Dark patches on 2012 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe

ReaGeorgeReaGeorge Posts: 119Member
edited August 2016 in Guitar Chat
Hey Guys So I bought a new 2012 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe around the end of last year. Around the time I bought it things were quite busy for me and I didn't have much time to do any serious playing, but over the past few months I've been full on again and I started noticing that the finish around where my arm rests has started to darken, as well as that a kind of thumb shaped darker patch has appeared just above the pickup area (even though I really don't rest my hand there at all while I play).  I just wanted to see if anyone has experience with how the finish on Les Pauls wears, if this is normal, if there's anything I can do to reverse it. I did recently buy the Gibson polish kit so I've started wiping it down after I use it which I'm hoping will stop it from getting any worse. Any experience or advise appreciated. Thanks, RÉa.  


  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Posts: 355Member

    That's absolutely normal for a goldtop - if you look at pictures of the old 50's ones a lot are far worse by now.


    I'm a little surprised yours has gone so quickly though. Presumably you have a nice thin finish combined with plenty of sweat!

  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,035Member, Moderator

    After 60 years you'd expect deterioration, but after 2. Seems a bit sudden. Must be real corrosive sweat Rea!

  • ReaGeorgeReaGeorge Posts: 119Member
    Well as I said I only got it end of last year and started REALLY playing it about 6/7 months ago, I do play it allot though so....

    Anyways I guess I just have to pay more attention to cleaning it every day when I'm finished and just accept what's done already...
  • Graham GeorgeGraham George Posts: 496Member

    Réa Hi,

    I agree with the previous comments, but have a question about the marks.


    Are they ON the surface, or is the surface missing?


    The older models used to go green in colour when eroded by sweat. It was the copper content in the bronze particles suspended in the lacquer that turned it green.


    The modern finish is gold colored mica chips suspended in the finish, so they don't corrode as they did before.


    This however appears from the photos to be black? I would say that it also appears as if it were from black clothes/ or similar? Possibly even from a black interior of the guitar case?


    Is there a spot on the back of the body where you have the same problem? where you can do a tiny test?


    In the past, on modern instruments like yours, I've removed similar marks using very fine quality silver-plate ware polish.


    Placing a drop onto a clean lint-free cotton cloth, spreading the fluid into the cloth with my finger, so as not to leave in on the surface of the cloth, then rubbing the mark in small circular movements but with absolutely NO pressure on the cloth!


    If it's on the surface, this delicate abrasive will remove it from the surface.


    Of course after so little time, to have this problem, I would certainly contact your dealer first for a comment on what might be happening.


    Just my simple thoughts on your problem, and yes, cleaning an instrument all of the time, helps too!  

  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 912Member

    It's the copper in the 'gold' finish reacting.


    A cross link to an old gold top belonging to Snowy White




    plenty of dark green there.


    And this



    google Tom Wittrock images for more on this one, it almost looks black, but he's a collector and officianado and claims his 57 gold top is 'the one'.


    It would be nice if they stayed pristine but they are tools to be used. Wipe down with a soft lint free cloth after use to get the sweat off, otherwise just enjoy the thing.



  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,139Member


    This is what a nicely worn LP should look like. Snowy White's looks as though it has been neglected. 


    Yours looks great, btw, Rea - though I'm concerned at  the rate and earliness of the wear. 

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member

    Hi Rea,


    OK, no one else has brought it up so I'll ask the question.  Did you buy it from an authorised Gibson retailer?  If so ignore this comment, but there's a whole raft of fakes floating around. 


    Cheers, Reg.

  • ReaGeorgeReaGeorge Posts: 119Member
    In reply to Graham

    It's kind of hard to tell where the wear is.. As you can see it's not really on top of the lacquer as its not present on the binding, at the same time it doesn't feel as if the lacquer has been worn away, there's no difference in hight noticeable to the touch.

    I might carefully give your suggestion a go at some point though.

    And Reg

    I'm pretty certain it's real image
    Got it from Hortnoll Guitars has legit electronics and such, certificate of factory checks before shipment, plays and sounds great! nothing to suggest it's a fake image
  • ReaGeorgeReaGeorge Posts: 119Member

    Just recorded a bit of my playing, so here's what my setup's sounding like at the moment image 





  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member

    Well, you and it are sounding good, irrespective of what is happening to the finish.


    Cheers, Reg.

  • Graham GeorgeGraham George Posts: 496Member

    A little Benson inspired improv' like it Réa . . !

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