Refinishing

All finish work is carried out exclusively with restoration grade nitrocellulose paints, lacquers and sealers. They are free from modern high content plasticising additives which means they feel, look, behave and age like the classic thin skin finishes of the '50's and '60's.  We have been lucky enough over the years to have been able to match many early colours directly from vintage instruments that we have handled. There can be, as you may know, many varying shades of "standard" colours caused by fading and age yellowing. We are able to recreate this by blending paints and lacquers, or by adding tints to "colour adjust" our standard vintage paint range.

In addition to the information below, many more paintwork examples can been found in the "colours" gallery.

Aged finishes

Aged finishes are perfect for vintage restorations where it's important for the new paintwork to blend in with the overall look and condition of the rest of the instrument. They are also often chosen to replicate an old look on modern and new instruments. We don't cut corners, everything is painted "as new" before the ageing process takes place.  For an authentic look we can make the paintwork appear a little faded but with the body contact areas remaining shiny and the areas under the pickguard and fittings remaining unfaded. Choose from aged not worn, or aged with light, medium or heavy wear as shown in the photos below.

1973 Fender precision body repaired and refinished in aged not worn olympic white © 2017 Guitar Angel
Fender Telecaster, aged not worn, surf green © 2017 Guitar Angel
Jazzmaster body, aged 3 tone burst, light wear © 2017 Guitar Angel
Tele body, aged daphne blue, light wear © 2017 Guitar Angel
Tele body, aged 2 tone burst light/medium wear © 2017 Guitar Angel
1964 Fender jazz bass aged olympic white, medium wear © 2017 Guitar Angel
Fender strat, custom colour heavy wear © 2017 Guitar Angel
Aged blond heavy wear, aged tinted neck with heavy wear © 2017 Guitar Angel

'Factory Fresh' finishes

Where a brand new pristine look is requested, we can paint in a full range of authentic period or modern colours, or custom mix with either full gloss or semi gloss top-coats. As well as solid paint colours we also offer a full range of metallics which will be applied over appropriate base coats.

70's Fender precision bass refinished in piano black nitrocellulose © 2017 Guitar Angel
Fender Jazzmaster refinished in pale sonic blue nitrocellulose © 2017 Guitar Angel
Esquire in gold metallic nitrocellulose © 2017 Guitar Angel
Gibson SG custom 1971 restored and refinished in polaris white nitrocellulose © 2017 Guitar Angel
Gibson Les Paul refinished in green tinted Pelham blue nitrocellulose © 2017 Guitar Angel
Fender strat refinished in pale shell pink © 2017 Guitar Angel
42nd street R cab in Porsche montana green nitro cellulose metallic © 2017 Guitar Angel
1966 Fender telecaster custom lefthanded, dakota red refinish © 2017 Guitar Angel

Naturals, tints & 'burst finishes

Our restoration grade nitrocellulose lacquers dry clear and greatly enhance the natural woodgrain and figuring. We add apropriate tints and stains when applying single colour see thrus and 2 or 3 tone sunbursts. A full range of colours is available, with walnut and mahogany tints being an excellent choice to create that light or dark-back look often found on Les Paul models.

For neck finishes our "tobacco stain" tint is a popular choice, givng a very natural effect which is particularly good for an aged appearance. Choose from light medium or dark tint with or without gradation on the back.

Musicman blueburst nitro body refinish to match headstock © 2017 Guitar Angel
Les Paul finished in amber burst nitro cellulose © 2017 Guitar Angel
Custom Gibbocaster 3 tone nitrocellulose burst © 2017 Guitar Angel
Restored and modified Rickenbacker 330, cherry sunburst nitro © 2017 Guitar Angel
Custom Jazz body and neck, natural nitrocelluse finish © 2017 Guitar Angel
Les Paul back and neck, natural satin nitro © 2017 Guitar Angel
Mahogany tinted gloss nitro, over walnut grainfiller on mahogany © 2017 Guitar Angel
A selection necks showing various tinted finishes © 2017 Guitar Angel

Restoration paintwork, before/after examples

The following photos are in pairs and show 4 guitars, before and after restoration and refinishing.

Whether you want your guitar restored to "as new", or painted with a period correct vintage look, we are always happy to oblige and advise.

Watkins Rapier, restoration and refinish in red nitro cellulose © 2017 Guitar Angel
Watkins Rapier, restoration and refinish in red nitrocellulose © 2017 Guitar Angel
Fender Strat Japan 1989 refinish in Olympic white nitro cellulose © 2017 Guitar Angel
Fender Strat Japan 1989 refinish in Olympic white nitro cellulose © 2017 Guitar Angel
Gibson EB0 bass, 1967, full restoration and refinish in Pelham blue © 2017 Guitar Angel
Gibson EB0 bass, 1967, full restoration and refinish in Pelham blue © 2017 Guitar Angel
80's Ibanez destroyer, restoration and refinish candy apple red nitrocellulose © 2017 Guitar Angel
80's Ibanez destroyer, restoration and refinish candy apple red nitrocellulose © 2017 Guitar Angel