I've been researching how to relic a guitar lately, planning for an upcoming project, when I can find the time/money. I'm planning on starting with a Squier VM Jazz V. Good bass, not a lot of $$. If it goes wrong, I can sticker the h3ll out of it.
Hit up Google, there's quite a bit of information if you're willing to dig a little for legitimate relicing info, in addition to stuff like "rub a handful of screws back and forth across the finish." (hey, if that's the look you want... )
Also google for relic images and download pictures of the relics you like.
Some of the best links I've found so far have some good tips, but how far you take it is up to you. Gtripdub touches on an important point (to me anyway): I'll want my relic to look natural, from years of playing. Dragging it behind a car will definitely beat the crap out of it, but not in the same way that playing a guitar for 40 years in smokey bars without any cleaning would, you know? Playing a guitar for that long will leave wear spots through the finish wear your arm/thumb rests, funky mojo on the fretboard, etc etc.
This one links to a Russian guitar blog, I used Google Chrome to translate. I personally think that guy took it WAY too far... there's no venue I'd play in that I'd come away with chop marks on the side like he added in the second link. Some good ideas though. How to relic your guitar step by step
Appears to be incomplete, but a good start Relicing your Guitar Pt. 1
A little more broad, touches on relicing hardware. I'd try the Coke idea first, this guy uses PCB Etchant. Why and How to Relic Your Guitar
Even the Sandberg guitars site talks about relicing a bit: Sandberg Aged Finish Sandberg aged masterpiece gallery
Check out the Rebel Relics gallery
for some nice ideas
relicing in motion: Relicing a PRS Guitar....sorry for that! (I don't think he's happy about relicing a PRS. lol)
You could just take the "I drug it behind a bike, threw it in a pile of gravel and torched it with hairspray" route (vid here
)... whatever works for you I guess! lol
Not quite the look I'd go for though.
One of my favorites from the Rebel Relic gallery. Simple and understated, looks natural.