How to get a creamy thin finish?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by TcsMusicman, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. TcsMusicman

    TcsMusicman TDPRI Member

    Jul 27, 2010
    Chandler, Arizona
    So I’m about to refinish an old beater. I really really love the ‘60s blonde finishes that juuuuust show the grain through the finish. So how do I achieve that same effect with an orange creamsicle color? I don’t want it to look like it’s just tinted or colored clear coats.

    Someone suggested using grain filler or dye and sanding it down to highlight the grain and then doing less color coats. Does that sound right?
  2. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    A dark grain filler will accent under a lighter color like orange.
    Are you mixing it yourself and spraying or rattle can?
    Mixing yourself : you can pretty dial in how much transparency by limiting how much pigment you use.
    Rattle cans: less coats might equal more transparency or it might not. You may have to sand to balance the end result that you want.
  3. Synapse2k

    Synapse2k Tele-Meister

    Jan 11, 2016
    Brooklyn, NY
    Fill and sand the wood. Then apply clear. Then apply the orange lacquer and clear again. To get the wood grain to show nice, you need to put clear first so the flat color doesn’t cover the grain.
  4. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 14, 2013
  5. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2007
    Glen Head, NY
    I agree with clear first, but only to make sure you have an even base for the color coat. The first coat or two will soak in unevenly and need to be sanded back. If you're mixing your own color coat, don't forget to start with some white pigment and then add some tint (either Mixol pigment or Transtint dye). If you're using pre-mixed pigments then universal tint colorants in a tube from the paint store are also an option. The white will give you enough coverage that you can get just a bit of translucency without being too weak or too strong. Use light coats and sneak up on the color coverage you're shooting for. Test panels are your friend here.

    If your beater is actually ash or another open-grained wood then you can use a dark grain filler. If it's alder or poplar then you just get what you get when you finish over it. I would not try to do anything with dye in the bare wood before finishing.
  6. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    First - go to the Reranch site and read every bit of material there is regarding basic finishing. Much of your question is answered there.

    It's not a matter of "using a dye" or a filler or whatever. It's a *process* involving several products. And it takes practice. Don't expect to get close to that kind of finish by starting work on your guitar - research the ENTIRE system, then get some scrap wood and apply the entire thing - from sealer to filler, dyes,k toners, colors, clear coats and polishing - before even starting preparation on your "real" guitar.

    Work out all the "bugs", learn how all the products interact, and get your inevitable questions answered *before* you end up starting another "can someone help me fix this problem - I screwed up my guitar" thread.:D

    It'll save you a bunch of time and money. Do it right and learn the whole process first. That will take research, not posting "how do I" questions. The information is all easily available.
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