Rusty pickup poles! If you buy used guitars, you see this a lot. There are ways to remove the rust, but getting the plating back on is a different matter.

So, what to do? Why, lipstick, of course! Rather, the guitar version of lipstick, which is pickup covers!

Rusty pickups with cover shown for contrast

Removing Pickup Pole Rust

Before we get to the pickup covers, let’s do something about the rust. I wiped on a bit of naval jelly (available at Home Depot, Ace Hardware and Amazon, etc.), let it set for a few minutes, then wiped off with a paper towel, then a little bit of WD40 wiped on, then off – to slow down future corrosion.

Installing Pickup Covers

Guitar ready to play with pickup covers

You can buy pickup covers online pretty cheaply. You’ll find the type with threaded holes for the height adjustment screws, and the type that just slips over the pickups.

In this case (and most cases), we’ll get the slip-over type. Be sure that the pickup fits all the way up into the cover because we don’t want to have any space between the pickup poles and the top of the cover.

I used hot glue around the edges, so that the pickup and cover are now one unit. Looks much better, eh?