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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked up first year ('87) RG550 in Road Flare Red. I always dug this model but never owned one. The finish is pretty dinged up (see pics). I was thinking of refinishing it. What would that do to the value? Would I be better off just to keep it in "as is' condition. Check out a couple of options I'm kicking around for the refin and let me know what you think. Thanks!

Hood Sleeve Textile Wood Sportswear
Musical instrument Guitar String instrument accessory Musical instrument accessory Guitar accessory
White Hood Guitar Automotive design Guitar accessory
Hood Guitar Musical instrument Automotive lighting Guitar accessory
Guitar accessory String instrument accessory String instrument String instrument Hood
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think I can do a better job at matching the Road Flare Red color. The first pass dried a little darker than anticipated. I might leave a little more red and less black. Also, the finish will pop a lot better when clear coated. What do you guys think?
 

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I am always for modding a guitar to make it better for you. Sometimes guitars are inspiring not just for how they feel or sound... But looks as well. I would suggest removing the old finish though. I've refinished 3 Ibanez guitars (I am in the middle of 2 of the 3) and I removed the original finish from all of them. Otherwise the guitar gets pretty thick and it adds unwanted weight. Plus the condition of yours is begging to be brought back to glory.

The examples you show are pretty awesome. I like the red version better than the green.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would suggest removing the old finish though. I've refinished 3 Ibanez guitars (I am in the middle of 2 of the 3) and I removed the original finish from all of them. Otherwise the guitar gets pretty thick and it adds unwanted weight. Plus the condition of yours is begging to be brought back to glory.
Definitely will strip and patch it first.
The examples you show are pretty awesome. I like the red version better than the green.
Thanks! I'm with you on the red version on this one.
 

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Do whatever you want! It's just a production model RG550. If some "collector" is going to shame you for refinishing it then they should have bought it before you. This maybe an unpopular opinion, but some of the coolest looking Ibanez's I've seen are refinishes. But also, I don't give a crap about "value" as all my instruments are to be owned til death, you may be different and that will obviously affect your decision here.
 

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The 'problem' with refinishing this guitar is that the neck will still look the way it does. The contrast will be stark once you repaint it. The screws, pickguard, all that will still look relic'd. Which isn't such a bad thing, actually. Just changing out that middle pickup to having a black one will do a lot to make it look 'better' (I realize this is all opinion).

That checking in the paint is really something unique. So long as the guitar feels, plays and sounds great? I'd seriously consider leaving it alone. Plus, if you're learning how to paint a guitar, the sharp angles of the RG are going to probably be a pain in the arse to deal with. Just go watch a few videos on YT of people who tried to do it themselves. It's a great learning experience, but it doesn't always turn out in a better looking instrument.

And as far as resale goes, you probably won't get much more for it unless you truly put in the coin to get it refurbished (the body, the headstock, refinish the neck, pickguard, etc). Certainly won't recoup the price you spend on getting it done, and if you do it yourself, very likely to not increase.

Good luck in either case!
 

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Sharp edges could present a little bit of a challenge. If he's careful it will work fine. Also given the paint scheme he's going with it looks like it's not a spray on finish. It looks like either a brush on or dipping situation. Which means when the coloring is finished it will need a lot of clear so it can be leveled down flat in the end. That can't be done all at once either. The clear will have to be done in about 3-4 coats per session. If he's using lacquer for clear he'd have to wait a week between clearing sessions to give the clear a chance to gas off. Otherwise it will trap the solvent and never harden... If he's using a catalyst style clear (urethane of lacquer with an accelerant) he would be able to wait about 2 days between clearing sessions.... Some times even the next day is fine epecially with urethane. As for the neck looking worn in... I don't see that making it look bad, nor do I see the headstock being a problem. It's black, black matches everything. And the pick guard could either be replaced or polished up. Since the paint styling he's going with is a bit textures and busy it won't look too "new" to make the neck look odd IMO. It will definitely be an interesting project. I am curious what approach he will use to get the black/red coloring like his example.
 
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