View Full Version : Gold Top Finish on Mandolin

Mar-18-2004, 4:37pm
Hi. Im thinking about building a F style StewMac kit. It would be my first attempt. Does anyone know if a Goldtop finish like a les paul guitar would work. Or would it mess up the sound. I've never seen a goldtop finish done on a mandolin. Thanks, Bob

Mar-18-2004, 8:36pm
I cant imagine it would hurt the tone too much. Do you plan to mix the color with lacquer for spraying?
I would reccomend however that you start with the A style kit for your first build, it will give you a good Idea of how it is done. Also since it is your first it would save you a little scratch to buy tools which can be the most expensive part of building.

Mar-18-2004, 9:08pm
I've always wanted to have an F% with the full Gold Top treatment--butterscotch back and sides, vintage gold top, cream binding. But if you learn a little bit about how a gold top finish is created, you have to assume that there would be quite a lot of finish weight on the top. Can't be good for tone.

Jim Hilburn
Mar-18-2004, 9:38pm
A goldtop finish is done by mixing finely ground brass into lacquer and spraying it on till you have complete coverage. Then more clearcoats over that. I've seen the powder at Hobby Lobby. There are different shades, some with a greenish tint, so you want to get the real gold looking stuff.
I've not done a goldtop, but I did a candy apple red Tele, and the first step in that is to do the goldtop treatment. You then spray a coat of red stained lacquer over it, and the effect is that your looking at the gold through the red tint.

Mar-18-2004, 10:35pm
You might find it helpful to look at the Guitar Reranch website where there are some products, photos of finished projects, and a discussion about how to do the gold top finish.

Mar-22-2004, 11:42am
Thanks to all, I've been to Guitar ReRanch site and they have a spray finish with the same powder that Gibson used on their goldtop les pauls. Over the weekend I've decided to test that finish on a Yamaha Pacifica that I have.

Mar-23-2004, 4:07pm
I think that could look really cool on a mando in a matte finish. Leave it kind of rough looking. I bet it would look really cool all beat up and played on in a few years.