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

What is the easiest way to finish a pine body?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by pulpadded, Sep 11, 2014.

  1. pulpadded

    pulpadded TDPRI Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    I am lousy at painting. I purchased a tele body that needs some kind of paint or sealer. I don't even need a solid color or paint job so long as it is safe to play and looks decent.
  2. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Dec 29, 2010
    The simplest is Tru-Oil.
  3. hackworth1

    hackworth1 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

    Spray Cans of tru oil are sold at gun shops. Sand as needed down to 600 grit smooth and spray several coats of tru oil on it over the course of a couple of days. One can is enough for one body.

    Let it hang for a week. You can leave it as is or you can knock it down with fine steel wool for a satin finish. Or after the steel wool, apply scratch x and buff it out. Follow with automotive polish and buff it again.
  4. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    Bullseye shellac in an aerosol can...available at Lowes.
  5. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    Deft Satin... two coats and you're done... if ya really wanna get ambitious, give it a coat of MinWax finishing wax too...

    ron kirn
  6. teleforumnoob

    teleforumnoob Friend of Leo's

    May 25, 2010
    North Alabama
    Bulls Eye Shellac Sanding Sealer. Apply 10-15 thin coats with a lint free cloth over the course of a couple days. Let each coat dry 30min-1 between. It's nothing but dewaxed thin cut shellac.
    You'll never get pine smooth to 600 grit. I wouldn't try to go past 300 or so. If you want it smooth, put several coats of sanding sealer on, then sand back with 400 on to 600. Clean up w naphtha. Then put on a few more coats.
  7. pulpadded

    pulpadded TDPRI Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Is there any way to get a butterscotch color with these options?
  8. hackworth1

    hackworth1 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

    A quart of naptha and some clean rags are good to have on hand for removing sawdust and for general clean up in preparation to apply any finishing product.

    Use it before you apply your first coat of finish. It dries quickly. Let it dry and see if it raises the grain. If it does raise the grain, sand lightly again.

    Naptha can again be used to wipe down between coats of finish to remove dust.

    Speaking about prep work:

    Use a hard rubber sanding block on all the flats to avoid bumps or waves in the wood surface. Work your way through a series of sandpaper grits.
  9. Mojotron

    Mojotron Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 21, 2008
    If you sand a softwod - ie pine - use a stiff sanding block.

    If you are pretty confident that the sanding lines are minimal or in line with the grain, then an oil finish will work great - I recommend Minwax "Wipe on Poly" or "Antique Oil Finish" - TruOil is great but too hard for me to find - the minwax stuff can be found at True Value stores if not HD/Lowes: And the only differnce is whether polymers form prior to application or before - it ends up being very similar only either of the Minwax finishes mentioned above ends up being a little of a thinner finish in the end. All of these just wipe on with an old clean t-shirt - just get it all as even as possible, three applications for three consecutive nights - sanding only before the 2nd night's application - let it sit for a week and you are done.

    Now, if you did not want to mess with any more sanding and perhaps there are a few spots where it shows - just spray on some shellac from a spray can - again 3 coats a night , for three nights , light sanding before the 2nd nights coats and let it hang for a week... Shellac will hide minor sanding defects - but if you go with a gloss shellac try to get it as even as possible and go kind of heavy on the final coats to get rid of some of the orange peel - just be careful not to let runs develop.

    Oil is a little easier imo
  10. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    You could just not finish it. Sure, it'll end up dirty, but it will still play the same.

    Can't get much quicker than that!

    I have an archtop that's played perfectly for 2 years without any finish on the spruce top plate.
  11. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Danish Oil, hand rubbed over Oregon Pine... comes up Ok.. and it's easy to work with... I use my bare hands usually to apply it..., cleans up with turps... build up as many layers as you want over time...

    I use it on necks as well, it gets harder and shinier with use, not sticky, no drag........:)

    Attached Files:

  12. Buzzardeater

    Buzzardeater Tele-Holic

    Mar 26, 2012
  13. OpenG Capo4

    OpenG Capo4 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 4, 2010
    Athens, GA
    Sprayed on Tru Oil is really nice.


    On this guitar, I used "Golden Oak" Danish Oil to dye it, sanded in with 320 grit. Sometimes pine will get "splotchy" with dye, but with the Danish Oil you can literally sand the dye into the wood for a very even color.

    Then I sprayed it with a mixture of 2 parts lacquer thinner to 1 part Tru Oil (probably the same stuff thats in the cans) and shot it with a Preval disposable sprayer. After polishing it out I applied Johnson's paste wax to really add shine to it.

    Tru Oil is fairly forgiving, you can use hand applied coats to patch spots where you sand thru, etc. There aren't any toxic fumes (other than the solvents you might use to thin it). Best of all, its cheap and fairly easy to get. I get mine from Academy Sports, but the local gun shop carries it too.
  14. teletimetx

    teletimetx Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 25, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Depends on the pine. Leave it in full sunlight, after finishing, every chance you get. Sunlight + time = butterscotch.
  15. teleforumnoob

    teleforumnoob Friend of Leo's

    May 25, 2010
    North Alabama
    Pawlonia body w Zinzer Bulls Eye Shellac Sanding Sealer. It's darkened quite a bit over the last year.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014
  16. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    Butterscotch is a semi transparent finish... kinda like ya spilled coffee with a lotta cream in it, on a wooden table... you would see the grain subtly through the milky butterscotch color... so to do that you would apply a semi transparent white... then coat with an transparent amber lacquer... all that just moved it out of the quick 'n easy category...

    the transparent amber finishes seen above are not what is generally considered as a butterscotch finish... they are simply transparent amber.

  17. Earth

    Earth Tele-Meister

    I'm in the middle of a pine body right now, and I'm doing sanding -> colored grain filler -> sanding -> tinted stain -> minwax brush on lacquer.
  18. Bentley

    Bentley Friend of Leo's

    Jul 25, 2012
    Kelowna B.C, Canada
    For a "quicky" I've done a couple things. Brushed on some house paint for colour, sanded that roughly, then brushed on poly. Keeps water off. My 2014 challenge build was sprayed with nitro, then due to time restraints, I just put lacquer thinner on a rag and softly wiped the finish with the grain, making it smooth and satin. It's actually a really cool technique, and works really well to replace wetsanding.
  19. metecem

    metecem Friend of Leo's

    Bentley which was the build with the house paint??

    I'm thinking of trying out some milk paint when I move next year as well...
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