POLL | HELP: Burst, Stain, what is it ?! (Les Paul Finish)

Is this a BURST-FINISH?


  • Total voters
    56

Peegoo

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How the finish is applied is not what determines the name, i.e., a "burst" doesn't have to be sprayed. It can be done with a cloth pad and stain, ink, dye--you name it.

The OP guitar, I'd call that a sanded burst because you can see where the gradient is created by applying stain to the body and then sanding more here and less there to achieve the burst look.

In case you're wondering, the finish we call a "sunburst" is a relatively new name for a very very old appearance. Hundreds of years ago, violins, violas, etc., all were evenly finished in vegetable or spirit varnish, and over many years of play they took on a weathered look wherein the exposed areas received more wear and the recessed areas received less wear. Really old originals that have not been cleaned do have dark areas under the bridge and fingerboard extension, as well as in the recesses around the sides. Here's a Stradivari.

Stradivari-Vieuxtemps-Violin-Body-1024x909.jpg

Beginning in the late 1800s, makers started applying finishes to mimic this 'played-in' look because it conferred the appearance of a fine old instrument. This has stuck for a long time.

When Fender started producing opaque solid-color guitars in the 1950s, Gibson laughed at them. And about a year later, Gibson was offering color choices. BAM!
 

Strat Jacket

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I would not call that a 'burst' finish. I just bought this Epi LP and it's described (rightly so) as a 'cherryburst finish'

52400494636_d7bb2d2abc_4k.jpg


I'd call your finish 'Huntin' Shack'
 

radiocaster

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Hello there 👋

I kinda need your opinion.... Okay it's a stupid question... but this haunts me for days now and i see my guitar with new eyes 😅😅
Sooo... a friend came by and was like
he loves this burst finish - and i was like 'which burst?'

So he was calling this a burst finish... i'm normally not a big fan of burst finishes and never considered calling this a burst..
So what do you think?

****************************
Would you say it's a burst-finish?
****************************

ioQ9m9i.jpg

hLWmkPP.jpg


I would LOVE to hear your opinion!


*****************************
Bonus question:
what would you call this finish?
*****************************



Thanks so much in advance!

Best regards,
d.
😅
Aged burst, but not in bad taste. In some places the burst is no longer there.

I could see someone take this concept and go overboard and ruin it.
 

2HBStrat

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Hello there 👋

I kinda need your opinion.... Okay it's a stupid question... but this haunts me for days now and i see my guitar with new eyes 😅😅
Sooo... a friend came by and was like
he loves this burst finish - and i was like 'which burst?'

So he was calling this a burst finish... i'm normally not a big fan of burst finishes and never considered calling this a burst..
So what do you think?

****************************
Would you say it's a burst-finish?
****************************

ioQ9m9i.jpg

hLWmkPP.jpg


I would LOVE to hear your opinion!


*****************************
Bonus question:
what would you call this finish?
*****************************



Thanks so much in advance!

Best regards,
d.
😅
I would not call that a 'Burst' for several reasons...is it even a Gibson?
 

schmee

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I guess you could call it very slightly a 'burst' finish, as that is what the vernacular has become over time for a shaded area around the periphery. But not sunburst! I cant tell if is bad stain or intentional 'burst"
 

Wally

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Thanks for your answer!
It was a faded black BFG once... before it was sanded down....
I was going to that it looked like a guitar that once had a decent finish on it until somdone took some sandpaper to it because they liked the looked of an 80 year old, unpainted barn that was about to rot away.
 

Deadman1

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Again thanks for all your answer! appreciate the participation - also on the poll!

looks like either lacquer or nitro over stain to me
i think it's a lacquer over stain

I do like it but voted “no” on the burst, simply because the difference in dark to light/ outer to inner is not prominent enough. I see those “lemon burst“ types, like above, and think the same thing: “where’s the burst?” (like, “where’s the beef?”)
i feel very much the same! thanks for your opinion!

Ever so slightly run a torch over the quilted maple. You can almost paint with it if you're careful. Burn just enough to get a brown to dark brown, you can do the burst style, finish it with whatever is clear and best. Maybe a clear epoxy? Nothing looks nicer.
sounds like a cool idea... but since it is already sealed... i'd need to remove the whole clear finish to be able have some fun with upgrading the finish....

The reciprocal of burst is inburst.
o_O

That’s really nice “Peter Greenish” maple though.

Super narrow and tight. And the longitudinal figure is like his (er, Gary Moore’s, er Kirk Hammet’s) too.

Change your pick up surround screws to black fer chrissake ya metal head ! 😂👍🏽
when i got it ... the humbucker rings were screwed in with fat black drywall screws.
the chrome-colored ones were the only ones i had lying around at the time... i thought it would fit the witch hat knobs 😅

How the finish is applied is not what determines the name, i.e., a "burst" doesn't have to be sprayed. It can be done with a cloth pad and stain, ink, dye--you name it.

The OP guitar, I'd call that a sanded burst because you can see where the gradient is created by applying stain to the body and then sanding more here and less there to achieve the burst look.

In case you're wondering, the finish we call a "sunburst" is a relatively new name for a very very old appearance. Hundreds of years ago, violins, violas, etc., all were evenly finished in vegetable or spirit varnish, and over many years of play they took on a weathered look wherein the exposed areas received more wear and the recessed areas received less wear. Really old originals that have not been cleaned do have dark areas under the bridge and fingerboard extension, as well as in the recesses around the sides. Here's a Stradivari.

Stradivari-Vieuxtemps-Violin-Body-1024x909.jpg

Beginning in the late 1800s, makers started applying finishes to mimic this 'played-in' look because it conferred the appearance of a fine old instrument. This has stuck for a long time.

When Fender started producing opaque solid-color guitars in the 1950s, Gibson laughed at them. And about a year later, Gibson was offering color choices. BAM!
Wow! That's some seriously interesting information! Thank you for the insight...
just curious... when you say... sunburst is a new name for an old technique... how was the technique called back then?

Say, whats the question??
Cool burst finish by the way! ;)
🤯

More of a bust than a burst, IMO.
🥲 Not my work... i got it that way, but to be honest, i like the look.... but i have a heart for ugly ducklings...

I would not call that a 'burst' finish. I just bought this Epi LP and it's described (rightly so) as a 'cherryburst finish'

52400494636_d7bb2d2abc_4k.jpg


I'd call your finish 'Huntin' Shack'
I love 'Huntin' Shack'-Finish

Aged burst, but not in bad taste. In some places the burst is no longer there.

I could see someone take this concept and go overboard and ruin it.
I think there are mixed opinions on the finish. i am a fan of the ugly ducklings among guitars... and it looked special... no one was interested in it... it was in a bad condition setup-wise and the electronics were faulty. super large drywall screws all over...
I did what i can to give it back some of its beauty and make it a player.
And I thought the finish was nice... so i kept it.... (even thought there are some days, where i think about giving it a cream-top-finish)

My apologies but to me it just looks like a very bad stain job.
i bet it's not everyone cup of tea. but you are saying its a stain job - not a burst. that kinda makes me happy... apology accepted😜

I would not call that a 'Burst' for several reasons...is it even a Gibson?
I'd LOVE to hear the reasons! Please share!
and yes. it is a Gibson BFG...

I guess you could call it very slightly a 'burst' finish, as that is what the vernacular has become over time for a shaded area around the periphery. But not sunburst! I cant tell if is bad stain or intentional 'burst"
well all i know is... it was a retrograde job. Finish has been removed not added...

I was going to that it looked like a guitar that once had a decent finish on it until somdone took some sandpaper to it because they liked the looked of an 80 year old, unpainted barn that was about to rot away.
i guess that's basically how it happened... i don't know if the previous owner had the rotting barn in his head, when he did it... but ... the background of the finish sounds correct.

I would call it a Primitive Silver Burst.
That's also interesting! 😄

It's just a stain or dye that's been sanded back.
Guess that's what it is...
 

Peegoo

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sunburst is a new name for an old technique... how was the technique called back then?

There was no 'technique' to achieve a color gradient in the finish. It was simply a clear or amber-colored finish, evenly applied over the entire instrument. Over many years of playing, a faded/worn appearance began to materialize on the surface, and that is what became the sunburst we all know and love.
 

Colo Springs E

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As for the Bonus Question:
A buddy considered calling it a "Driftwood Finish"

That makes sense. That or Satin Blackburst.

Is that one of the BFG Les Pauls from about 20 years ago? Came stock with P90s I think.

EDIT: upon further review, guess I agree with the others that it's not really a burst, as it seems pretty consistent across the top.

I do like it though.
 

Mike Eskimo

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Martin started calling theirs “shade tops”.

They offered the option starting in the 30’s IINM.

I’ve seen more clumsy/average old Martin shade tops than beautiful ones.

Especially when compared to the artful, sometimes jaw-dropping 3D ones Gibson produced during the same time period.

But - the Martin ones were such a tiny portion of their output the workers didn’t get much practice.

1670079596386.jpeg

1670079617842.jpeg
 

2HBStrat

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...I'd LOVE to hear the reasons! Please share!
and yes. it is a Gibson BFG......
I thought it could be a BFG. Those are pretty cool. I had a chance to bid on one of those, the red one, at an auction, but I passed. Well, what happened was I went to the pre-auction viewing and looked at all of the guitars but the night of the actual auction we had an ice storm so I didn't even go. There were a few guitars I would have been interested in.

As for the term 'Burst' to me, and I think for many in guitar circles, that means specifically the '58, '59, and '60 Gibson Les Paul Standards, not just any guitar with a sunburst finish. And that particular guitar doesn't look like a sunburst either, to me. YMMV...
That makes sense. That or Satin Blackburst.

Is that one of the BFG Les Pauls from about 20 years ago? Came stock with P90s I think.
...
The one I saw had a P90 in the neck and a humbucker at the bridge.

My first guitar was a burst...😂
1670081538047.png
 

Wally

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There was no 'technique' to achieve a color gradient in the finish. It was simply a clear or amber-colored finish, evenly applied over the entire instrument. Over many years of playing, a faded/worn appearance began to materialize on the surface, and that is what became the sunburst we all know and love.

confused, I am. To say that there was no intent in achieving ‘burst finishes is simply not accurate. A ‘burst is achieved by spraying in such a way as to have more than one color…sometimes two, sometimes three….in the finish with the center being a different color than the edges. I have owned a 1965 Fender Jazz bass with the wildest ‘burst I have seen. The base color was shoreline gold…a metallic gold. The ‘burst was achieved using a transparent cherry red. In essence, it was a candy apple red burst. The neck was the flamiest stock neck I have seen on a Fender, and the hardware was gold. The face of the peghead was candy apple red finished. Fantastic original finish. My self-built ‘Strat’ is a see thru blonde burst that was achieved using one color for the the color coats. The edges were sprayed to an almost opaque finish while the center was left more transparent.…a single color ‘burst.
 

Peegoo

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To say that there was no intent in achieving ‘burst finishes is simply not accurate.

I was referring to how the old-school instrument makers of Europe applied finishes, and how those finishes evolved through many years of playing to appear as sunburst finishes.

Sorry if I was not clear enough.
 




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