Best Les Paul Colors – Popular Across Gibson & Epiphone Models!

Author: James Potts | Updated: | This post may contain affiliate links.

The Les Paul is a world-renowned guitar, played by guitar legends such as Slash, Jimmy Page, and Eric Clapton.

If you’re looking to buy one, you might be wondering what the best color is to suit your model. There’s plenty to choose from!

Classic Les Paul Colors

Let’s start with the classics. The famous colors of Les Pauls that spring to mind whenever someone mentions that iconic name.


The Goldtop was the first Les Paul ever released, back in 1952. Although it may not be the most popular colorway anymore, it certainly made an impression back in the day and continues to look great now.

In fact, the color was so iconic that the Les Paul standard finished in that dazzling gold soon came to be referred to as the ‘Goldtop,’ cementing the Les Paul with that color.

There’s an Epiphone Goldtop too, for those on a budget who still want to capture that classic ‘50s look.

Cherry Sunburst

The Goldtop may have reigned supreme throughout most of the ‘50s, but when the cherry sunburst model was released in 1958, it soon took over in popularity.

Sunburst is a classic colorway, available on many different guitars made by countless different companies, but none pulled it off quite as well as Gibson (and Epiphone).

In fact, the sunburst finish was so popular that it spawned various derivatives.

Vintage Sunburst

The vintage sunburst finish is a great twist on the classic cherry sunburst. Substituting the red tones near the edge of the body for a deep black adds sleek, stylish cool to the classic sunburst finish that personally, I much prefer!

Epiphone also offers this worn vintage sunburst model, which gives an aged look to the guitar that only adds to its character.

Tobacco Burst

Not quite a sunburst, but definitely of the sunburst style, the tobacco burst Les Paul has that aged and refined look that some players covet more than anything.

It is quite difficult to distinguish it from a vintage sunburst, but look at the fading color between the lightest area in the middle and the darkest area at the edge. If it’s more brown than yellow, it’s a tobacco burst!


What could possibly be chicer than all-black? Nothing, of course! Except maybe all black with a white scratchpad for contrast! Enter: the Les Paul ebony model.

Available with a black or white scratchpad, the ebony-finished Les Paul is a solid favorite among Gibson and Epiphone players alike.

Less Common Les Paul Colors

So those are the classics, but old favorites aren’t everything. Here are some of the less common and even rare colors for Les Pauls that look just as good!

Alpine White

Classy, sleek, and bright. Perfect for any player who wants to lean away from the grungy stigma and add a splash of color to their band’s line-up. The alpine white finish doesn’t come on Les Paul standards – at least not at the time of writing. But if you really desire it, you can find alpine white Gibson Les Paul Customs and Epiphone Les Paul Customs.

Faded Pelham Bluetop

With a name like that, harkening back to the classic Goldtop, you know this color is going to be cool. The Les Paul Bluetop is left natural on the back and sides, with an incredibly sleek blue finish on the front of the body.

The bluetop color design is available on Epiphone Les Pauls too, along with other shades such as metallic radio blue.

TV Yellow

Only available on this special edition Les Paul is the wonderful TV yellow finish, which is not too dissimilar from Fender’s famous butterscotch Telecaster.

Finished with a black scratchplate and hardware, it’s not hard to see why this colorway is popular in both Gibson and Epiphone models.

Sparkling Burgundy Top

Another ‘top’ style paint job, where the back and sides of the guitar body are left natural, but this time in sparkling burgundy. Reminiscent of the cherry red finish, which is now more common on the SG, this unique colorway is both dazzling and refined.

Available on Gibson models and Epiphone models too.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you got some colorful inspiration from this article! Unfortunately, Gibson isn’t known for offering as many colorways as Fender, for example, but what they do offer is definitely unique and well-suited to the Les Paul.

Of course, guitar color is not as important as build quality, materials used, or overall sound, but it does still matter! You’ll play your best if you love your instrument, so make sure you find the perfect color Les Paul for you.

And if you don’t like it, you can always do what Neil Young did, and paint a goldtop black!

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About James Potts

James is an amateur guitarist and home-recording enthusiast. He loves all things music related - writing songs, playing in a band, and finding the best ways to listen to it. It all interests him, from the history of acoustic guitars, to the latest Bluetooth headphones, to his (ever-growing) collection of vinyl records.

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