I have come across an Epiphone les Paul Special II with a solid black everything to it and quite simply it is bland and distasteful.

Now from a cosmetic standpoint I love exotic woods which lead me to wonder why I could not sand down the body far enough to put a piece of rosewood/cheapest thing at woodcraft and make it look like it's worth a couple hundred bucks because I'm pretty sure that's what LTD did to my 206sm.

What types of things could go wrong in such an endeavor?
I have yet to figure out what is beneath the heavy paint used on the body (though I believe it may be plywood) but could this be a plausible solution to ugly guitars everywhere?
You've just described a veneer. It isn't normally done to a lot of cheaper guitars as an upgrade because A.) who wants to spend that kinda money on a cheapo guitar and B.) people typically don't have the skills to do it themselves.

If a guitar doesn't come with a veneer it seems silly to put one on there to me. FWIW I imagine that the LPSII probably has a basswood body at least, plywood is a bit cheap even for that guitar.
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That's a LOT of sanding to do, broski. With something like that I'd use a heat gun or chemical stripper. Definitely worth a shot, though. You could dye the wood also and make it look exotic or do a classic cherry red. That;s not hard at all. I did a heritage red on my Cort with some cheap dye and 5 coats of Tru Oil.
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According to epiphones website that model still uses Mahogany for the body. Im sure it will be multi piece. Given that model has a flat top it wouldn't be that hard to veneer. The questions that need to be answered are: Are you doing it for yourself to enjoy the process of working on the guitar and giving you experience, as well to make it look better to you, or are you doing it because you think it will add value for resale.

If you are doing it strictly to get the experience and enjoyment from the work, then go for it.

If you are doing it to try and add value, don't do it.

I have refinished and put veneers on several guitars and I enjoy the process and the outcome. I do start with guitars that carry a bit more value though, and the effort is usually also adding value vs the time and money I put in. I still end up keeping most of them though.

I you do decide to do it, take stigs advice and use a heat gun. Just be very careful with it because you can burn the wood underneath the paint. If you are going to put a veneer on then you can start with the top of the guitar and if you get a burn or two while getting the hang of it, it won't matter.

Check here: http://www.projectguitar.com/tut/veneer.htm

and there are several vids on youtube showing the process.
Quote by Fastmerc
If you are doing it strictly to get the experience and enjoyment from the work, then go for it.

If you are doing it to try and add value, don't do it.

I'm mainly doing it for experience and having a unique guitar. It's a flat top but the problem I can see happening is the electronics not being able to fit back in. In most guitars/basses I own there's a plate covering all of them but each hole is pretty isolated. And would putting veneer on the from require me to strip the paint off of the whole thing?

Many thanks for all of the replies <3
Your electronics will fit back in just fine. Just go check out the link I posted and it will show you step by step how to do it. You do one side at a time as to be able to cut your electronics holes. Veneer is only usually about 1/64" thick so its not much harder to cut than paper.

You don't have to take the paint of the back and sides, just rough it up with some 320 or 400 grit to take all the gloss off and repaint right over it, if thats what you want to do. You will most likely have to touch up the paint around the edges or do a small burst patter to feather in the edges of the veneer.
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A few comments:

Buy an orbital finishing sander to get all that gloop off it - I doubt paint stripper will do it.

Think about what kind of jig you are going to use to keep the veneer pressed flat on the body while the glue dries

Think about how you will get the edges of the veneer looking neat.

Quote by Fastmerc
Veneer is only usually about 1/64" thick so its not much harder to cut than paper.

I've never bought wood other than lumber so would requesting people at a Woodcraft to cut that thin be plausible for the types of woods they carry? I know many times they're cut to a cm but 1/64" seems quite small
You're probably much better off contacting a place that sells luthier-grade woods. They'll have much more interesting worlds to choose from, and many of them probably sell veneers on a regular basis or know who will cut wood that thickness for you.

There may also may be a luthier or lutherie class in your area that will either cut it for you and/or teach you how to D.I.Y.

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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jul 4, 2014,
Well I went out and got some 6.5"x3' lacewood veneer strips for 40$. I'll try to post some pictures if it goes well. If not I might not :P