Finishes to Keep Maple Light

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ColdSteel, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. ColdSteel


    Mar 30, 2005

    I am in the process of constructing a bass, and the only thing I have had an issue with so far is deciding on a finish. I have a fairly nice quilted maple top for my bass, and what I would like to do is keep the very light, almost white, color of the natural, unfinished maple. I understand light will naturally color the maple, so it would also be nice to use something that could prevent or slow this process, if that is at all possible.

    I have the facilities to apply most finishes, so that should not be an issue unless it is extremely exotic, in which case I may not be able to obtain it anyways.

    I attempted to search for information pertaining to this topic, but I am still fairly new to the forums, and I may have just used the wrong keywords. Thank you all for your help!
  2. Scott French

    Scott French Dude Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    I've used danish oil, nitro lacquer, and polyester. Polyester keeps the maple whitest in my experience with nitro second and oil turning it very yellow.
  3. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    First, you must find a truly transparent finish. I will not argue with Scott, since I only work with oil. And oil gives a very nice and warm yellowish tone...

    And one more, very important thing, is the UV protection! If you want it to be whiteish for some time, you must have a finish with UV protection, because it is the UV that makes the vintage yellowish maple.
    UV protection often adds a wee bit of color, so you will need to find some supplier to talk to, in order to find a good total solution.