metallic grain filler options?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by norumba, Sep 3, 2016.

  1. norumba

    norumba Tele-Meister

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    Starting my second DIY build and have been combing this forum and others for ideas and to refire the neurons about finishing...

    i had reasonable success with shellac and danish oil for my ash/wenge project a few years back (shellac on the ash, oil on the wenge).

    This time the body is all Swamp ash -- hasnt arrived yet, but im reading /prepping in the meantime.

    Planning on adopting a very similar method to Telegraph's fabulous thread here http://www.tdpri.com/threads/swamp-ash-grain-fill-with-dye-tutorial.371080/ (so useful it should be a sticky!) , but am reversing the contrast and trying a quasi "dog hair" /Silver Fox finish approach: Aiming for a gloss-y black with silver /metallic in the deep grain contrast.

    Thought about using a Wudtone kit, as they seem to have this idea already configured, but I'm interested in a more home -grown approach, lol

    Thsi thread here was helpful -- http://www.tdpri.com/threads/silver-fox-finish-how-do-they-do-it.320296/ and I've been looking at several other grain filler threads, but there doesnt seem to be a lot of resources on how to acheive a metallic grain filler.

    So I did some digging, and here's what I'm finding for options -- would love to get opinions and any experience:

    Jimmy Clewes Metallic Cream Filler per the page,
    "

    • Often referred to as gilt creams, these metallic cream fillers are typically used as a grain filler or surface embellishment that adds beauty and contrast to wood.

      Real metallic and mica pigments in these cream fillers provide brighter, long lasting colors with excellent lightfast properties. The silky smooth texture also makes application and buffing easy.

      While they can be used alone, spectacular results can also be achieved by using more than one color over top of another for a layering effect. Solid colors are semi transparent and can be used alone for a pastel appearance or in conjunction with metallic creams.

      If for any reason you don’t like the way an application looks, you can start over by removing the cream filler using a rag saturated in Danish Oil.

      Jimmy Clewes Metallic Cream Fillers are compatible with most types of top coats. A top coat of quality sanding sealer such as Deft is highly recommended prior to finishing with a lacquer finish of your choice.

      If a cream dries out, you can reanimate it by mixing in a small of mineral spirits. Non-hazardous, these cream fillers can be shipped via Air or Ground.

    not sure what this is exactly made of and wondering about its efficacy as a grain filler for something as cavernous as ash...planning on sealing with Zinsser clearcoat before /after and using Fiebrings leather dye for the black. Anyone use this, or can think of any compatibility issues?

    Mica pigment powder This seems intriguing as a tint or mix if Im using drywall compound for the grain filler. Seems like it plays well with alcohol or water based layers. Thoughts?

    Metallic plasters There are some threads out there on other woodworking pages-- not many -- on using plaster as grain filler. Not sure how plaster as grain filler works on guitars, or if so, if these metallic plasters are chemically different from Plaster Of Paris. But its an intriguing idea.

    A couple of options:

    pearl paste "Pearl Pastes are acrylic water based pearlescent metallic plasters which offer limitless design possibilities. As a result of their relative high viscosity, these products are typically applied with a trowel and have exceptional tolling strength, which enable the achievement of rich lustrous pearlescent textures and patterns. Pearl Paste is available in 13 colors including blue, coffee, ruby, violet, blue & gold plasters."

    portofino "Portofino is an elegant, shimmering, pearlescent coating which is typically applied with a stainless venetian style trowel."​

    CRB Pearl Metallic Powder Marbling Pigment
    this is used to color epoxy for fishing rod finishes... if one was to grain fill with ZPoxy this might be the way to do it, but im leaning towards the dry wall compound approach or maybe plaster.

    would love to hear pros and cons or observations on these options from the experts!
     
  2. sleazy pot pie

    sleazy pot pie Tele-Holic

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    I am interested in what you come up with. I have the same idea, but gold instead of silver.
     
  3. norumba

    norumba Tele-Meister

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    I'd do gold as well, that's my aesthetic preference. Gold and black or gold and emerald green would be stunning. But that calls for gold hardware all the way around and this unit will have a Bigsby... and gold Bisgbys are pricey.

    I'm leaning toward the pigment powder + drywall or clear filler, in the absence of anyone chiming in on this thread. It seems the most stable and versatile option. Research is giving mixed results for plaster as a filler, and while the gilt creams look amazing and claim to be grain fillers theres no telling how they'll react chemically to various stains, dyes,
    sealers, topcoats. The creams do give the impression of what they'll look like when done, while the powders will take some experimentation and
    testing.
     
  4. sleazy pot pie

    sleazy pot pie Tele-Holic

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    There is a cool video online of a wood turner making a bowl. He then uses shoe polish and rub n buff to finish it.
    I believe his name is russ farney and the video is called finishing secrets. Its on the second video of a two parter. I just dont know how to post it here.
     
  5. Kennedycaster

    Kennedycaster Tele-Afflicted

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    Silver bronzing powder mixed into grainfiller. Simple.

    This image is the gold, but they do indeed sell silver.....
    [​IMG]

    Bob
     
  6. sleazy pot pie

    sleazy pot pie Tele-Holic

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    Couple of questions about the bronzing powder.
    Could that just be mixed with white or neutral timber mate?
    Is that the same stuff used in the gold top finish? Would it oxidize green like some of the old goldtop les pauls?

    If i wanted to have a black finish on ash and use the bronze mixed into a grain filler, what would be the best way to approach the black?
    Would it be better to dye the ash black, then seal it, then grain fill, seal, clear coat? Or would it be better to seal the body, paint it black with a lacquer, seal again, grain fill, seal, clear
    Just not clear on the order or the best way to get lots of the gold filler in the grain.

    I would think using a brass bristled brush with the grain to deapen the pores followed by level sanding?
    Sorry for hijacking your thread here.
     
  7. norumba

    norumba Tele-Meister

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    Hi bob,
    thanks for sharing...one more option to consider. Have you used this, and what was the result?
     
  8. Kennedycaster

    Kennedycaster Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, I used bronzing powders for furniture restoration & refinishing. I have mixed them into grainfiller as well, but don't rule out just using white. It'll look nearly the same in the end. The bronzing powder will have a slight shimmer in the light, but it's very subtle because the surface area of open grain is so small, even on ash or oak.

    Bob
     
  9. norumba

    norumba Tele-Meister

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    Heres my proposed schedule and strategy for this.

    I'm borrowing heavily from Telegraph's excellent thread here http://www.tdpri.com/threads/swamp-ash-grain-fill-with-dye-tutorial.371080/ ,
    with a few mods in the later stages.

    1. sand the raw body to 220.

    2. Dampen with water, let dry, to raise the grain. Sand to remove the raised grain. Repeat as necessary (probably a total of two or three times).

    Everything I've researched points to this as a crucial part, because, as Telegraph says in the thread I referenced above, "any dye you apply directly to the wood is going to raise the grain. You can’t really sand the dyed surface, so you want to be sure there’s no grain left to raise by the time you get to the dye stage."

    3. Die black.. probably two passes, a day apart. Will probably use Fiebrings leather dye, unless someone can tell me chemically not to depending on what i use in the later stages

    4. Zinsser clearcoat sealer ( i love shellac). 2 coats, about 1/2 hour apart, dry over night, repeat.

    This needs to happen at this stage,as there needs to be a barrier between the die and the tinted grain filler.

    While this follows Telegraph's thread, he's using black for the contrast, while sleazy and I are reversing that scheme. Still, the principle applies, and seems to work well in these two woodworking videos, who also went with black finish and light contrast. He also used Zinsser as the barrrier in between:

    5. The tinted grain filler. Many threads here on how to do this. Which filler and how to tint still remains the mystery and the main point of this thread. Repeat application as needed.

    6. Zinsser clearcoat sealer ( again).

    7. clear coat I dont have the work space nor the technique to spray, so I will hand clear coat with either tru oil or shellac (French polish). Havent decided on that yet.

    make sense to everybody?
     
  10. norumba

    norumba Tele-Meister

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    thnaks, that's helpful :). what kind of grain filler did you use, and about what was your proportion for the mix?
     
  11. Kennedycaster

    Kennedycaster Tele-Afflicted

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    Mohawk grainfiller. I don't measure, I just add a little at a time until it looks right.
     
  12. rootvalue

    rootvalue TDPRI Member

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    I'm planning a black-tinted grain on a white body (like a high contrast transparent white) and following very similar steps to yours & Telegraphs, but unsure on what to use to fill the grain as I'll be going for an open pore finish, like Gibson Faded Specials.

    What's even more coincidental is I'm debating adding either white metallic flake to the main color coats or black metallic flake to the grains. Small world!

    I did pick up white and black metallic flake from Didspade http://www.didspade.com/ for dirt cheap. You can add them to your clear coats or your stain/dye. You can spray the micro flakes mixed with a clear or tinted clear coat, which is what I'll be trying. I'll be doing several test pieces to try out all the options and I'll let you know how it turns out. Excited to follow your thread!
     
  13. norumba

    norumba Tele-Meister

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    Hi Root Value,
    In the Woodworking Source videos in my post # 9 , he doesnt use grain filler for the light color contrast but I'm not sure why he chose not to grain fill . I did post on those, I'll be curious as to his response..
     
  14. rootvalue

    rootvalue TDPRI Member

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    Loved the video and read through the article. It's your choice to grain fill. Adding the metallic flakes will likely be easier that way anyway!
     
  15. norumba

    norumba Tele-Meister

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    So I sanded, stained, did the clear coat and just sanded that back. The shellac clear coat got a little heavy handed but I didn't sweat it too much as I knew it would be sanded back.
    A couple of spots I'm getting to the dye so I stopped there. Its not sanded through but I can tell it's lighter and I'm getting black on the sandpaper. Also had a few shellac runs on the sides and sanding those even definitely puts me to the dye. Hate that end grain:(
    Debating now whether to touch up those spots with the dye and reseal ( or not reseal) before I grain fill. Thoughts anyone?[​IMG][​IMG]
     
  16. norumba

    norumba Tele-Meister

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    I went ahead and sanded a little more just to get the sealer coat more even then rested the lighter spots. Will reseal with a lighter touch, Sand back and grain fill.
     
  17. norumba

    norumba Tele-Meister

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    After one session of grain fill and sanded back. Its a little less subtle than I imagined - I thought I d have more black- but those open streaks are wide and numerous...

    It feels pretty even and I have no issues of starting the clear final finish at this stage. I'm afraid another round of grain fill will make it even more silvery. Another option would be to do a seal coat to lock in the silver grain fill and re dye the black, but instinct tells me to quit while I'm ahead.[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016
  18. sleazy pot pie

    sleazy pot pie Tele-Holic

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    That is going to look great. It has a great weathered look. I think you have the right idea.
    Are you going to go gloss or satin? I guess you could hust start with the clear and see.how you like it and either polish it or leave it dull.
    Please keep posting pictures.

    I have a couple of questions.
    Did you hit it with a wire brush to deepen the pores?
    Do you think the pores still have enough room that if you came back sealed it and then tried to put another color grain filler on top tjat the deeper pores would take more filler? Like if you decided to put some red grain filler down?
     
  19. norumba

    norumba Tele-Meister

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    Thanks! Wasnt going for a weathered look but I think sanded off some dye when I was sanding off the sealer coat between dye and grain fill.
    No wire brush, those are the pores it came with!
    I'm going to french polish with shellac to a gloss... Hopefully that will brink back a little more of the black that went grey on the sandback.
    On a close-up...see pic... it looks like another round of grain fill wouldn't kill it, but If I do I think I'll stick with the color combo I have... But yes, at this stage there's enough depth to add another shade if I wanted.[​IMG]
     
  20. sleazy pot pie

    sleazy pot pie Tele-Holic

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    So you died the body black. I missed that part.
    I still want to do like you are but with gold.
    I am refinishing a bidy now with modern masters bronze paint. My plan was to use a thin coat of shellac and then black milk paint, but the shellac is starting to look good and i dont know if i want to cover it up now. It is water based and i think i could thin it down enough to use it as a grain filler on a sealed body.
    But i also really like the finishes Palir guitars does. It looks like he does multiple colors of grain filler .
    Seeing your body makes me want to try both.
    Keep us posted on your progress.
     
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