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Tips on doing a fauxburst finish?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Simski, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. As the header says, do any of you have tips on doing a fauxburst? I know how it works in principle: the body is covered in a primer that conceals all grain and then a sunburst finish is painted on top. But... how is the fake grain made?

    I am nearing the finish line on my personal build (a Rick 4005 knock off). It is turning out quite nice but because of a lot (too many perhaps) of routing errors that had to be filled, I have decided on a unicolor finish that hides them. But... I am also a sucker for sunburst and have succesfully refinished a Jazz Bass in sunburst, so perhaps a fauxburst would work? That is, if I knew how to do it properly.
  2. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    hummm... If you are talking about 'graining', or 'faux bois' then this is the basic concept. Determine what type off wood you will want to imitate. Get some of that wood as a visual reference. The base-coat (alkyd thinner-based paint for hardness and thinness of product) should be a light brown colour, eggshell (sheen) preferably. The surface once dried/cured should then be sanded smooth.
    Look at your sample wood and use paint-store colour chips/decks to find a colour that is close. The grain colour is a darker brown (more brown, more black, more grey) depending on the sample. The colour you choose will look darker grained so err on the light side. The grain colour can be an alkyd (thinner based) stain which can be bought in pint cans in various wood tones. Apply a very light coat on the body front and use a stiff bristle brush or rubber comb (or both) to lightly drag away stain in one direction. This is your grain. Use a very soft dry/clean bristle brush to then very lightly smooth the graining. More like you are dusting the surface - don't overdue it or it will become blotchy. Again, this will all depend on which wood you are going to imitate - ash is bold, alder is subtle and maple can get into 'flaming' which is a lot more difficult to mimic. Use a sample board to experiment on. Hope this helps and good luck!

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