Can you add pigment to transtint for a solid finish?

Dauminator63

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I'm refinishing a project LP I bought dirt cheap from GFS, and I've decided to make it a solid black finish. I am new to the finishing game, and I have noticed I get good results with transtint and tru-oil. The issue is, I can't seem to find a a solid color, water based stain (that's not also a sealer + others for outdoor wood projects) for the life of me. The body is a multi-piece basswood body with a multi-piece basswood top, and a translucent would look awful. My incredibly smart self bought black pigment for waterbase lacquer thinking it would work as a solid stain. I don't have black transtint yet, and I'm wondering if adding the black pigment to the black transtint would work as a solid stain. Or if anyone has a recommendation for a solid water based dye it would be appreciated. Or, if I used enough transtint to water ratio, will it be dark enough to be solid?
 

Freeman Keller

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Dan Erlewine has a fairly long description of how Gibson has done their blacks (primarily head plates) over the years. They used stains in the early days but have mostly changed to simple black lacquer now. Black is a notoriously hard color to do well, I would simply shoot black lacquer until II was satisfied with the build and smoothness, then clear over that. If I wanted to highlight the grain I would use stain, if I wanted to hide the grain I would use paint.
 

Dauminator63

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If I wanted to highlight the grain I would use stain, if I wanted to hide the grain I would use paint.

I don’t have a spray gun, the only air compressor I have is for my Jeep, I don’t have an area where I could apply a spray finish, and I don’t have the proper PPE for spraying paint either. That’s what was so attractive to me with transtint; I could just apply it in my garage and let it dry. Is there any wipe on substance I could add the black pigment to?
 

Freeman Keller

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The cardinal rule of any finishing question is to experiment on scraps of the same kind of wood with the same products. I have no experience with pure gloss black so I can't comment.

StewMac does sell black lacquer in rattle cans and I spray my lacquer outside so I can work around fumes - is that a possibility?
 

old wrench

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TransTint black dye is black :).

I've used it for tinting Aqua Coat clear water-based grain filler.

It definitely makes whatever it gets on turn black.

Leather dyes like Fiebings (Tandy Leather), also work pretty well for dying wood.


But, I'm just not getting a good picture in my head of a black dyed body with TruOil on it ;).


Rustoleum black lacquer is a cheaper alternative - it might be an acrylic lacquer?, but's it's definitely lacquer.

On thing about shiny black finishes though - you need real good surface prep (and primer if necessary), because the way light reflects off it's surface will show any boo-boos or inconsistencies.

.
 

Vizcaster

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If you want to mix your own opaque black pigmented finish, you need to choose a finish material to work with. Transtint isn't a finish it's just an ingredient to add to another finish material. You need something that will act as a binder and cure in place with the pigment locked in. But instead of inventing a finish out of one or two ingredients that you may have on hand, you should just buy some black lacquer in a rattle can until you get your own spray equipment. I'm really not aware of any wipe-on product that will build an even opaque color.
 

Dauminator63

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you should just buy some black lacquer in a rattle can until you get your own spray equipment. I'm really not aware of any wipe-on product that will build an even opaque color.

This is what I'm reeeaaallllllllyyy trying to avoid. I do not have the space, inside or out, to use any form of spray finish. Would it be possible to just wipe on so much black transtint it eventually covers up the grain? Or are there even other types of pigmented paints like acrylic that could give that opaque color?

The cardinal rule of any finishing question is to experiment on scraps of the same kind of wood with the same products

I'm waiting for the black transtint to arrive to test, but it's not gonna be here for about a week. Just getting ideas before I give it a shot
 
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DrASATele

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Short answer is....yes. I've added mixol pigments to transtint black lacquer to make it more opaque. Doing this, to me anyways, gives you the middle ground between staining and a solid paint. I use this mix on burst when I want nearly opaque level of color.
How ever mixol black on it's own in lacquer when mixed w/ the right ration can be solid/opaque.
The Rutoleum stuff is acrylic lacquer, I've used the white a few times and have sprayed Watco and Belhen's over it with no issues (except pre-mature yellowing but that was expected . . .
Good luck!
 

Sea Devil

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DrASATele addresses a quality of TransTint that doesn't apply if you're not spraying.

But a quick Google search yields this:

"TransTints are a solution of metal-complex dyes in a special solvent that offers many unique application options. ... Transtints can be mixed into water, alcohol, lacquer thinner, and other mediums to achieve ideal penetration and staining depth."

Thus it seems that they're compatible with water-based ingredients. Mix away, apply to some scrap, and see what ratio works. If it looks good and doesn't rub off, go for it.
 

Vizcaster

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***I've added mixol pigments to transtint black lacquer to make it more opaque.***

Correct me if I'm wrong but are you referring to transtint that has been mixed into a separate lacquer product? I think the OP expects to use Transtint out of the bottle.

In my understanding of how the product is meant to be used, Transtint is a dye that must be mixed into something else - that could be as simple as water - but it's a colorant and not a finish in and of itself. You can mix it into water based lacquers, but it's advisable to dillute the transtint into a little bit of water and then stir it into the waterbased lacquer.

The problem with wiping or brushing anything is (1) it's really really hard to get even coverage particularly when you're trying to achieve an opaque color, and (2) each stroke or wipe will smear and lift what's already there. Even if you were to get acceptable black color with dye diluted in water or alcohol, when you try to topcoat it the dye will redissolve into the clear and will bleed and smear when you wipe/brush.
 

DrASATele

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Yeah Viz, transtint mixed into lacquer. I thought the OP was looking to make it more opaque. In my experience transtint is a great shader (ie clear lacquer w/ color added but still transparent) but not great for opaque colors.
 

mfguitar

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Minwax does make a solid color black in a water base #274, might be difficult to find though. It's really difficult to add enough tint to a base to make a black. Multiple coats will get you closer to opaque. I have used a Black powder die and got very close.
 

pypa

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If you want it opaque, I would buy a pigmented lacquer. Target coatings make a fantastic one. You will have to spray it though.
 

Peltogyne

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This is many coats (5 or 6?) of black aniline dye and tru oil, no pigments. In bright sunlight you can see some texture, it's more of a dark slate than a jet black. It's very dark and silky.

Tobias_Killer_B-cutaway.jpg
 

P Bill

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I'm refinishing a project LP I bought dirt cheap from GFS, and I've decided to make it a solid black finish. I am new to the finishing game, and I have noticed I get good results with transtint and tru-oil. The issue is, I can't seem to find a a solid color, water based stain (that's not also a sealer + others for outdoor wood projects) for the life of me. The body is a multi-piece basswood body with a multi-piece basswood top, and a translucent would look awful. My incredibly smart self bought black pigment for waterbase lacquer thinking it would work as a solid stain. I don't have black transtint yet, and I'm wondering if adding the black pigment to the black transtint would work as a solid stain. Or if anyone has a recommendation for a solid water based dye it would be appreciated. Or, if I used enough transtint to water ratio, will it be dark enough to be solid?

"This is what I'm reeeaaallllllllyyy trying to avoid. I do not have the space, inside or out, to use any form of spray finish." Dauminator63

This may not get you out of the poo this time but you might want to explore french polish in future. FP is low tech and almost completely non-toxic. Blonde shellac is my main polish.

I french polish (clear or colored polish, I use alcohol dyes to color but apparently transtint can also be used) over 2-3 dry coats of poly/linseed/turps homemade tung oil. This guitar was almost black my first go, after a wipe down with metho I started over again. The whole top is polished and the light areas steel-wooled back. This took five rubber sessions and cutting back the lighter areas.

DSC04474.JPG

DSC04472.JPG

Fifth coat.

nddymx2.jpg


nddyvoo.jpg


This is what I started with. The honey burst is under the oil finish, my coloured polish ('dirty shellac') sits on top. In theory I can wash off the colored shellac and get the old guitar back or try something else.

nddxoes.jpg
 
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stratisfied

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If TruOil is your topcoat of choice, why not just get solid ebony wiping stain and apply for the black color coat? Then you can TruOil away to your heart's content.
 




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