Trying to pop the grain

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by alathIN, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    703
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
    Location:
    Indiana
    I am trying to add depth/contrast to the grain pattern on this cherry top strat body.
    I started with a purple/red, then sanded it off and went back with the bright red.
    It did move in the direction I wanted to go, but not nearly as far as I'd like.

    Using keda aniline dye mixed in 70% isopropyl alcohol.
    It's cherry if that helps.

    In the past I've always used water to mix up the keda dye...

    Tips/suggestions?

    71501799_1247720222075446_1477346283126521856_n.jpg
     
  2. Mosstone

    Mosstone Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    120
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2018
    Location:
    I only know my speed
    It's probably too late for this suggestion, but on ash, I have died the body black (or another dark color) first, then sanded back, leaving only the grain darkened. Then I apply the other colors.

    downloadfile-1.jpg
     
  3. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,500
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2014
    Location:
    Maine
  4. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,821
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Location:
    Nueces Strip
    I've heard that PRS paints the maple black when still bare then sands it off. Those pop pretty good.
     
    alathIN likes this.
  5. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,290
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2018
    Location:
    In space with Ziggy
    I'd stain with a dark brown then sand it off before going on with the red.
    The dark brown will stay deep in the grain and highlight it as you progress on to the cherry then clear coat.
     
    alathIN likes this.
  6. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    703
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
    Location:
    Indiana
    Not too late!

    I've sanded it back to almost naked (just a slight rosy blush here and there)

    It makes sense - a stronger contrast.

    Does water vs. alcohol make a big difference?
    If water penetrates deeper (as I've heard rumored) does that mean it's better or worse on the black layer?
     
    Mosstone likes this.
  7. ahiddentableau

    ahiddentableau Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    197
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2018
    Location:
    Middle of Nowhere
    Not saying you shouldn't try to sand/re-dye/re-apply red, but it looks pretty good to me, all in all. Red is such a hard colour to gauge. But when you add your topcoat it may pop more than you think. I recently did a 335 kit in red and it was a similar experience. But once I put the topcoat on the figure popped enough for my liking.
     
  8. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    35
    Posts:
    2,476
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2013
    Location:
    Georgia
    If you have any scrap to try it on, boiled linseed oil makes everything pop, but it will give it a darker wet look.

    This was a radiata pine board from Lowe's with about 3 weeks of sanding and BLO.

    pro jr pop.jpg
     
    tubedood, Skydog1010 and alathIN like this.
  9. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,885
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Location:
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
    .

    Dark in the grain. Dark brown would be better than black as brown has red in it. Sometimes the black is green or other heavy shades within black. If you want to see, find several items that are 'black' like a phone, tv remote, and a comb and take them out in full sunlight and compare how different the blacks are when next to each other.

    Watch some staining videos by BigDguitars on youtube.

    .
     
  10. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    1,928
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Washington
    Nickfl and alathIN like this.
  11. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    703
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
    Location:
    Indiana
  12. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    2,581
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    Location:
    PNW USA
    Wow! I normally don't care for purple finishes, but that guitar is stunningly gorgeous! Thanks for the tip.
     
    Mosstone likes this.
  13. Luthi3rz

    Luthi3rz Tele-Meister

    Age:
    49
    Posts:
    241
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2018
    Location:
    AZ
    Like the other said. Dark Brown, sand it then Red.

    Dark like this. Look at first few minutes.

     
    Tommyd55 and alathIN like this.
  14. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    703
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
    Location:
    Indiana
    Dude I want gapless dovetails like that.
     
  15. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    703
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
    Location:
    Indiana
    Black + purple = blurple?

    20190930_203215.jpg
     
  16. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    35
    Posts:
    2,476
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2013
    Location:
    Georgia
    This was done with water/alcohol soluble walnut dye applied pretty heavy, then boiled linseed oil to pop the grain under it. Poly clear coats in the end. This was radiata pine from Lowe's as well.

    walnut dye.jpg
     
  17. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,500
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2014
    Location:
    Maine
    The only way to determine for certain how a finish will look is to find some scraps of the exact kind of wood the guitar is made of, and experiment, taking careful notes, until you find a combination of stain, sanding and oil or varnish, that will give you the look you want. BTW, take care with staining or dyeing cherry, it tends to blotchiness, which is why most cherry is left unstained, it's already a nice color.

    (edit) I see it's way too late to do test scraps. I'm also a fan of diving right in and bashing away until we cross the finish line! Sometimes, this is where the magic happens.
     
    alathIN likes this.
  18. Mosstone

    Mosstone Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    120
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2018
    Location:
    I only know my speed
    I used a water-based dye for the black, and the other colors are alcohol-based. This is so the black wouldn't get picked up by the purple dyes and make them muddy.
     
  19. Mosstone

    Mosstone Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    120
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2018
    Location:
    I only know my speed
    Thanks for the compliment!
     
  20. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    9,408
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Location:
    Lawndale CA
    I saw no mention of grain filler (paste wood filler).

    My system on that body for "grain pop" would have been:

    lacquer sanding sealer (followed by sanding). Not shellac or thinned lacquer - they don't have the correct clear pigment blend for penetration control;

    red dye - the sanding sealer allows you to control how even the penetration is and avoid blotchiness - use a solvent dampened cloth to wipe areas going too dark.

    Dark-tinted paste wood filler, like Mohawk's grain filler or Timbermate.t may take 2-3 application, progressively thinner and with the blade at a different angle each time to get the proper depth.

    Another coat of lacquer sanding sealer followed by sanding.

    At this point you should have *most* of your "pop" and color. You can add some overall color depth by applying a coat or two of lacquer toner in the color you want.

    Clear gloss lacquer - as many coats as needed to get the depth/3d effect desired.

    With conventional lacquer and Mohawk's grain filler (tinted with universal colorants) the system takes about 3 days to apply (whether by aerosol or HVLP), and is buffed the following day.

    But as mentioned earlier by others, you should always apply the complete system - prep to buffing - on scrap wood (preferably the same or a similar type) as many times as it takes to perfect your technique and understand the way the products interact BEFORE working on the actual body. Don't experiment or try to learn on quality guitar parts - you'll waste time and money.

    I've been finishing guitars since the 1970's and still do full practice applications if I introduce one new product or piece of application equipment into the system.
     
    SecretSquirrel likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.