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How to apply the alcohol soluble aniline dye

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Mr M, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. I've got a few questions, but here is the story:

    From the day one, I've never liked the fretboard of my acoustic bass guitar. It is made of pau ferro.
    So I decided to change its color to black (it took me a while to convince myself that I'm not ruining the pau ferro fretboard, anyway I've made my mind, it's too late to stop me : D and the ferro board was really a cheapo).

    From Luthiers Mercantile, I've bought aniline fretboard dye (soluble in methyl alcohol). It was meant to be used on ebony boards to darken but I've already put some coats on my acoustic's fretboard.

    To apply it, first I've used some cotton then I changed my mind to use a brush. Anyway I couldn't succeed to have a good result even after 3 coats because the dye doesn't spread evenly, it forms cloudy parts (I mean some parts very dark, some parts almost tranparent showing reddish brown pau ferro). BTW, between coats, after letting to dry, I've used some cotton to wipe off the dyes in excess (the dark parts) before applying another coat.

    So what am I doing wrong?
    Should I use a sponge brush to apply it?

    I've tried to mask the neck, the frets and the inlays with "package type tranparent tape" but as the dye solution is mainly of methyl alcohol, it lifts up the tape and it was really messy :rollno: I've spent more time to clean the messy parts with methyl alcohol, than to paint.

    What can I use to mask? Because it's really very hard to apply it with a very thin brush trying to not to paint the frets, inlays..
  2. C'mon noone ever tried to put aniline dye on fretboards? :(
    Can the cause be the pau ferro fretboard resisting to absorb the dye?