Can boiled linseed oil be "tinted" for a little more rich color?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by DHart, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    A question for the seasoned finishing folks here:

    I'm thinking of finishing a raw Tele body (flame maple top, alder sides/back) with Boiled Linseed Oil. And, I think I may want a little deeper color tone. Can this oil be tinted for that result? If so, what tint product would be recommended?
     
  2. Barbeque John

    Barbeque John Tele-Meister

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    Would think artists' oil colors would work, say, burnt umber?
     
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  3. sugarinthegourd

    sugarinthegourd Tele-Meister

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  4. mfguitar

    mfguitar Tele-Holic

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    Good video on the subject, be careful with you rags during cleanup. Regular dyes may struggle to mix well but I did see a video that added a little acetone to cut the dye then it mixed very well.
    Good luck!
     
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  5. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Oil finishes can be tinted, but the dye must be oil compatible. Many of the more common dyes are not oil compatible, so be careful with selection if you want to proceed with this.

    The T&T polymerized oil that the previous poster mentions has been my go to oil for decades. No metallic driers made it desirable for reasons I'll not go into here. It's available from other sources than StewMac, however, and not in those tiny containers. That's a nice way to try it, but uber-expensive otherwise. Lee Valley is a good source, for example. https://www.leevalley.com/en-us/sho...s/45105-tried-and-true-traditional-danish-oil
     
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  6. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I tried stewmac colortone liquid dye in tru-oil: fail. But I've heard that the powdered dyes will work.
     
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  7. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've tried it too knowing full well oil/water is incompatible.

    I did the artist oil based paint & TO on scrap & was happy. The burnt umber recommendation is a good one if you're using amber anything. It knocks back the yellow nicely. I'd think linseed oil would be just as happy accepting oil based paints.
     
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  8. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I tint tru oil with colortone stain vintage amber and tobacco brown and it works well. Boiled linseed oil is similar but the color might transfer if it isn't sealed.
    Tru oil has linseed oil in it but it's more like a lacquer or varnish due to other additives.

    I would tint it with the colortone stain and test it on something.
    Give it a good rub a day later and see if it stays put or transfers the stain on to a rag, hand etc.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
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  9. Hiker

    Hiker Poster Extraordinaire

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    The outdoors forums are full of similar threads. ;)
     
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  10. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I've used prooftint spirit based stains in Danish Oil with no issues..
     
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  11. Tomasi

    Tomasi Tele-Meister

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    As Barbeque John noted, artist's oil colors work perfectly as do artist pigment powders too. (Word of caution with powders, do not sneeze. Particle size is so small, that it gets airborne really easily)

    After all, linseed oil has been used in traditional oil painting for centuries to make the paint layers more transparent. Color selection is huge. Additional benefit is excellent pigment quality to allow precise control of hues by mixing colors as required by artists familiar with color theory. Mixing complementary colors gives you gray instead of muddy brown or some other unwanted hue. I've used them with tru-oil being able to get exactly what I want. Even neutralize the wood color before continuing to color I prefer. Or on the top of same guitar having metallic transparent red showing wood grain thru. ;)

    And yes, be careful with the rags loaded with linseed oil. Many ateliers have burned down in the history for that reason.
     
  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    While you got good answers on the tinting, I'd rethink finishing a flamed maple & alder body with boiled linseed.
    I've used it as one of several stages but alone it soaks in and stays dull, even as it stops being wet.
    After many coats on a swamp ash body I hoped to do only in BLO, I switched to Tru Oil for top coats.
    Maybe try it on some scrap and see if a bunch of coats get a finish you like.
    Flame can disappear with that sort of murky soaked in dull finish, though it has it's place on some products.
    Or maybe ten coats and lots of buffing can bring up a nice gloss?
    I might have gone 6-8 coats and saw nothing but dull and flat.
     
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  13. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    What telemnemonic just said. At least practice on scraps of the same woods until you are 100 percent satisfied before committing to an expensive piece of maple
     
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  14. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    OK. Sounds like BLO is not the best way for me to proceed.

    You guys are recommending tinted Tru-Oil?
     
  15. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    I've never done an oil finish, but I've never seen one that impressed me. I have done two TruOil finishes on pine barnwood guitars and thought the finish was fitting for that wood and the effect I wanted (warm organic semi gloss). I put on maybe 30 very thin coats, waited at least a month and was pretty disappointed with the level of gloss I got. I won't do any more TruOil finishes. (I'll add that I have only seen pictures of two guitars finished with TruOil that I thought lived up to lacquer - one was a lap steel here and one was an acoustic on another building forum)

    When I think of flamed maple and when I've spent two hundred or more dollars for the top set on a showpiece guitar my finishing standard goes way up. All of my flamed maple guitars have been finished in lacquer.

    However you should make up your own mind - practice on your scraps until you are totally happy before.... oh, sorry, I'm repeating myself
     
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  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Sorry I really can’t say if tinted Tru Oil will satisfy on flamed maple.
    For sure though BLO won’t.
    And for sure Tru Oil with no tint looks very white on maple.

    I actually don’t mind the so called Tung Oil Finishes that contain both oil and poly, if going with a wipe on finish. I invariably end up using more than one product or just dulling with fine 3m pad if the gloss is a little uneven.
    A decent furniture polish after finishing can help too, I have some Parker & Bailey lemon oil furniture polish that’s one of the better furniture polish products and actually from a furniture makes as opposed to a cleaning product maker.

    I sprayed a lot of lacquer on furniture and have no interest in going back to a spray booth or standing in the fumes.

    My guitar finishing runs from terrible to serviceable, where @Freeman Keller does fine quality finishing above my pay grade!
     
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  17. Tomasi

    Tomasi Tele-Meister

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    Here's a couple I've finished with tinted tru-oil. Another one having solid swamp ash body and another with walnut body with flamed maple top. The red neck :)twisted:) on latter is also finished with tru oil. I'm pretty happy with the level of gloss I got. It does take some time and patience though.
    Yvette.jpg
    RedHot.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  18. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Beautiful results, Tomasi. Would you tell me about your process?
     
  19. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

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    Here's my unwelcome advice: don't do it. It's nasty stuff. I don't even paint with it anymore! Tru-Oil is bad enough, but at least that's a poly compound (supposedly) that approximates a real finish rather than a wood treatment. Neither is desirable acoustically, but on an electric that can make little to no difference in many cases, and many people have produced Tru-Oil finishes that they like and which are visually very appealing. Personally, since I have learned to finish to a professional standard -- finally! -- I opt for lacquer, occasionally French Polish, since having put loads of work into an instrument, I don't want to cop out on the finish.
     
  20. Tomasi

    Tomasi Tele-Meister

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    Sure thing. I have finishing threads on both of these here. On the first one there is pretty detailed description what I did. Another one starts with process but is more about moaning how laborous idea it was trying to get a smooth finish on fretboard on a neck with frets already installed. ;) It might contain some other entertaining and crazy ideas I came up with though.
    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/funcaster.609638/
    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/red-hot-tele.613705/
    And as a bonus, here's one refinish I did mostly with dyed shellac
    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/tender-72-red-ceruced-thinline.970081/

    Guess what's my favourite color...
     
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