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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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    Ok, so I've been trying lots of different ways of doing the black on black using all your good advice above!

    So I've sanded the body up to 600 grit, and then I've grain filled with black grain filler:



    It's gone on pretty thick so I think I've got my work cut out sanding it back :D but I don't mind a bit of hard work.

    I'm giving it a few days to properly dry so the plan is to sand it back to high light the grain and then stain it black.

    Will keep you informed!
     
  2. GeminiCG

    GeminiCG Tele-Meister

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    If you have an orbital sander, it should make quick work of the grain filler on top. I recommend a finer grit as to not remove the stuff in the grain. Hand sanding is always a safe bet too.
     
  3. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Holic

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    ... with a sanding block for the top and back. You want to remove as even a layer as possible as the dye in the grain filler does penetrate the wood everywhere. If it looks too brown/amber when sanded, go over it with a lighter gray penetrating stain.
     
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  4. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes absolutely. That burst looks like it will work out very well.

    And you've already figured out the hardest but most important part - experiment on scraps of the same wood you used for the body.

    I would get the grain fill sanded back, dye the wood if you still want to (it may be necessary to even things out after sanding back the grain filler), and then get things locked in with a few light coats of sealer so you know where you're going before you try the black edge-burst or sun-burst effect. if you don't like that step you can wipe it off without really getting anything down into the wood. Then when the burst is done top everything off with your clear coat and build it up before letting it cure and buffing it out.
     
  5. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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    Yep, that's pretty much the plan!

    I've been sanding back by hand using 240 grit at the moment, I've got a picture I'll upload.
     
  6. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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  7. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    Check this one out. No idea how they did it, but I saved the image a while back because I thought it was so cool. Figured one day I'd try to replicate it when I do another partscaster.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2020
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  8. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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    That's pretty tasty! I was getting a similar effect when I wasn't using the grain filler.
     
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  9. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I'm doing a chair project right now and have that effect on "old" chestnut using Angelus black shoe dye for my test pieces. I may do a guitar or bass body using that method, too.
     
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  10. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Holic

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    Looks like Semigloss Black on Ash with no grain fill.
     
  11. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Holic

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    You are trying to compare raw, grain-filled wood to a high gloss urethane coated finish that fills all the pores of the wood. I'd suggest you spray a light coat of sanding sealer or clear lacquer over your sample. It will change the color and contrast of the grain/grain filler. A light wipe of mineral spirits will do the same thing. It's the easiest way to visualize the finished product before finish is applied.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2020
  12. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    This is really important advice...any test piece for finishing must include at least one application of the intended top-coat in order to more accurately judge what a final color will look like. This photo shows two pieces of chestnut; one with two coats of black Angelus shoe dye and one with two coats of red Anelus shoe dye. Both have several coats of matte clear waterborne finish on them because that's what will go on the final project. The colors are different with the clear than they were with the raw dye.

    IMG_E8417.jpg
     
  13. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Holic

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    It's like judging this bare wood top as hopeless:

    tigerwood.jpg

    Before a hand-rubbed Danish oil finish:

    IMG_1290.JPG
     
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  14. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Stratisfied, that thing is stunning!
     
  15. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Holic

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    Thanks! I may finish it one of these days. It's been on again, off again for a long time. Here's a peek at the back. Back is Padauk, top is Tigerwood. Take-away is I never would have guessed what it really looked like had I not rubbed mineral spirits on the raw wood first.

    TVyJf3.jpg
     
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  16. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Wow...the grain matched switch cover was really done well. I assume there was a back cap to make this possible.
     
  17. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Holic

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    No, it has a solid back. It's just a piece of padauk veneer glued to a plastic cover plate that I did a bit of "grain-enhancing" to match. I did the control cavity like that too. Will mount with magnets if I ever get around to it.

    Sorry to the OP if I derailed his thread a bit, but the mineral spirits on wood is the best test to determine what the wood will look like under a finish. I did that to match the back and cover along with an assortment of stain pens I used to make the covers appear to have been cut out of the back.
     
  18. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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    Derail away! Always happy to see/hear about other ideas and projects :)
     
  19. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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    So sanding continues, this is the back after 240 grit:


    I also thought I should check the neck centre line at this point before I took it much further. Glad I did as the bridge is about 20/30 thou off centre:


    So filling and then redrilling the mounting holes:


    I don't know if that off-ness would have any effect but might as well be exact seeing how much time I'm spending on this :)
     
  20. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Excellent technique! I think that veneer is often forgotten as a viable method for guitars, although there are certainly some durability considerations for a "working" instrument.

    But yea...sorry for the diversion, OP.
     
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