Last week I showed you how to achieve a brushed metal look using a Scotch Brite pad and a non-plated pickup cover. Next, we will hand polish a raw unplated pickup cover and then make it look like an aged pickup cover with faux string lines.
First, you will need a metal polishing compound and some old rags. Any brand metal polishing compound will work fine. You can use the metal polish impregnated cloth called “Miracle Cloth”. This is what I used to achieve the look you see here. It works great for polishing frets too. One warning about metal polish….don’t use it to polish any gold-plated parts. It can strip the gold plating off very fast!
PLEASE READ: We recommend you wear protective gloves while working with unplated pickup covers. The bottom edge can be very sharp and can easily cut your finger. Filing the bottom edge smooth before you start work is also an option.
We will begin by applying a small amount of metal polish to the rag and rubbing it into the surface of the pickup cover. Use circular motions until you have covered the entire surface. Periodically, wipe off the polishing compound to see how you are progressing. If you are happy with the result, you can continue buffing until the pickup cover is bright and shiny. Use a new cloth or a different area of the cloth when doing the final polish.
Now that we have a nice hand polished pickup cover, lets add an aged look with faux string lines. You will need some painter’s masking tape cut into very thin 1/32″ strips and some very fine grit Micro Mesh soft touch sanding pads. The three highest grits (6000, 8000, and 12000) will work best because you only want very light marks.
1. Lay out the thin strips of painters tape over the screw holes to simulate the string location and then trim the extra tape. Applying some pressure on the tape will help keep it in place during the sanding process.
2, Sand lightly with Micro Mesh soft touch sanding pad. It will take some experimenting to get the right look. Try pressing the sanding pad into the edge of each piece of tape. This will help emphasize the string line.
3. To help soften the look, I like to rub the front of the pickup cover on an old piece of carpeting. Here I am rubbing the pickup cover on the carpet on my workbench.
4. OK…it’s all done. This is not my best work but you get the idea. The nice thing about working with unplated pickup covers is you can easily re-polish the cover and start over if you don’t like the results!
If you have any questions you can send us an email at support.