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Black on black finish, how?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by SammyC, Sep 13, 2020.

  1. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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    So this will show my wood working inexperience, but for my current build I want to try to achieve a strong black stain but where you can still see the grain lines.

    I don't really mind how they are emphasized, as long as you can see them.

    The finish I had thought about is grain filling, sanding it back to smooth, staining the wood to black, and then clear coating somehow. I'm assuming the black stain will show up the grain fill rather than hide it?

    The things I'm not sure about are what to grain fill with and what to clear coat with. The restrictions I have though is that the process has to be reasonably home friendly so nitro is out. I had thought about zpoxy for the top coat?

    Thoughts, ideas, suggestions?
     
  2. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm no finish expert. But there are a few ways to do this, depending on how you want the grain enhanced. One method would be to stain black first. Then wipe stain another color on and wipe it off fast. This will leave the new color in the deep grain only. You could make this second color a dark (or light!) grey so it shows offset against the black first coat. There are many effects yo can do this way. Got a pic of what you want to achieve maybe?
     
  3. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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    The black stain I have is the Crimson Guitars water based stain. It's a nice black but it doesn't penetrate very far and doesn't sit into the grain pores at all, I'll see if I can get a photo of what I mean. So I think I'll need to grain fill first.
     
  4. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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    This is what I mean:

    The stain just doesn't seem to sink in much, so I am wondering about grain filling first with a black product, sanding back, and then staining.

    But I don't know if that is the correct way to do it or what products I should try.

    I have lots of scraps of the wood to try on though
     
  5. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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    In terms of desired end look, I'm not fixed on any one idea.

    I had been trying to grain fill with gold rub'n'buff but it was very hard to get a reasonable result and most oil based top coats just seemed to lift up the gold and smear it around.

    So I'm happy with subtle and I'm happy with unsubtle!
     
  6. tweeet

    tweeet Tele-Afflicted

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    like similar to this ??


    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would grain fill with a black dye filler, sand smooth, and then stain with a slightly lighter stain than full black.

    The reason is when you shoot your clearcoat, it will darken whatever it lands on and it will remain darker after the clear cures.

    If you've ever witnessed a wet t-shirt contest (I certainly hope you have), you know exactly what I'm talking about :twisted:
     
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  8. Lake Placid Blue

    Lake Placid Blue Poster Extraordinaire

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    I like that!
     
  9. Laren

    Laren Tele-Meister

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    LIBERON CONCENTRATED WOOD DYE BLACK works really well mixed with grain filler, you don't. need much either then, after sanding back I reckon the Crimsons black stain would go well.

    I used it followed by. crimson purple on this,

    55042A27-6C5C-456E-AD42-70DA00CB2214.jpeg
     
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  10. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    My only experience with black is using india ink to dye fretboards. This really sounds like a case where you need to experiment on scraps of your wood until you have the process nailed.

    What I will comment on is your comment in the first post about using Zpoxy as your finish coat. I am the big advocate of zpoxy but that is not what I would use if for. It is wiped or squeegied on and will not be at all smooth. It can be sanded back but will be very hard to level. It also has an amber tint which might not look good with your black. Because of the amber I would not use it for pore filling either, but I can't tell you what I would use.
     
  11. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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    Yep, both of those is the effect I'm wanting to create!

    @Freeman Keller ok, good to know, thanks

    @Laren what did you top coat it with?
     
  12. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    Black stain, clear coat. Clear grain filler with the tint of your choice (gray or brown might be cool), then clear coats to taste – maybe a semi gloss.
     
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  13. Laren

    Laren Tele-Meister

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    crimson's finishing oil but I use Liberon finishing oil now. I guess any would do. I've given up with rattle can clear but I'm new at using it.
     
  14. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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    @Laren amazing, thank you. What grain filler did you use? There's so many options it's really confusing
     
  15. Laren

    Laren Tele-Meister

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    The rustins. Although it was hard to find last I looked. Just supply probs. Thinned with white spirit.

    Just looked on amazon. The neutral is more expensive but as its going to be black I don't suppose it would matter if you used a stained one.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
  16. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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    I should be able to get hold of Rustins Grain Filler Natural for about a fiver ignoring postage.

    Ok, so that's the plan, grain fill mixed with black stain, then stain, then top coat with some kind of oil.

    I've been using Osmo Polyx hardwax oil previously. It didn't work with the rub'n'buff but I can try it with this before buying something else
     
  17. Laren

    Laren Tele-Meister

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    That's the way I would go yes. Be patient with the oil though, especially the first coat, give it time to dry well. Remember it's easy to sand it all back if you don't like it. I know, oh how I know. Enjoy.
     
  18. Laren

    Laren Tele-Meister

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    That's come out really well. Might try that.
     
  19. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, that's inspired me to try that faded sunburst (for want of a better way of describing it)
     
  20. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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    Ok, first attempt at the black sun burst from above (what is the correct name for this colouring?):


    It's only been done on the right hand side of that block, ignore the rest!

    Went really well, grain filled, sanded back, stained and then buffed slightly with 0000 wire wool to lighten the middle.
    I'm now trying my oil finish to see how that affects things, but I can already see that it's lifting a little of the stain so might have to review it or my technique.

    It's not very obvious from that photo but the grain fill isn't a complete fill like I was expecting. You can see the results below in another test:

    See the slight grain still present?

    So am I being unrealistic in my expectations? Our do you usually need to do more than one pass of sand and fill? Or is it because normally you'd be using the clear coat to do some of the filling too?

    I'm not unhappy with the slight grain showing, just want to understand what I'm doing, or not doing, when compared to the super gloss finish you see on commercial guitar bodies.
     
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