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How to get this ceruse-style finish?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Scubagragas, Feb 26, 2021.

  1. Scubagragas

    Scubagragas NEW MEMBER!

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    Hey guys,

    I am currently building a telecaster with a swamp ash body. I found the guitar in the attached picture and want to achieve a finish like that.

    I have tried a few things on scrap wood, but didn't get the result I was looking for.

    Staining didn't work, there wasn't enough contrast and I there was always wood shining through after sanding back the black coat.

    I also tried a typical ceruse finish. I deepened the grain with a wire brush, sprayed some lacquer and filled the grain with black paint and wiped the excess away. It did look quite good, but also way cleaner than in the picture. It was missing the fading black parts around the grain.

    So currently I am not sure what else I could try to get closer to the pictured finish. I am very happy to hear about any ideas or different methods to achieve this.

    Thank you!
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. _MementoMori_

    _MementoMori_ Tele-Holic

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    Looks like somebody really used some elbow grease on that finish to force the black down into the finer grain. The big open grain sections take the black easily, but with firm pressure you can force it down into the finer grained areas. At least that has been my experience. Some of that finish may be sitting on top, too.

    Also, that pic looks doctored. It has an effect similar to what the "Structure" tool does in instagram, so those fainter dark areas may not even be there in real life.
     
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  3. Scubagragas

    Scubagragas NEW MEMBER!

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    Thanks for the fast reply.

    How would you force the black down into the pores? And what kind of paint/filler would you use for it?
    I tried rubbing it in with a piece of cloth and steel wool. Both seemed to remove more of the black paint from the pores than pushing it in. Should I wait until the paint is cured and then trying to sand it off?

    Good point with the doctored look. Even if it is, it would still be amazing to get a look like that in real life. I'm not willing to give up yet :D
     
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  4. _MementoMori_

    _MementoMori_ Tele-Holic

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    Well, what I did may not apply to your situation because I colored my grain with black shoe polish. But all I did was liberally coat the body and then absolutely bear down on it with a soft cloth to push the wax into every area that would accept it. The result ended up being more gray than black, but I'm happy with it.
     
  5. Stratdan

    Stratdan TDPRI Member

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    black dye and sand back. Lots of YT videos. My root-beer tele in my avatar pic was brown dye and then sand back. Looks like may followed up with something like milk paint.
     
  6. Wyatt

    Wyatt Tele-Afflicted

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    I guessing they coated black filler across the top, let it dry, but didn't do a thorough job sanding it back all the way, leaving some in the field.
     
  7. Drak

    Drak Tele-Holic

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    This is one I did (Red Oak), but I think your pic is nearly the exact opposite application.
    This was dye black, shoot black, shoot clear, add white pore filler, shoot clear.
    Then I sprayed the two layers of blue toner coats over that, then more clear, but that doesn't apply here.

    I think yours is a white application first of some sort, then black filler, then however they finished it off for effect.
    There's lots of ways to 'lean' any recipe to alter the finished product to what you want.

    But in basic context, I'm guessing white first, then black pore filler, then finished off to give that 'matte' effect.
    I like it, I might give that one a try one day, thanks for posting it.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Drak

    Drak Tele-Holic

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    Or maybe it's a white sandwich.
    Dye black, shoot white, apply black pore filler.

    Like doing a relic finish, you put one finish down, then another, then sand the top finish away to reveal the finish under it.
     
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