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Thread: Idea for staining - is this possible?

  1. #1
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    Idea for staining - is this possible?

    I have an idea for how to stain my next guitar if/when I ever do another.

    My first guitar was simply covered in Tru-Oil with no staining of the veneer.

    For my next guitar I'm thinking of using a brown stain on the quilted maple veneer, similar to this photo that I found. I want it a bit darker around the edge and lighter towards the center. But I'd like the fade to be more dramatic so that in the center there would be no stain at all. In the middle you'd see the quilted maple in its unstained, natural form. Is this possible?
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  2. #2
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    Sure.

    There's some Ibanez, ESP, PRS and Schecter guitars (among others) with finishes with the centre natural unstained and a single or two tone burst on the edges.



    Sent from my LG-H930 using Tapatalk

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  4. #4
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    You can spray it like that, but I really think you'll struggle to hand stain it in that subtle a sunburst. I've only seen a couple of stain bursts that approach a sprayed burst in terms of gentle colour blending. They generally end up with very definite edges.

    If you really wanted to hand stain a burst you'd need to apply may many very weak coats and build up the density slowly. Because of this, I'd go for a spirit rather than a water based stain - though spirit stain and binding don't get on at all well.

    It would be very hard not to stain the centre section at all, so I'd do a very weak all-over stain to start with. With spirit/alcohol based stains, it's easier to use an alcohol rub to merge the coats together than it is with water-based stains and a water rub. Start in the middle and work outwards, always using a new piece of cloth each time you start from the middle to avoid laying down stain that's been picked up by the cloth when wiping. However, there are limits as to how much post-application merging is possible and there are no guarantees as to how well it will work, so practising on scrap wood first is highly recommended. You may then decide that it's not practical.

    Airbrushing the stain on should give better results, in theory, than rubbing, but I've never tried it, so can't speak from experience.

    The example bursts shown will have been achieved by an initial all-over stain, and then spraying the darker colour(s) on using a clear lacquer. It's by far the best method for doing a burst. It's not that hard either, though you do have to remember to spray from the centre of the guitar outwards, aiming to just miss the edge of the guitar with the centre of the spray and letting the fan pattern of the spray provide the colour graduation.

  5. #5
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    Thanks, fellas! Kuanjb, that's exactly what I'm talking about. I don't know why I don't see more of these. The look amazing.

    Thanks for the tips, Simon. If I decide to go this route I'll probably purchase 2 bodies so I can use the first for practice. No actual plans at the moment. I'm having too much fun playing the Tommygun to start a new project.

  6. #6
    Member JimC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TZK321 View Post
    I'll probably purchase 2 bodies so I can use the first for practice.
    Rather than a maple veneered body, why don't you buy a sheet of maple veneered MDF, which you can probably get for a fraction of the price and cut up into any number of guitar shapes to experiment with dye techniques. Wish I'd thought of that before I chickened out on using dye at all on my build!

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    Excellent idea, JimC. Thanks!

  8. #8
    Mentor DarkMark's Avatar
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    To keep it natural in the center I would of thought you could stain and then remove/rub off the center area with alcohol before it dries to give the fade you are after. There will probably be more than one way to get the result you want so keep practicing until you find a technique that works for you.

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