Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Making a gold pickguard

1

I'm making a pickguard out of acrylic. Before painting, should I sand the back so the paint has some tooth to stick to or paint right on the smooth plastic surface? I'll probably do a test on some scraps but would like some thoughts on how it may impact the look and durability.

2

No sanding. Just paint. Done it many times. Works great.

3

Related question - who has a good recommendation for paint to match a 1950's gold pickguard?

4

All scratches need to be removed and polished before you paint. They will show up.

5

My bud at Pickguardian told me that Rickenbacker told him that they use a particular gold auto paint. From 3M IIRC.

6

I made a gold guard for my Sorrento, It came out really well.

7

Thanks!

Next question... To pre-drill or not to pre-drill?

8

Testors Gold spray enamel. Light coats, then heavier coats. I have spent untold dollars buying gold paint. Probably in the hundreds. None of it ever looked right until I tried Testors. The others will darken when they dry or the metallic particles will float away from the plastic surface.

9

Pre-drill = no chipping. Also, give the enamel time to dry thoroughly. I was using a rustoleum metallic silver and it took a couple of days.

10

Testors Gold spray enamel. Light coats, then heavier coats. I have spent untold dollars buying gold paint. Probably in the hundreds. None of it ever looked right until I tried Testors. The others will darken when they dry or the metallic particles will float away from the plastic surface.

– JBGretschGuy

I used it in the past too. (Probably on your recommendation). I bought a can of teslors last weekend and painted up a vintage 6120 guard. It came out bronze/copper in color when it dried. Not at all like it used to be.

I just bought a can of Rustoleum aged copper satin that sprayed nice and seems to be pretty good. I painted a scrap. I will tried to take a picture.

11

I used it in the past too. (Probably on your recommendation). I bought a can of teslors last weekend and painted up a vintage 6120 guard. It came out bronze/copper in color when it dried. Not at all like it used to be.

I just bought a can of Rustoleum aged copper satin that sprayed nice and seems to be pretty good. I painted a scrap. I will tried to take a picture.

– Joe Desperado

I've still had good luck recently.

12

I never really had success with Testors’ golds. I had better luck with Krylon but now only use Mohawk lacquers available at klingsphor’s wood working shops. It drys fast. I can get three shades of gold and they carry argent silver etc. Their white and black lacquer is superior.

First coat is the critical coat. You’ll want to get a nice full even coat and let it flash dry and continue with lighter coats with couple minutes drying time between(using the lacquer cans). For golds and silver I try to get 5-6 good coats on. Hold it up to a light and see if you’ve got good coverage. Black usually a couple coats and more for white and lighter shades.

For funky colors I’ll still use krylon or rustoleum etc.

I paint the blanks then notch and drill. If you notch and drill first and are ruff with it you’ll get micro fractures/cracks that the paint can seep into. Plus its easier to tape up the blank without the notches and holes.

After the paint is dry I tape up the back with a piece of low tack transfer tape that I use with my sign making. This allows me to notch and drill without messing up the freshly painted surface.

13

Any specific version of the gold paint? Krylon and Mohawk make different versions. (I bought a version of gold but it's very dark.)

Krylon® DIY Series™ Metallic Gold Paint Krylon Gold, 11 oz Net Fill, Metallic, Rust Proof

Mohawk: M104-0109 Metallic Aerosol Antique Gold M104-0438 Metallic Aerosol Rich Pale Gold M104-0439 Metallic Aerosol Bright Gold

Mohawk

Krylon DIY Metallic Gold appears to be the lightest (closest) but it's not easy to trust the colors on-screen.

14

Bright gold and rich pale look good.

I just read the specs and it states that it’s non greening...

We’re wanting to achieve the greening effect!


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