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Black on black finish, how?

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

  1. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Holic

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    You're on the right track but I think you need to concentrate on sanding that filler to an even tone with no dark or bald spots. I have never been a fan of using dark fillers as it just seemed that by the time I sanded the workpiece even in color most of the grain filler was sanded away and felt I just wasted time. I use clear polyurethane as a grain filler when warranted and topcoat with lacquers. I guess I just don't like the exagerrated grain lines and wood pores

    I haven't done a blackburst like you're going for but the grain in ash pretty much goes black with any stain you apply if you don't first seal the wood. I think a black wiping stain followed by a black tinted topcoat would get you where you want it be. It is up to you to whether you apply in a burst pattern or go for an overall wood grain effect when applying light topcoats of tinted lacquer.

    The idea of sanding back a dark finish to expose the grain takes a very skilled hand. Inevitably, you wind up with a patchy finish of dark and light spots. Someone just posted a Tele with a finish like you're attempting who inadvertently wound up with a "reverse burst" with a white sand-through band around the perimeter of the body where he "tipped" his sanding block off the edge of the body and sanded out all the color. It's hard to get an even finish by sanding away the color.
     
  2. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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  3. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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    Ok, so I stained it black, two coats a few days ago and have given it a couple of days to dry properly whilst I worked on the fret leveling (see my other thread over in Tele-technical).

    Today I went at it with the 600 grit paper and 0000 wool to get the surface smooth again and get the black burst in:



    Very pleased with how that went. The clear coat will darken it slightly but also bring out the contrast more. It's a little patchy, the photo makes it look worse, but another couple of minutes with paper and wool will sort that.

    I find giving it a day or so and then coming back helps avoid the knee jerk reactions that result in going too far with sanding! For example I think there is a little patch of too dark on the back left middle but I may think differently after sleeping on it.

    There was some weirdness though, on the side it looks like some of the filler was proud and textured:


    I honestly have no idea what caused this or if I just missed it when first sanding it! Anyway, I sanded it back to flat and stained it again:


    So it's be a few more days before I can think about getting to clear coat it.
     
  4. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Holic

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    "Once more into the fray" ... an appropriate quote from "The Gray".

    Looks like you're on your way to a nice finish. Once you get some clear on that, the contrast will increase and you'll be right where you wanted it.
     
  5. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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  6. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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    Second coat went on ok, but third coat has been a bit of a disaster. I think I put too much on initially, realised too late and wiping it back has meant it has gone on very streaky.

    You have a very small time window this time of year to apply it before it starts to go off and tack up. Only about five minutes. Inside that time and it will self level and smooth but after that it just keeps whatever state you left it in.

    I need to leave it a few days to cure a bit and then I can level it off with some fine grit paper and then retry.

    I might try warming it slightly before applying next time and hopefully gain a little more application time!
     
  7. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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    Ok, so new third coat went reasonably.

    Sanded it back to smooth with 0000 wire wool and 600 grit paper. Then warmed up the wax oil before applying. I changed to use some paper towel to apply in the hope that it would prove to be a smoother application.

    It started well but then started to disintegrate on the back but I didn't notice until too late. I thought it would hold up as it was workshop paper towel so normally pretty tough but obviously not. So the finish is smooth and shimmery like I had hoped but is quite contaminated in places:


    It's not the end of the world but slightly disappointing none the less.

    In terms of look though I am very pleased, I really love the black burst effect:


    Really hard to photo as it really appears though as cameras tend to over expose the black and the shine exacerbates things:


    So, overall I would give it 6/10. The colour is perfect but the clear finish is not as good as I would have hoped.

    But there were are, I'm not going back and doing it again :D What do you think?
     
  8. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The Scott's "rags in a box" that are more cloth-based and lint free are more durable for finish application than typical paper towels, including "shop" weight versions. Keep the perforations in the box to a minimum to keep dust out...the last time I bought them, the cashier "opened' the hand holds on the box and I nearly killed them since it was the only box on the shelf...
     
  9. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, in hindsight I think I would go with lint free cloth. The paper was great for smoothness of finish but just didn't hold up.

    I'm not sure what I'll do next time, I think realistically I won't ever get that super gloss finish with the facilities I have available at home so either I change my desired finish or I'll have to send it out to professionals.
     
  10. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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  11. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Holic

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    Saw this the other day and thought it was pretty neat. Not a burst like you were going for, but pure simplicity. Minwax True Black Stain, Silver Leaf Rub 'N' Buff Metallic Wax Finish topped with Teak Oil finish.

    Beautiful result and pure simplicity. I really liked the black and gold sample also. Durability would be no worse than any Teak Oil finish. Unlikely you could coat with poly since it is wax-based and would repel the coating. Wiping down with thinner would remove the accent color.

     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2020
  12. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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    That's actually the video that I got my first ideas from! I was trying with gold rub n buff but the clear coat I was using dissolved the gold wax so I abandoned it in favour of the black on black look.
     
  13. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Holic

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    Yeah. You have to stop at the Teak Oil. Seems logical any clearcoat with a solvent in it would remove the Rub'n'Buff. With patience, you can get the Teak Oil up to a semi-gloss with multiple coats.
     
  14. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Hair of dog finish (or Dog Hair finish) is similar to what you're describing. Have a search for that.
     
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