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Sharp lines between stain finishes?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by oldrookie, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. oldrookie


    May 15, 2007
    Avon, IN
    Tried a search and have done a lot of reading, but can't find the exact info I need.

    Have a Washburn p/j with one of the ugliest sunburst finishes known to man. Pretty sure it involves colors not known in nature. I'd like to strip it and finish with stain and oil.

    Want to stain the back with transparent black (with brown tones) and a lighter stain on the front. Have done some stain work on cabinets and boats, etc, but never tried to create a sharp, distinct line between stain colors.

    Most stains do a bit of bleeding as they follow the fibers in the wood, but I have seen guitars that have the finish I want, just can't figure out how they do it. Any help?

  2. The stewmac site has a great article on doing transparent finishes with faux (masked) binding and it has the details you want. Look it up on the free info section at www.stewmac.com
  3. oldrookie


    May 15, 2007
    Avon, IN

    Thank you!
  4. Thanks for posting the Stew Mac link. I hadn't looked at it before. Two things surprised me: Spraying sanding sealer over the dyed wood (I'm currently struggling with a dyed mahogany body; using sealer on top of the dye may end my struggle) and spraying outdoors when it is 38 degrees (I share my shop space with a gas furnace and water heater; can't spray indoors unless I feel like risking blowing myself up and burning down my house).
  5. Nelson Guitars

    Nelson Guitars

    Aug 14, 2006
    Novato California
    Custom builder
    Good call. That is just one reason why I have switched to a water borne finish. Not trying to start up that whole debate, but being able to spray a coat and then walk into my house without my wife booting me back out is a huge benefit. Water clean up is another. Not feeling poisoned or poisoning the environment is another.

    A technique I have employed before to expose a plastic or wood binding that I like is to seal the entire instrument, spray on the color/tint and then scrape that layer off the binding with a fresh razor blade. You can index the amount of blade exposed by simply using your fingers as a depth stop. Then just clear coat from there.

    Greg N

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