Luthiers: should I stain my walnut before finishing?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Saint, May 18, 2002.

  1. Saint


    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    I would greatly appreciate some advice on finishing my walnut bass body. Although I have some experience finishing basses, I have never worked with walnut before.

    I am trying to achieve a very natural look with this bas and am currently planning to use a simple tung oil finish on the walnut body. However, I am unsure whether the oil alone on the wood will give me the deep tone I want.

    My question is: in building your basses, do you stain walnut before finishing with oil or sealing with varnish, urethane, etc.? Also, if I should be staining, what type of stain (water, alcohol, oil based) and technique would you recommend I use?

  2. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Don't stain the walnut. If you need to convince yourself, take a piece of scrap and rub some oil into it. Walnut just shines when it gets some oil into it. Beautiful.
  3. gyancey


    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    A touch of yellow or amber can warm up walnut, enhancing the brown-ness of it. Go easy and test on scrap.
  4. dhuffguitars

    dhuffguitars Luthier/Bass Wanker depending on your opinion

    Sep 18, 2001
    Greg is wrong!!!!!! :D Just joking Greg!

    Walnut is one of my favorite woods. It is my favorite to watch come to life when you apply a finish.

    Always test on scrap first when you are experimenting.

  5. DP Custom

    DP Custom DP Custom Basses

    Feb 7, 2001
    NC, USA
    stain walnut!!!!! :eek:

    sacrilege!! :mad:

    dave p.