Creating the black to burst relic look

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by krfoss, Jul 13, 2020.

  1. krfoss

    krfoss Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    Orange County, CA
    How can this look be created? Or, how is it created? Im sure Nash is using nitrto finishes from the start, but we're not all starting from scratch. That said, this look has to be inspired by people actually doing this.

    I've started liking the look of a simple color revealing a burst or other color below.

    Can this look be done by spray painting a desired color over an already poly finished bass/ guitar? If so, what prep is needed? If not, what would you recommend? Note, I don't want to do the whole wear to the wood enchilada, just painting a trans brown instrument with olive green and letting it fade back to reveal the brown.


    Attached Files:

  2. Yeah, to me that pic looks like someone spray painted a black finish over an original burst and then the spray paint finish wore off. If I was trying to do that on purpose...... I'd paint it the burst finish, complete with some clear coat on top of the burst. Then I'd spray the black finish over that and then once everything was dry I'd start sanding through in the areas I wanted the burst visible underneath. The clear between the black and the burst would just help provide a safe zone when sanding through. And then you can go through the burst in the areas you want the wood visible through the burst too.

    That's my take, others will surely have differing opinions.
    dwizum, wraub and SlingBlader like this.
  3. SlingBlader


    Oct 19, 2013
    Bingo. :thumbsup:
    krfoss likes this.
  4. krfoss

    krfoss Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    Orange County, CA
    So it's just as easy as I thought. It's a cool look for a cheap guitar.
  5. SlingBlader


    Oct 19, 2013
    Yeah, I think it would be straight forward. Tim already mentioned this, but the clear layer between the two "paintjobs" is key to making it easier to achieve this look. I think this could all be done with whatever paints you want... Then it's a matter of choosing the abrasive that will cut without too much effort, but won't be so aggressive that it goes further than you want.

    I'd probably start with wet sanding and a higher grit paper... maybe 1500. If that is too slow, you can always drop down. Once you have it where you want it, shoot it with clear and polish to whatever sheen you want.

    If you try this technique, start a thread and show us your results. :)
    TerribleTim68, dwizum and wraub like this.
  6. SlingBlader


    Oct 19, 2013
    I should also add that if you're shooting over an existing finish, make sure that you're using a compatible paint over the top... you should be able to test in an inconspicuous spot like a pickup cavity. :thumbsup:
    TerribleTim68 and krfoss like this.
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