First Hand-stained sunburst advice

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by SullySaints, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. SullySaints

    SullySaints TDPRI Member

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    Working on my first hand-stained sunburst. I’ve used tobacco brown and vintage amber (stew Mac). I like what I’ve got going, but wanted to head a bit more towards the Gibson I have pictured. I’ve got red mahogany dye as well.
    What red mahogany mix will get me closest to that transition zone?
    3061D1D1-7214-4F1D-A704-3DD03D15DF0D.jpeg

    upload_2020-3-26_23-34-35.jpeg
    Want to give a shout-out to Freeman Keller for giving me binding and staining advice on this project. Looks like hand painting the wood binding with vinyl sealer is totally gonna work to block my sunburst stain! I’ll post the pics if it all works out.

    -Sully
     

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  2. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    I can’t help with the red stain color, but I really like what you have.
     
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  3. GeminiCG

    GeminiCG Tele-Meister

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    For the red stain, I would test on some scrap first, but I believe a Cherry Red stain will work.
     
  4. AndyPanda

    AndyPanda Tele-Holic

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    Wow ... if that were mine, I'd stop right where you are. It's beautiful like that. I like it much better than the Gibson
     
  5. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

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    I agree about keeping it as is. That's really nice.
     
  6. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Glad the sealer trick worked and your guitar is really looking good. When I did my one and only three color sunburst I worked at it slowly, adding a little color and blending it in to the other colors already on the instrument. I wanted fairly dark around the edge more like the old Loar era instruments so I kept at it until I was happy. Back 2.jpg

    Back 1.jpg
    Back 3.jpg

    First coat of sealer, time to scrape the binding

    Back 4.jpg

    Lacquer

    Back 5.jpg

    I'll add that I do agree with others who say leave it alone - I'm very partial to the "edge burst" effects and yours looks good.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
  7. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    stunning as is...
     
  8. SullySaints

    SullySaints TDPRI Member

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    That was the Cremona burst you said you you’d done. Very nice! The more I look at mine, the more I might leave the edge light enough to see the figure. When you added a little more color, did you ever do it after it had already dried, without re-sanding it? Or did you apply the color burst all in one sitting?

    I think I’m close to done tinkering. Perfect is the enemy of good as they say....
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
  9. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Holic

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    I'm going to vote with the "it's gorgeous the way it is" crowd. Especially with your modern styling, curvy horns, and through the top knobs. The red mahogany will get you the traditional three tone burst blended into the yellow, but you'll probably have to go back and darken the outer edges some more to make it look good. The Gibson burst is opaque at the rim. I know they shoot that darkest outer band with a touchup gun.
     
  10. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    I will be 100 percent honest - I don't remember. This was a bunch of years ago, maybe 8 or 9 and I just kept at it until I was satisfied. I think I did some sanding, I think I did some work with just alcohol on a rag to blend colors, I know I was scared to death that I would screw up that lovely maple.

    Since then I have done several finishes where I've just tried to darken the edges of the top - basically the same colors that are in the wood but fading to a little darker right at the edge. That is what I see in yours and I think it is very effective. Remember that you can add a tiny touch of color in your finish, I used that on my attempt at an "ice tea" 'burst on my lester - stain into the wood like you did to bring out the figure, then a tiny bit of darker color around the binding.

    I'm going to add one more thing since it is currently on my work bench. I'm building a special guitar for my son and the top is one of the most stunning pieces of quilted maple that I have ever seen. My plan all along was to mostly finish it with amber clear but to darken the edges as it approaches the (wood) binding. I've been experimenting on scrap and the more I make it dark the less I like it - mother nature gave me a gorgeous piece of wood and my feeble attempts won't make it better.
     
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