How do I tell when I've sanded off the tru oil finish?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by JimDiGritz, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. JimDiGritz

    JimDiGritz TDPRI Member

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    I've got an Ash body which is lightly oiled and I want to stain (using both water and spirit based stains).

    Since it's a very light oil finish, are there any quick tests to see whether or not I've sanded the body completely back to raw wood?

    I'm pretty sure any patches of oil will stop the stain penetrating and will cause awful blotching, which will need to be sanded out again.

    Cheers

    Jim
     
  2. ppg677

    ppg677 Tele-Meister

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    Water won't bead?
     
  3. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

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    I would try wiping with naphtha or denatured alcohol. If they don't look blotchy then I would think your stain won't either.

    Fwiw some years ago I finished a guitar with TruOil and wasn't satisfied with it so I stripped it with chemical stripper and refinished with lacquer. I had no problems with the color or adhesion, but I honestly don't know if the stripper removed all the oil. I did sand pretty heavily after stripping.
     
  4. JimDiGritz

    JimDiGritz TDPRI Member

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    Good calls both!

    I'll check with water beading, then maybe with some rubbing alcohol!

    Cheers
     
  5. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    Sanding will not get the Truoil out of the open grain, unless you sanded off like 1/16th of an inch or more. TruOil is a linseed oil based varnish, and linseed oil is not compatible with traditional lacquer. That said, I've sprayed Lacquer over linseed oil based finishes and have not had any catastrophic failures. I think I would call it good and apply your finish while watching carefully for adhesion problems.
     
  6. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would not be anxious to remove all of the oil finish so long as it has had time to cure. In fact, it may help to even out the application of stain. If it were figured wood a "conditioner" or "wash coat" is a common technique using a bit of thinned down finish meant to prevent the stain from blotching or soaking in too much in different areas. You can literally use a single coat of varnish on cherry and then proceed with water based dye stain and it will still go into the wood just fine. So I suspect you can try applying your stain without sanding all of the oil off of there.

    Your issue at this point is that if you did already sand enough to burn through to bare wood in any areas you'll now need to cut back that far everywhere else.
     
  7. Hound Dog

    Hound Dog TDPRI Member

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    Wiping down with acetone removes oil pretty easily for me. Let it dry off, which takes very little time. Hit it with vinyl sealer or shellac before any below surface oil rises again and there should be no problem.
     
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