Help with First burst attempt

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by BargainHunter, Jun 15, 2021.

  1. BargainHunter

    BargainHunter TDPRI Member

    Age:
    37
    Posts:
    6
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2021
    Location:
    Texas
    I’ve built and finished several strats and teles this past year and I have gotten the process down pretty good. For a single color, that is.

    Here’s what I’m wanting to do next:

    Basically, I want to make my own “Jason Isbell signature Tele.” If you aren’t
    familiar with the guitar, his is a 60’s fender Tele, rosewood fretboard, double cream binding, with a 3-tone chocolate burst. (Very dark brown-almost black, red, and the orange color in the center.

    I have also looked at the schecter pt special in burst and love it as well.

    I haven’t decided wether to leave grain open or not. Probably not, as I’m also a huge fan of mirrored finishes. So, This won’t look exactly like either of the guitars I mentioned above.

    Ok, here are my main questions:

    1. Dye, or spray?
    A. If dye, what kind? I’ve watched countless vids with stew Mac, RIT dye, leather dye, etc.
    B. If spray, stew Mac Lacquer and lacquer thinner and tint, or basic rattle cans?

    2. If I’m spraying, should I use the paper/ cardboard cutout method to block paint, or “sideways” angular spraying?

    3. If I’m dying the wood, light to dark or dark to light application order? In other words, start from the outside and move in, or vice versa?

    4. Is there a way to find the colors used on the isbell tele? What names are they called? Is it standard fender colors, or standard industry names?


    I thought I had an idea of what to do, but once I dove into YouTube tutorials, I discovered everyone was doing something different and it thoroughly confused and intimidated me.


    thank you all in advance for your help!
     
  2. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,898
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I've only done one burst and it was a lot tougher than I expected. I had to strip and re-spray twice to get it looking decent. It was tough enough that I ended up spraying the back of the body solid black.

    I sprayed it like a painter paints...in layers. Base color, then inner ring, outer ring, and blended the contrasts with a make-up sponge.

    Over-all, it turned out pretty good, but I have never tried it again.

    bursttele 002.jpg
     
    novakane, KelvinS1965 and BryanLB like this.
  3. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,271
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Location:
    Bargersville/Indianapolis, Indiana
    If you want the grain pattern to show thru you will need to use dye. When it comes to dark or bright colors most dye will fade quite a bit, especially reds, except for trans tint & other metallicized knock offs.

    Burst are for easier to do with a gun due to the adjustability. I see no need for the cutouts with the properly adjusted gun and practice. Bursts are really not rocket science like often assumed. Some of the Jason's look like a basic two color while the one you post is a 3 color using red for the transition.

    I spray the entire top with the light color diluted in intensity a bit so I can sneak up on the color I want. Follow by the 2nd color also diluted a bit and start layering it on with the spray pattern pointed off the edge as you go around with more layers being applied as you work your way out for a darker edge. I apply my red transition color similarly as the last color, but you can also apply it 2nd depending on your preferred look.

    If you are an instagram user JNcolor of the fender custom shop is a great watch for technique. On You Tube, www.youtube.com/user/BlueCollarLife/videos. He bounced in here a handful of times a few months ago.
     
  4. sleazy pot pie

    sleazy pot pie Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    1,656
    Joined:
    May 31, 2014
    Location:
    austin
    Eallen has given solid advice, especially jncolor.
    Doing a translucent burst with spray cans may prove challenging. A gun and compressor would make it easier, especially your first try.
    You can order the colors you need from stewmac, reranch( but they have been out of burst amber for a while) Gracey’s is another option for the right colors.

    However you go about it, it can be done.
    Doing a burst finish is exciting to me. You have an idea in your head and try to see how close you can get.
    I have bob Ross’d a couple of bursts and gotten happy little accidents.
     
  5. Gevalt

    Gevalt Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    178
    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Make sure you know what direction to spray before you start. Test on scraps with cheap paint. Technique is an art form with this
     
  6. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    76
    Posts:
    6,736
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Washington
    As you and Eric have both stated, there are basically two ways to do a faded or sunburst finish. The old Gibson method is to STAIN the wood with either water or alcohol based stains, then spray clear over the top. Stains allow you to bring out wood grain such as flame in maple - the grain absorbs the stain at different rates. This mandolin was done with stains directly into the wood

    Img_0413.jpg

    I will say that this is a very tricky technique and mistakes are hard to correct. You should practice a lot on scraps of exactly the same wood so you find out how YOUR wood absorbs the stain.

    The other way of doing a sunburst is the way Fender and most modern finishers do it (except PRS). The body is pore filled if the wood calls for that, then the colors are sprayed in the finish itself. Usually the amber is applied first, then the red and finally the black/brown. The fading is done by controlling the spray pattern and the concentration of dye in the finish. I find it easiest to spray the instrument flat on its back or top and I both spray across and directly towards the side. With lacquer you are relying on each coat to melt into the previous one to get the transition.

    You can also do both, stain the wood to bring out figure and then add some color to the finish to fade it to the edges.

    You will need to mask the binding either way, do either your staining or apply the burst finish, then pull the mask and scrape the binding. After scraping you apply clear - that will smooth the edges from the masking.

    It is possible to spray a burst with rattle cans altho I've never done it. I would want to use the little nozzles that StewMac sells to get the best possible pattern and I would want to practice a lot. Good luck, have fun.
     
  7. Mark617

    Mark617 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    274
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2021
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    My limited experience, dye. You can always sand back and apply to desired color and effect. My first went pretty well. However it was a darker edge burst I went for. My next build will be an LP, my plan is to do a Blue Burst. So there will be multiple colors involved.
    Dive in and have fun. No matter what it’s your build , unique to you.
     
  8. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,273
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    Location:
    Glen Head, NY
    You won't need a masking template or cardboard for spraying. An airbrush is enough for the job, but of course the manufacturers use larger spray guns. Much depends on what's at your disposal in terms of the equipment.

    Having your own equipment will allow you to mix your own colors which is a ton more versatile and much cheaper than rattle cans. Seal first, then put the color in the finish for what furniture makers call a "toner" or "shader" coat (we call it "burst"). For the dark part don't be afraid to use pigment you can sneak up on opacity faster that way. Whatever finish you use it's likely to be compatible with Trans-Tint (color tone) concentrated dyes or Mixol pigments. Read up on the particular material combination, sometimes it's beneficial to dilute the Transtint into the appropriate solvent before mixing it into the finish. I use water based finishes where it's important to make sure you let the dye/pigment/whatever sit in the finish mixing cup for long enough for all the complex chemicals to get along. Traditional solvent based finishes tend to mix faster.
     
  9. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    2,585
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    A friend asked me about what I used for a sunburst recently, so I have this pre-written:
    "Mohawk rattlecans. Ultra Classic Toner Natural Pine and Amber, Tone Finish Brown Cherry, Colored Lacquer Black Gloss, and Tone Finish Clear 75-80 sheen, all over yellow stain and sealer. I shot the black from the center out with a Jazzmaster-shaped piece of cardboard over the guitar, and all other tints from the outside inward. Sides got the black from the outside in with the cardboard mask as well."
     
  10. Danb541

    Danb541 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,748
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2019
    Location:
    Oregon
    I did this before the Isbell tele came out but I think it's pretty close. I used woodcraft rattle cans. Touch up solutions.
    https://www.woodcraft.com/products/touchup-awerosol-toner-golden-oak-12oz
    I used Golden Oak, Burnt Umber and I can't recall the more red color but think it might have been java. I can look at the cans when I get home and let you know if you'd like.

    upload_2021-6-16_10-31-48.jpeg
    [​IMG]
     
    kafka, Controller and FenderLover like this.
  11. Danb541

    Danb541 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,748
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2019
    Location:
    Oregon
    This guy sprays a burst the same way I do for the most part. I don't do the real sort bursts like him, I'm more fluid longer strokes but each way works I guess.
     
    Beebe likes this.
  12. Danb541

    Danb541 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,748
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2019
    Location:
    Oregon
    My final product ended up darker around the edges.
    upload_2021-6-16_10-37-45.jpeg
     
    Vizcaster likes this.
  13. BargainHunter

    BargainHunter TDPRI Member

    Age:
    37
    Posts:
    6
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2021
    Location:
    Texas
    Thanks for all the replies! I feel a lot better about things now that I have some solid answers/advice.
    I’ll be practicing a lot on scrap woods so I can figure this out.
    I know one thing, this whole process of learning and modifying/finishing guitars has made me learn the art of patience! LOL. I want things done now!
    I learned real quick that thought process leads to a bad product.


    Also, you guys have some beautiful guitars! I hope I can get close to what you guys have shared.
     
  14. booaloo

    booaloo TDPRI Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    7
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2020
    Location:
    Michigan
    I use Keda dye. Mix my own tints. 20210306_181514.jpg
     
    Danb541 likes this.
  15. Meteorman

    Meteorman Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,042
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    Location:
    State College PA
    I dye the base color and spray the bursts.
    Eric described it perfectly - I use an airbrush, spraying out towards the edges from the center.
    I tried the cutout method - it was a complete bust for me
     
    Danb541 likes this.
  16. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    21,790
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Location:
    Iowa USA
    Admin Post
    i did this one with spray cans.

    Cut out masks that I supported an inch or so off the surface for the red and brown. Yellow went on first.

    BenderCasterOlds.jpg

    On the right a shaded top martin.

    On the left one I built. Finished the top with alcohol based dyes and cotton balls.

    1Sunnyburst&D42.jpg

    Many ways to skin that cat
     
    stratisfied and Danb541 like this.
  17. Beebe

    Beebe Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    148
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2021
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Here's one done with rubbing on weld flower ink (yellow) and black walnut husk stain (dark brown). Yellow first over the whole thing, then brown. I blended with damp cloths as I went, sanded back the edges as needed to fade, then yellow over the whole thing. This pic is with one thin coat of shellac over that. IMG_20210605_091110322.jpg
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.