Tinting Clear

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Colu41, Aug 6, 2021.

  1. Colu41

    Colu41 TDPRI Member

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    I'm thinking of throwing a coat of tinted clear coat on a maple neck I'm working on. My question is, what type of tint, or dye, should I use? Not sure what's compatible with an automotive grade clear coat.
    I plan to lightly sand back the back of the neck so it's not super glossy, but other than that just looking for an amber/vintage tint.
     
  2. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I tint lacquer with transtint dye such as Colortone sold by StewMac. You can also buy pretinted amber lacquer from StewMac and others. I have no experience with automotive products however an auto paint store should be able to answer all of your questions.

    There are other ways to add an amber tint to maple - a coat or two of amber shellac will do it, amber stains on the wood itself will do it and bring out any figure in the wood. A wipe with diluted finishing resin like Zpoxy adds an amber tint while really popping the grain. As it ages clear lacquer turns a wonderful warm amber color.

    A always, practice on scrap of the same wood.....
     
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  3. Beebe

    Beebe Tele-Meister

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    Any artist oil paint that is semi transparent or recommend for glazes should work.
     
  4. Beebe

    Beebe Tele-Meister

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    The three on the top right here look like viable options. I'd probably go with the Gamboge Lake Extra. Gamboge is a classic resin used for the ground coat on violins, so it may have a bit of mojo in it. Squirt some in and test it. You want it such that you can build towards the color you want with multiple thin coats.

    https://evolveartist.com/blog/how-to-glaze-an-oil-painting/

    how-to-glaze-2.jpg


    Edit: You might want to thin the paint first with whatever solvent the clear coat maker recommends for clean up. It should make it easier to mix.

    Edit again: Actually the Gamboge may end up too yellow. The yellow-brown may be a better bet... Like how folks on here like to add a drop of brown to their amber Transtint.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2021
  5. RichieB12834

    RichieB12834 TDPRI Member

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    Try Behlans Solar Lux, alcohol based and easy to work with, works well for me.
     
  6. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    If the maple has any figure it might splotch with stain like solar lux (which is dye dissolved in alcohol meant to be used on bare wood as a "non-grain-raising" stain which is a misnomer IMHO). The OP's approach to putting the color in the topcoat is a great idea and really is how most commercial furniture is finished because it's more predictable and gives a more even color. Of course if you're trying to bring out the figure or flame in the maple then stain should be applied directly to the wood (perhaps with a wash-coat or conditioner first to control blotching but still allow the figure to pop). Lots of threads on making maple "pop" but it doesn't sound like that's what you're after.

    Transtint is dye that's concentrated and can be mixed into many different kinds of lacquer like what you propose for a "toner" or "shader" coat. After you sneak up on the color you want you can topcoat again with un-tinted clear until you get the build and sheen level that you're after. That way when you wet sand and buff you're only removing clear and not color so there will be no uneven areas in the color (don't ask me how I know that).
     
  7. dkmw

    dkmw Poster Extraordinaire

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    Mixol is another universal tint that can be used in just about anything.

    F13AF8FA-1617-4EB2-8F77-66C3967AA8B3.jpeg
     
  8. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    Beebe's suggestions are no good for tinting clear. Artists' oils absolutely cannot be mixed with lacquer. Don't even think about it. You'd need to apply the oils first, preferably with a cobalt drier, since oils can take forever to dry without an accelerant, and follow that with untinted clear. (To further clarify: yes, you can spray lacquer over dry artists' oils. "Dry" is a relative term, however; oils can continue to change over a period of many years, and the results can be unpredictable. It's worked for me and for many others, but it isn't totally guaranteed.)

    Mixol is good stuff, but add even a little bit too much, and the finish will never dry. It's also quite opaque, although it won't look opaque or cloudy when used sparingly.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2021
  9. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    "Automotive grade clear coat" is also non-specific. Could be lacquer, could be 2K, could be a catalyzed finish... My comments above apply only to lacquer. I'm the first to admit I know almost nothing about the other options.
     
  10. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's

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    It depends on your final clear coat. Whatever that is you add your tint to the initial clear. Dye like transtint amber mixed in to desired tint works universally in all finishes I know of.
     
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