Hello folks, I've read the links on various types of varnishes etc. (Newbie links). I've also borrowed and read Bob Flexner's 'Understanding wood finishing' from the library and I liked his "there's-no-mystique-in-woodworking" approach. I've read in various threads that dyeing/staining the wood itself is something that is frowned upon and that the pigment/dye should be added to the finish. Is this just based on convention (i.e never make irreversible changes), or are there structural/tonal reasons not to stain/dye wood? The reason I ask is that I'm considering getting an oil/varnish finish for my 1950s King (HN White). I wanted a deep brown/red colour (Like the New Standard Cleveland or La Scala), but am afraid that it will drown the grain pattern of the spruce top, which I really like. The finish effect I'm looking for in somewhat similar to Paul Cannon's Toenniges Bass as seen in this thread: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=180627&highlight=paul+toenniges I do realize that the specific appearance of the Toenniges bass is probably related to years of fading etc. but that's the general appearance I'm hoping to get for my 50 yr old. I would appreciate any feedback from the luthiers and other people with woodworking/woodfinishing experience as to whether my fears are unfounded, and any more info. BTW: To clarify, I will NOT be doin any of the finshing myself.