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Color staining with Tru Oil finish?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by philthygeezer, Jan 7, 2004.


  1. philthygeezer

    philthygeezer

    May 22, 2002
    Thinking of staining swamp ash to a deep Royal blue with aniline dyes, filling the grain with black filler to accent the grain lines and then finishing with True Oil.

    Will finishing a color-dyed stock with Tru Oil work fine? Is it perfecly clear or does it impart an amber tint? Everyone seems to use this stuff with a walnut stain so I'm not sure.

    If you have pictures please post!

    Thanks,
    Phil
     
  2. Czar

    Czar

    May 6, 2003
    New Jersey
    I had some trouble dyeing swamp ash. It sucked up alot of dye and i got some pretty crappy coverage. I later found it was most likely do to the fact I didnt fill the grain. I ended up doing it with a colored tung oil with good results.

    Tru oil has a tint but I never used it over a colored finish so I dont know how it would react. I did use Waterlox as a "clearcoat" on the bass I finished with the colored tung...
     
  3. Tru-oil over a stain will work fine. The oil does impart a slight amber tint but you'll have to experiment to see how this will affect a blue underneath. If it turns it too green (blue + yellow = green), you might want to start with a blue that has a little more red in it - almost heading to the purple stage. However, if you don't want any tinting at all, go for a more tintless product.

    Oh yeah, I just remembered a recent discussion on the MIMF - www.mimf.com - about tinting Tru-Oil directly as the color and top finish in one step. Maybe you should give it a search over there.

    You should do your pore sealing BEFORE any color staining. You'll be sanding back your pore filler and that will also take some of the color out. Doing it before staining will mean that you can make as many filler coats as is needed for your ash with sanding inbetween. Of course staining first and sanding back is a technique all in it's own usually used to make curly woods pop a little better. This technique is also used to stain with 2 colors - lay your base color - sand back exposing new wood in the hard grain - then stain with the second color. Then the colors interlock through the curl and look great. That's how Schecter gets those neat "Black Cherry" flame maple tops.
     
  4. philthygeezer

    philthygeezer

    May 22, 2002
    Thanks for your detailed response! I couldn't find the discussion on tinting Tru-oil, but I'll do a little experimentation on some swamp ash at the start. Can one buy swamp ash at any lumber store? I might try to reproduce the 'black cherry' effect in blue and black or blue and green. Definitely gonna try to get a cool effect though. It'll be fun just experimenting. :)

    On the other hand, SG-style bodies just seem to scream for a dark red stain, don't they? :D

    I'm still a bit foggy on filling. If I want the black cherry effect, wouldn't it be better to stain black first, then fill, then sand back and red stain? Can I use any commercial wood filler at a store like 'Home Hardware'? They have different wood coloured fills, and if they have an 'ebony' I may try filling in black, then dying in red or blue. :confused:
     
  5. On the other hand, SG-style bodies just seem to scream for a dark red stain, don't they? :D

    Yes they do!!

    I'm still a bit foggy on filling. If I want the black cherry effect, wouldn't it be better to stain black first, then fill, then sand back and red stain? Can I use any commercial wood filler at a store like 'Home Hardware'? They have different wood coloured fills, and if they have an 'ebony' I may try filling in black, then dying in red or blue. :confused:

    You are right on the order of finish for this style of look but you'll use CLEAR filler for the pores after staining black. You can also use thickened shellac for this. And, yes, you can fill with black and get a similiar effect.
     
  6. philthygeezer

    philthygeezer

    May 22, 2002
    Sweet. Thanks much. I'm going to try this on some scrap ash as soon as I get my hands on some.

    Can I use a commercial carnauba wax on top of Tru-oil or tung oil?
     
  7. I use Minwax Paste wax on top of my finish. Works great!
     
  8. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    Hambone can you go into a little more detail on the technique of staining and then sanding to accentuate curly figure ? I'm working on a bass with a curly maple top and back right now and am considering how to finish it... I do not really want to stain it a color but if i could do something to help bring the figure out that would be great.