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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

HELP WITH DYING A GUITAR

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Megadethking851, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. Megadethking851

    Megadethking851 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    24
    45
    Sep 18, 2017
    Glendale, az
    So im in the process of making a les paul, i want to dye it this time instead of painting. So in order to get a perfectly smooth glass like finish, how do i do that. I want to die it amber, so do i just dye it amber the apply a clear coat. I want to be able to see the grain of wood and not just have a flat color over it? If anyone can get back to me id appreciate it. If i grain fill it first will i still be able to see the natural wood under the dye?
     

  2. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    54
    Feb 16, 2014
    Auburn, California
    Dye it and then a thick clear coat of high gloss poly.
     

  3. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Meister

    421
    Oct 1, 2013
    Highland, IL
    To get the best, most uniform color, you have to do what the pros and factories do. Use a tinted clear to get your color. Reranch sells tinted lacquer in spray cans. If you have spray equipment, you can use trans tint dye mixed with clear lacquer to get almost any translucent color imaginable. Using dye or stain directly on the wood usually results in an uneven finish due to different areas of the wood absorbing the dye at different rates.

    About the only exception is the PRS effect. They dye the flamed maple caps pretty darn dark, then sand it back leaving an extreme contrast of dark grain to lighter wood, then they apply a tinted clear. This gives a very deep 3D effect.
     
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  4. Megadethking851

    Megadethking851 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    24
    45
    Sep 18, 2017
    Glendale, az
    Will wipe on poly work? And whats up with people saying to use a grain filler first. And i was thinking of using a black dye underneath it then sand it back. Bit i heard that once u do that and add the other color on top of it, it can smear it and make the amber get messed up. Also so if i use the poly how many coats should i put on? Thanks btw i appreciate the tips.
     

  5. Megadethking851

    Megadethking851 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    24
    45
    Sep 18, 2017
    Glendale, az
    Using the dye is there a way to put something down firat so the dye will get evenly distributed? And i just about completed my strat i did spray paint it black but underneath it i can still see the grains of wood popping out. Which i wanted that one smooth and i think i did everything right but it wouldnt get completely smooth. I just cant seem to get a glass like finish.
     

  6. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    61
    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    What kind of wood is it? ... I can't see any pictures.... post pictures of what grain you have.
     

  7. Megadethking851

    Megadethking851 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    24
    45
    Sep 18, 2017
    Glendale, az
    This is how i want to get the finish to look like.
     

    Attached Files:

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  8. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    61
    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    Does yours have a flame maple top? (and a mahogany back?)
     

  9. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Meister

    421
    Oct 1, 2013
    Highland, IL
    reranch amber with clear over it.
     
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  10. Megadethking851

    Megadethking851 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    24
    45
    Sep 18, 2017
    Glendale, az
    Yes it does have that mike simpson.
     

  11. JORear

    JORear Tele-Meister

    Age:
    43
    217
    Jun 11, 2017
    Alabama
    I haven't decided on my color yet, but i have been researching on the same subject. I have an unfinished flamed maple Tele guitar body. You can search YouTube for finishing flamed maple. There is a lot of info about it. From pencil holders to guitars.
     

  12. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    61
    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    The mahogany will need grain filled, the maple does not need it.
     
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  13. Megadethking851

    Megadethking851 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    24
    45
    Sep 18, 2017
    Glendale, az
    Ya ive actually watched that video, thats kinda why i decided to do that instead of painting i just want it to come out right. And it seems a little easier wipping it on instead of spray, plus a have a problem with dust in my garage getting in my paint job.
     

  14. Megadethking851

    Megadethking851 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    24
    45
    Sep 18, 2017
    Glendale, az
    Ok thanks mike and u think it would be best to get the mahogany rediish cover to be filled. I kinda want the back to be a dark red mahogany
     

  15. ndeli55

    ndeli55 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    33
    May 12, 2008
    oklahoma
    You can wet the wood just before applying the dye. It will help the wood from being so thirsty and the dye will go on more evenly. I usually follow the with steel wool to help manually even everything out and build a smoother finish. Then start your clear coats
     

  16. ndeli55

    ndeli55 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    33
    May 12, 2008
    oklahoma
    Fletcher guitars in YouTube just did a pretty comprehensive video not long ago
     

  17. Megadethking851

    Megadethking851 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    24
    45
    Sep 18, 2017
    Glendale, az
    Ok cool thanks, and does anybody know what type of amber that les paul is? I was kinda thinking dark vintage amber from transtint. All of the other ambers kinda look to yellowish and bright. Im kinda after the butterscotch color.
     

  18. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Send it to a professional...o_O

    Seriously, it's not easy to do. I've been doing them for about 40 years, and to get *that* finish is not as easy as dying the wood and applying clear lacquer (which is not easy in itself!).

    First thing - if it's a cheap body from Guitar Fetish, or another Chinese veneered body (and doesn't have a solid maple top - at least 1/8" thick. Veneer is *very* thin) the maple may have adhesive residue in the grain and seams. If so nothing will penetrate - not dye or stain. The adhesive is waterproof/stainproof. Some come out fine - many don't and have weird light-colored lines in the center and random other spots. They are not the same as bodies used by major guitar manufacturers, and nothing like the ones used in most "set neck" guitars.

    If you're not sure wipe the body with a bit of water and see if the penetration is even. If not and you can see spots where it's not penetrating you have to decide if it's worth the trouble or not. If you do this let it dry at least a week before doing anything to it (you'll have a LOT longer than this to work on the practice piece).

    Either way the system is the same - and pay strict attention to temperature and humidity requirements. If it's too hot/cold or too humid DO NOT coat or use other products.

    To get the grain to "pop" like that - and get it "smooth" like you want,

    Apply lacquer sanding sealer & sand lightly

    Dye the wood. Wood dyes are concentrated, so you'll need to figure out what color you need; what to reduce it with; make several practice batches to work out the strength; use part of the final batch in you're complete practice system.

    Apply tinted paste wood filler to "pop" the grain tinted in the color of the dye. If there's no color in the filler the deep grain - where the dye is - will be partially obscured by lighter material. But skip this and forget getting a "smooth" finish. It won't happen and you won't be able to get a consistent gloss.

    Sand.

    Another coat of sanding sealer & light sanding

    5-6 coats of gloss lacquer applied in 3 very light passes per coat. Usually 2 coats/day is fine. Some use a first and/or second coat of a toning lacquer like a light amber to "age" or "yellow" the overall color a bit.

    DON'T SAND BETWEEN LACQUER COATS. It'll screw everything up. You can spot-sand small runs but if you have orange peel, lumps/bumps or other defects your spray technique needs correcting!

    Should be smooth enough when done to sand with 1000 at the roughest about 4-5 days after the last coat is applied. If the finish isn't smooth enough to do that there's something wrong (most finishers just go straight the buffer)

    Important - NEVER apply a drop to your guitar until you have applied the ENTIRE system to a piece of scrap wood. If you start right away on the guitar you WILL have problems, possibly non-repairable ones. You should never apply anything until you know exactly what to expect - solve all problems *before* working on your guitar.

    All the materials you need to use take practice and experience to make look anywhere near the example you showed. Don't expect anything like that body, but you might get close. READ ALL THE INFO ON RERANCH AND EVERY PRODUCT INSTRUCTION. Skip any instructions and you're probably screwed - trust me, I've been doing it and teaching others long enough! You can get a very nice finish IF you study the materials, do a complete practice piece first and work carefully.
     

  19. bullfrogblues

    bullfrogblues Friend of Leo's

    Jun 5, 2011
    Southeast Florida
    This +1000!!
     
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  20. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    I'll add that about 75% of the "How do I fix this problem?" threads wouldn't ever exist if this was done.
     
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