previously. The wear on the bottom of the guitar is where my arm rubs against the instrument when I sit down and play, it would have been higher up but on this particular guitar the jack gets in the way so you have to play it Johnny Cash style which is why it's so low. The extra long warn bit on the corner of the treble bout is where the guitar hits my leg when I sit and play. Also, notice the worn pickup covers and knobs and the hint of brass showing through the chrome and the trem. You can also see that because I buffed through the paint rather than sanding everything is still shiny and polished and you can see several layers of wear instead of just having places where the paint is missing.

I guess the main thing to remember is that everything you take off dent, ding, or wear through should be done with purpose and should be something that would happen through normal everyday playing.
Not taking any online orders.
Last edited by CorduroyEW at Jun 15, 2014,
I just watched that video posted earlier. Don't do anything that guy did.
Not taking any online orders.
Quote by CaptainCadmium
Sooo... I was thinking about aging a guitar. This guitar, to be precise:


Any ideas on where to start? Is it an easy job or should I inquire about some one doing it for me?

I'm SO not a fan of relicing guitars; it just strikes me as such a girlie-girl fashion statement, like spending a lot of time working over a pair of jeans so that they look vintage. Sort of a Martha Stewart "we'll make this new chest of drawers look like a treasured antique" kind of thing.

That said, with relicing, less is more. Generally you're going for used, but not abused. But decide beforehand (and do a LOT of research) what level of use you're going for. Think about what really wears on a guitar and why it does so. You might just take it in levels, as if the guitar was actually being used. You know the paint will dull, but more in some areas (forearm area, middle section of the back of the neck) than in others. You know the plastics will discolor and get grimy, etc. There are whole websites devoted to this stuff.

One *really* interesting way to go would be to do a vinyl guitar wrap for the body that simulates heavy wear. For $35-40, you can do something that will easily fool an audience... This is an example (none of the hardware has been reliced, but what looks like SRV levels of abuse is all transit vinyl wrap. You can even mask some areas and give them a dusting of matte spray to enhance the effect.

Last edited by dspellman at Jun 15, 2014,