Mahogany and a Gibson Style (grain apparent) finish?

rydia is hot

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Hey everyone!
I have a raw mahogany thinline Telemaster/Jazzcaster style body, and I’m wanting to do a “Gibson” style finish the way the Jeff Tweedy SG and some of their Pelham blue guitars are finished: metallic, but grain still showing through. I understand that look isn’t for everyone.

I’m using a Duplicolor Perfectmatch acrylic rattle can for the color—it’s roughly along the lines of a “greened” LPB or Ocean Turquoise Metallic. I’m also planning on using Minwax Aerosol Lacquer (gloss) for the clear coat.

Two questions I have are: What would you sand the body to, and would you use any sealer/primer? Again, I actually prefer and am going for the sunken grain effect.

Thanks in advance! I’ve learned a ton from this forum already.
 

rydia is hot

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Block sand to 320. Yes use a compatible sealer and sand it to 320 as well to. Your two finish coats are both lacquer based and will shrink significantly to show the pores.
Thanks for the reply! Any thoughts on spray-on shellac (Zinsser) vs. Dupli-color primer/sealer?
 

eallen

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For a metallic you want solid color primer rather than a clear sealer or schellac. It is common to followed with a coat of silver before the metalic color.

If ever using shellac make sure to use dewaxed to avoid adhesion issues.
 

Beebe

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If there is any chance the sealer will raise the grain, you will want to water pop after sanding and then lightly sand smooth again. 320 on a block as @eallen recommend sounds good for before water popping. Something like a 400 grit soft flexible sanding sponge is probably what I would use after water popping the grain just to make light work of knocking off the raised bits, or just the 320 block there as well.

A white dewaxed shellac based primer should work.

It's also my opinion that a few coats of blonde shellac over any color coat will almost always improve the look by adding just a bit of amber.
 

eallen

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If there is any chance the sealer will raise the grain, you will want to water pop after sanding and then lightly sand smooth again. 320 on a block as @eallen recommend sounds good for before water popping.

I never experience solvent based sealers and finishes have any real grain raise risk. As a result I likewise never find the need to raise the grain.
 

Beebe

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I never experience solvent based sealers and finishes have any real grain raise risk. As a result I likewise never find the need to raise the grain.

I believe water popping the grain first may also help stains and oils absorb more evenly. I seem to get nicer results with oil on a maple neck if I water pop first (for example). Maybe it allows for more even absorption of the sealer as well?? May not be necessary here, but I can't think of any finishing method that water popping could cause a problem with.
 




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