How to recreate a guitar cabinet tolex

Restore Tolex

  • Hi everyone,

    I don't quite know whether my question is correct here, but just ask it.

    I shot a 66-68 AC30 on Ebay a few months ago. Very cool, but not in its original condition. Someone had tried to paint the jet black beforehand. Now I have this black color on the Tolex, whereby the original color can be seen in some places. Now my question is ... what do I do with it? Can I "wash" the paint down without attacking the Tolex or should I tape it all over again (although I would rather leave it that way). Does anyone have a hint?

    Greetings Meik
  • Hello Meik,

    is the Tolex made of fabric or plastic (like artificial leather)?

    The predecessor used acrylic lacquer for plastic Tolex, as any form of solvent additive in the lacquer would have damaged or attacked the surface of the Tolex material.

    You can't do anything with acrylic varnish, it can't be removed chemically at all.

    If it is a water-soluble paint, you can rub it off with a damp cloth using moderate pressure.

    With solvent-based paints, you can try to loosen the paint in an inconspicuous place with a brush and either a universal thinner or a brush cleaner and wipe it off with a dry cloth.
    It is important not to use too much solvent and see what happens to the Tolex surface.

    If that doesn't work, you can either apply a new, neat paint job with acrylic varnish, or just cover the amp with new Tolex.

    Greetings Thomas
  • Hello,

    I would leave it as original as possible.

    Ev. you can wash it off with solvent (acetone), but I don't know whether it attacks the Tolex, just try it out. Or maybe you can even do it with a scouring pad. Try it too.


  • Thanks for the answers!
    So that's plastic tolex ... I'm quite sure of that. I tried to do something with water without much success. On the piping (which is also painted over) it peeled in parts and went down with vigorous scrubbing (scouring pad). With the rest I don't see much, maybe it's also because of the black on black :-D ... I'll try carefully with thinner or something similar ... if it doesn't really work ... I'll leave it like that ? Do I have to think again ...

    Thanks again!

    Greetings Meik
  • So many plastics quickly become milky with acetone, should be similar to Tolex, so be careful. Maybe you really prefer to try something mild and a firm sponge first, e.g. the green side of these pot sponges. Will take forever, have fun ...

    mfg, Immo
  • Hello,

    I would be careful with solvents or ketones at first.
    As already mentioned, there is a risk that the solvent will dissolve the synthetic leather.

    I would start with simple resources and slowly increase;
    - Hot water with pril
    - slightly diluted alcohol solution
    - pure alcohol
    - slightly diluted ketone solution
    - pure ketone

  • Thanks for all the replies,

    So ... with soft things (water with Pril, alcohol etc.) unfortunately nothing works ... I'll try ketone in a not so visible place ... if that doesn't have the desired effect, let's see. But what is your opinion if the color does not get off (also in terms of value, even if I want to sell the games and not): have it painted in an unattractive way, repainted or new Tolex?

    Greetings Meik
  • Hello,

    if you don't mind I would leave it that way.
    Because if you play the thing, mosquitoes come in anyway, so that a new cover looks used again relatively soon.

    Apart from that, moving (or leaving) a new one is also not very cheap.

  • Anywhere where the Tolex wasn't 100% perfect before painting would probably leave traces anyway ...
    If the box is sold again, I would leave it that way for now. Maybe someone can think of something very perfect ...
    If you are sure that you will keep it up to the coffin, make it beautiful as you like - if you reduce the value, it will only scratch your heirs.
  • Hi folks,

    for something like that I use leather spray (is from A.T.U.) I used it to paint the dashboard of my 944 and also refreshed Tolex. Looks like new and runs like clockwork.

    Greetings Hilmar