Solid Color Top with Clear back How to

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by hugocodi, May 14, 2021.

  1. hugocodi

    hugocodi

    Jan 11, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Hi,
    Does anyone know a good technique for finishing a bass guitar body with a solid color on the top and a clear finish on the back so you can see the wood on the back?

    I don't even know if this type of finish/technique has a name. I have been looking everywhere but haven't found much information about it.

    Similar to this:
    SWAN-ALPHA-JM5_3.jpg
    [​IMG]

    What I had in mind is to put a tung oil finish to the whole body, then apply shellac, then paint the top with the solid color and finally clear coat it all with a satin finish. Although I am not sure what type of clear coat would work best.

    My bass body is a 5 String Medium Gecko custom order from Warmoth, roasted Alder with a Walnut laminate accent and a Spruce top. The idea would be to paint the Spruce but to leave the Alder and the fine line of walnut with a clear coat.

    This is what it looks like now:
    [​IMG]
    Thank you so much for your help.
     
  2. arbiterusa

    arbiterusa

    Sep 24, 2015
    SoCal
    Shellac or washcoat the whole thing, coat of clear lacquer is fine if you don’t have washcoat. No tung oil. Shellac is ok but will tint yellow. Don’t use that spray shellac from Home Depot, you’ll get fisheye. It has wax.

    Let dry for a day or two. Masking tape and newspaper. Cover back and sides with newspaper, finish with masking tape along the line to cover back and sides. If you can find it, leave a bit of room and finish to the edge of the laminate with 3M pinstripe tape. Color coat top. Remove masking tape and paper. Clear coat all of it to taste, sanding to flat or close every few coats. Enjoy.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2021
  3. hugocodi

    hugocodi

    Jan 11, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Thank you so much for the quick response! So the Shellac should be applied as a washcoat and it should be dewaxed?

    Any reason why you advise against using Tung oil before the Shellac?
     
  4. hugocodi

    hugocodi

    Jan 11, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Sorry, I don't quite understand what a wash coat is. I have been researching online and I feel a bit confused. From what I understand a wash coat is a sealer or any finish that has been thinned 50/50, is this correct?

    I do not have a spray gun or a paint booth available. So I can only apply a finish with a spray can or by rubbing it. I think this might limit my options, but if I mix shellac with Mineral Spirits (50/50) and I apply it with a lint-free rag, would that be a good wash coat?