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Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by topherchris67, Aug 29, 2017.
any help determining how to do this on a polownia wood body tele, would be appreciated, thanks
Are you looking for the color or the 'burst effect, or both?
Either way, I would go with a tinted clear coat, and depending on the wood, I'd probably use an aniline dye on the wood first.
Looking for both. Had friend think it was dye. What colors do u think, thank you
Look up the 'big d guitars' channel on youtube. He does some stained bursts that might give you ideas on how to approach yours.
Thanks. He's put a lot of time and effort into this, received a lot of good help and instruction, would hate to blow it with the paint job
Three initial questions:
1) What wood is the body?
2) Does it have anything on it - even a sealer of some type?
3) What kind of finishing experience do you have (what types of products and methods of applications)?
The wood makes a huge difference as does any sealer on it; and some products needed to "duplicate" that are not exactly first-time DIY-friendly.
You may have to settle for "as close as I can get" - and possibly even leave out the sunburst effect.
Ask Fender about their "Photo Flame" process of years ago.
OK first that is a very straight grain on that acoustic, to get that lineal look (which is fantastic by the way) will be really hard on a Palawania body. I only used Pally on one body I got from an online retailer for a song. It was very nondescript almost like Poplar. If you can show pictures of the body you have it will help.
Secondly to get that finish you are going to need to do the following:
1) tint the grain with a dark dye to get the grain to stand out. You will need to apply the die to the entire surface and then sand the body back to natural allowing the dye to show at the grain points only. Pally is pretty good at not needing grain filler so you should be OK at that point.
2) Then you need to experiment, it looks like to me that there is a yellow on top of a red or vice versa that is giving that tobacco look. I would google some tobacco you tube finishes and see what you can find.
3) after you have the body looking good with the center like you want it, you need to mix some darker finish and spray the burst around the perimeter.
4) if you have binding it is then time to scrape and scrape and scrape the binding.
5) finish the entire body in clear
6) sand and sand and wet sand some more and buff to a shine.
my suggestions is to test, test, test. Applying the red first and then the yellow will give you a different color than the other way around. And how much you apply and how much you sand off also affects the color. It is almost like painting, you can get a good idea of what it will look like but in the end it will have a life of its own.
This guy was doing a tobacco burst on swamp ash, you might be able to take some pointers from him.
I like the concentrated tints from Stewart McDonald.
The center of this one looks like a few drops of tobacco brown and a couple drops of cherry red.
The burst is probably just tobacco.
A little experimentation on a similar color of scrap wood should get you very close.
Sorry, because of the formatting I missed the "polownia" (actually Paulownia) note.
It will be next to impossible, honestly. there are two general problems with Paulownia bodies:
1) Almost all are made with several pieces that have different grain, which make sit impossible to get normal grain effects on a consistent - even semi-semi-consistent - basis.
2) A Paulownia - even if a 1-piece - body does not have the type of contrasting grain - in depth or color - that facilitates the usual method of using tinted grain fillers, dyes and such that result in the type of grain reflected in the example (which is not a finished wood - it's a photographic transfer on a synthetic-veneered guitar top).
To know what type of stain you could use - if any would work - really requires pictures of the body. But the reality is, as far as duplicating the type of sunburst you are looking at, you simply can't get there from here.
Whatever you decide on - do not just apply materials on the guitar body. Do test applications of the *entire* system on a piece of scrap pine or fir that's about the same color (it will give you results at least in the ballpark). Never apply anything directly to the guitar that you haven't already applied - including all sealers, fillers, stain, primers, color coats, gloss coats, sanding etc.
Know pretty much what to expect before even the first product touches the guitar.
Thank you, very informative, we will absolutely try on test piece first and hope for the best
Thanks, we will try on some scrap and see what looks like what. Even if we can't mimic fully, if he gets something close, given he's built it, will probably be fine. I appreciate the help. It will be cool, it's a hsh tele, with floyd rose, 5 position switch and coil split volume and tone. Lot of time so far, don't want to screw up finish. Thanks again.
Thank you. Every bit of info is helping us narrow it down.
Thanks, thinking it'seems like dye.
This seems like good advice to me.
I haven't worked with Paulownia but I've worked with pine and have been planning a finish like that for one of mine. I'm planning a similar approach.
Pine has a problem taking stains evenly so I seal it with a water based sealer before using dyes or stains. It helps. I don't know if Paulownia has that trouble but it's worth looking into before you get started.
By the way... that guitar sounds like it's going to be awesome once it's done
That's probably the worst choice IMO. Dye will penetrate the softer spots like a sponge and the color will likely be very, very blotchy.
If you want to even get in the ballpark please post a good, focused picture of the body (you can just drag-and-drop the image into your post). Seeing the grain and color will really help figure out what migh tbe the best way to go.
Without seeing it I suggest the following VERY generally:
1. Dry sanding with 220 and then 320 - the bodies usually have glue glaze all over them that screws up colored stains and other materials -
2. Spray 2 coats of lacquer or another "sanding sealer" - NOTE: ALL spray of sealers, primers, toners, colors and gloss (or semi gloss..or satin) finishes is done by spraying 3 very light passes *per coat*
3. Dry sand lightly until smooth with 320
4. It''d be best to use a tinted paste wood filler next (NOT regular "wood filler", "wood dough" etc - "paste wood filler is a specific product)- this could get you a dark grain effect *and* provide a harder, smoother surface. This is a big advantage because Paulownia is VERY easily damaged - it's almost as soft as balsa wood. It's not hard to use but needs to be tinted with material compatible with the specific type you can get locally - and requires working fast. As I mentioned, *practice* first on a test piece - with everything! If you want go with the filler feel free to message me - I'll "talk" you through it.
5. Either way - now is stain time. A wiping stain is what will likely get you something that loosely approximates the sample. A dye is a one-way street - it penetrates and you are stuck with it. A wiping stain's depth can be controlled with a rag and compatible solvent - if it starts to go dark, you wipe to keep it from going TOO dark - ONLY if you applied the sanding sealer mentioned earlier!!!!! The advantage to the paste wood filler is that much of the darker grain is done - and nice and smooth! The wiping stain just evens things out - and the whole color-thing is critically dependent on what the body looks like to start with as far as grain (not grain *color* - soft and hard areas, because those are what create the color contrast).
The sunburst band would be done at this time, but will be next to impossible to "fade in" towards the center unless the sealer coats and paste wood filler were used.
6. Finish coats, either lacquer or polyurethane. The number would be discussed later - depends on what other materials are used among other factors. Lacquer would be wet sanded smooth (ONLY at the end, never between coats!) or simply polished if applied well; polyurethane is sometimes sanded between coats if uneven but the final coat is best left alone or just polished.
Lacquer has more odor issues and requires more coats but - with final sanding - will get you the smoothest, most consistent finish, is simple to touch up, creates one single, cohesive layer of coating (all coats melt into each other), will provide a harder protective finish with more visual "depth" and dries faster (but takes longer to fully cure) Polyurethanes are a bit simpler to apply and require less coats but can't be touched up very well, are more difficult to achieve a very smooth finish with and - depending on the product - flexibility might be too much to protect Paulownia very well.
That's just a rough proposed sequence and isn't nearly as hard as it looks!!