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Thread: Clear coat over Tru Oil?

  1. #1

    Clear coat over Tru Oil?

    Hey all - I've just picked up an ESB-4 bass kit. I have a bunch of Ubeaut dyes in the cabinet from other jobs that I'd like to use on the top to provide the colour and then perhaps a few coats of Tru-Oil to help enhance the depth of the grain. Is it possible to clear coat over the top with acrylic or nitro after this without compatibility issues? Or is there no real benefit to the Tru-Oil if using the clear top coat?

  2. #2
    Moderator Brendan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Perth, WA
    Tru oil is a top coat in itself - if you were going to spray acrylic or nitro - don't use it. It won't enhance the depth of the grain and will yellow. It may also react with the acrylic / nitro. If you were still keen - test out on a scrap first.

  3. #3
    Roger that. I'm keen on a good finish with no problems! Just wondered if anyone has done this in the past and why

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Shanghai, China
    Is it ok to use Tru Oil over a gel stain like this stuff?

  5. #5
    BigDaddy - I have not done it, but I've read that you can put lacquer over Tru Oil providing it is completely cured.

    I don't know how long "full cure" time is, but at some point it does. I know I wait 10-14 days before I wet sand & polish Tru Oil, but as to whether the material is 100% cured at that time, I don't know.

    For all intents and purposes, Tru Oil is really just another varnish. It contains boiled linseed oil and some kind of polymers (some have suggested polyurethane) and possibly a drying agent (some say naptha) but Birchwood Casey is very tight-lipped on their recipe (for good reason)

    If you think of Tru Oil the same way as polyurethane, the general consensus is: lacquer over poly - OK; poly over lacquer - Not OK.
    Again, I've never done it, but I think you'd want to sand the Tru Oil with a coarse enough grit for the best adhesion.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  6. #6
    Thanks fellas!

    I'm looking at mixing up an lemony amber dye for the kit using a darker hue to wash over the light to pop the flame and then clear coating from there. The only purpose I could see for the Tru Oil was to add further depth to the figure but I'm guessing I will get a similar effect from the clear coat anyway. TBH, I'd rather use acrylic or nitro as the clear finish as I have more experience with these albeit over less figured timber though.

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