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

Staining Ash- New to this world

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by jayroc1, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. jayroc1

    jayroc1 TDPRI Member

    Apr 16, 2015
    Looking to do a stain on a natural ash tele body.

    What are the basic steps? What equipment do I need given I only have access to Lowes and Home Depot?

    I'd like to try and make the grains stand out by darkening them and then adding a colorful dye

    Any help is appreciated!
  2. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    Sand to 220, grain raise, re-sand 220 then 320; grain raise again re-sand 320
    If staining a color now would be a good time to do it. Then seal it in with some spray can shellac (available at both stores).
    Ash has visible pores so for a flat glass like finish you'll need to fill them. The reason you'd seal the wood before grain filling is that grain filler often has color to it and that can bleed into the wood, grain filler also has a tendency to leach color from stained wood making the filler more obvious, sealing helps prevent both of these. A dark filler can add amazing contrast in conjunction with a lighter stained color. (wood paste and other fillers sold in HD and Lowes tend to shrink, so letting them dry overnight, sanding and re-filling is not uncommon) some fillers sold at places like woodcraft are less prone to such things, Timbermate being one well used in the Tele Home Depot.
    After the filler is dry and sanded flat, re-seal. This locks in the filler and any dye or tints in the filler.
    I find hitting the sealer coats with fine synthetic steel wool helps when applying the top coats.
    If you want an easy finish to work with the rattle can lacquer from Minwax is very good. It's a great top coat that's not too far from removed the days of nitro lacquer. You can also buy it canned, and although the can says not for spraying you can thin it enough to do so. Thinner and Retarder are necessary and you are better off with good quality stuff from a paint store rather than the stuff in HD and Lowes. If you go this route you can use other products like transtint or colortone products to tint the lacquer and add or correct the color.
    You can also go with the spray can polyurethane. Tints and dyes are harder to come by for polyurethane.
    I find the lacquer more forgiving as runs and other issues are harder to hide with polyurethane.
    Something's I tend to do while adding the clear coats . . . I'll often scuff sand with 400 and later 600 after the first 5 or 6 coats. I find this helps with the end polishing and buffing, some folks disagree, I find it useful.

    Good luck!
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