Burst Fading Darker!?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Duane.S, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. Duane.S

    Duane.S Member

    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    50
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Hi all, My first post but I've been lurking for quite a while.

    First, I'd like to thank everyone who has contributed to this form. This place is a wealth of information, so much so that I've never felt the need to post because I could find answers to my questions by searching.

    OK, on to the business of sunbursts. I am building a Les Paul replica and am trying to do an ice tea burst by using Lockwood aniline dyes and fading it in the sun. I have started doing some test strips and have found that after they have been in the sun for about 4 to 5 hours they actually get darker. It is almost like the wood is getting a sun tan where the yellow gets darker. The red loses some of the bright red but turns a darker brown / red. Check out these test strips, the left side had tape over it to protect it from the sun.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    Here is what I have done for the test strip and as far as mixing the shaders.

    The paint stir sticks are light colored wood, pretty hard but not sure what it is. I sprayed them with a heavy coat of lacquer to seal them.

    I mixed the Lockwood Alcohol Dyes (Cherry Red #179, Royal Blue #6533, Lemon Yellow #2350, Maple Brown #173) as they recommend: 75% alcohol, 25% acetone, 16 to 1 dye powder. This makes a very strong dye.

    For the yellow shader, I diluted the dye by 50% with alcohol / acetone and added some lacquer, 6 to 1. I sprayed a couple of coats till it got to the color I liked, then sprayed a coat of lacquer.

    For the red, I diluted the cherry red by 20% with alcohol / acetone, and added some lacquer. I sprayed the red and then sprayed a coat of lacquer. I then added a small amount of blue, about 40 to 1 into the previous mixture and sprayed the second burst on the paint stick followed by a coat of lacquer.

    After spraying the shaders and letting them dry, they would be very dull and flat looking. After spraying a coat of lacquer over the shader, they would get glossy brighten up and the yellow got a amber tint to it (?).

    Does anyone know what is going on or what am I doing wrong?

    Duane.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
    GitFiddle likes this.
  2. D. Spree

    D. Spree Member

    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    18
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    I am not an expert but have found that some pigment darken as the medium evaporates (that happens to me with lacquer) and that the sunlight fading that later occurs takes more than a few hours. I think it just needs more time.
     
  3. Duane.S

    Duane.S Member

    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    50
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Thanks for your suggestion, I'll let it sit in the sun for another day or so to see if it will fade.
     
  4. Duane.S

    Duane.S Member

    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    50
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Well, I found out a couple of things were wrong, or at least I think so.

    1) The wood was turning darker (browner) under the finish. But it seems that after a couple days in the sun it would also bleach out.

    2) I was mixing my shader with too much dye and not using the correct thinner.

    The original shader was 62% cherry red dye, 2% blue dye, 1% brown dye, then added 25% thinner (75% alcohol, 25% acetone) and 15% lacquer. It probably laid in the sun for a week with not much fading and was turning an ugly brown.

    After searching for different recipes for shaders / toners, I started over with what I thought was as a consensus mixture. This time I mixed 6% cherry red, 0.15% blue, 69% thinner (straight acetone), 25% lacquer. Here is a picture after about 8 hours in the sun:

    [​IMG]

    Not a great picture but i hope it gives the idea.

    Mixing in less dye made it easier to control darkness by spraying more passes to get the correct color. Adding more lacquer kept it wet longer which also helped to see the correct color. When it dries, it looks much darker and flat, but when you spray clear lacquer over it the correct color shows.

    I feel like I am getting closer and am on the right track. Next test I will try adding more lacquer (40%?), reducing the thinner by the same amount and maybe a bit more blue. Also, I will use a larger piece of maple so that it is easier to see what's happening.

    Any suggestions or comments?

    Here is a picture of the guitar that I'm building.

    [​IMG]

    Duane.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
  5. Bgetraer

    Bgetraer Senior Member

    Messages:
    614
    Likes Received:
    312
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    that DC looks sweeet!! :D

    i am starting to really dig the look that those things have, very solid and chunky (in a good way) and yours looks as good as they come!
    benjy getraer
     
  6. GitFiddle

    GitFiddle Premium Member

    Messages:
    10,687
    Likes Received:
    12,974
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    :wow:

    Wow, nice work.

    Thanks for the post and welcome to MLP. :thumb:
    Can't wait to see them painted.
     
  7. Barnaby

    Barnaby Premium Member

    Messages:
    8,478
    Likes Received:
    9,814
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    Great educational thread - thanks for the info and experimenting.

    The guitars also look amazing. :applause::applause::applause:
     
  8. Duane.S

    Duane.S Member

    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    50
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Thanks for all your kind remarks on the guitars.

    Here are my latest tests for sunburst fading. On this piece of maple I sprayed the yellow shader mixed at 6% yellow dye, 25% lacquer and 69% thinner. The red is 6% cherry red, .1% blue, 25% lacquer and 69% thinner. Both shaders were followed by a coat of lacquer. I masked off the right side so that it wouldn't see any sun and left it out for 5 hours.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see the yellow got very amber/tan and the red faded to a brown/red.

    This next picture is after 16 hours in the sun.

    [​IMG]

    As far as I can tell, there is very little differance!?! :confused:

    I'd guess that maybe the Lockwood Cherry Red #179 dye has a lot of brown in it that doesn't fade? Or maybe I've added too much blue?

    Not sure what I'm gong to try next, anyone have any suggestions or comments?

    Duane.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
  9. Midnight_Blues

    Midnight_Blues Junior Member

    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    37
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    The bottom one is lighter... In the top photo, the brown is darker than the red, though in the bottom, it's turned into more of a pink hue, and the area where the pigment seems to disappear is actually higher up (closer to the edge). That's what my eyes see anyways...
     
  10. Barnaby

    Barnaby Premium Member

    Messages:
    8,478
    Likes Received:
    9,814
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    I believe that fading will continue even once the guitars are out of the sun, although at a slower rate. I also think the bottom one looks considerably lighter, although it's hard to be sure from a photo.

    Have you also experimented with amber/brown?:hmm:
     
  11. Knarbens

    Knarbens Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,299
    Likes Received:
    705
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    I'm really diggin' the faded look on the right of your last test!
     
  12. Duane.S

    Duane.S Member

    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    50
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    I will stick it back out in the sun and let it bake. I talked to a friend that had a LP redone by historic makeovers and he said that when they fade their finishes, they have a fan blowing air across the guitar. Obviously, that will keep the guitar cool, but I wonder if it has any other effects on the finish?

    I shot both pictures in the same place but at different times of day, trying to get a flat light so not have any glare, but the lightness of the pictures is hard to control. I was looking more at the color for change.

    Amber/brown like a dark burst? So far all I've tried is the cherry red with a little blue over yellow. My goal is a light tea burst, kind of like the one on the cover of BOTB (also pg. 92). I am open to suggestions and will try the amber/brown mix, could you give me some more details?
     
  13. Duane.S

    Duane.S Member

    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    50
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    I have been traveling a bit but am back to trying to get my sunburst to look right.

    This first photo is the one you saw above with another couple of more days in the sun. It is 6% cherry red, .1% blue, 25% lacquer and the rest thinner over a yellow toner of 6% Lemon Yellow, 25% lacquer and the rest thinner.

    [​IMG]

    On this test I used the same yellow toner, except I didn't spray it as dark, with 6% red, .1% blue, .1% brown, 25% lacquer and the rest thinner. It sat in the sun for about 2 days.

    [​IMG]

    Next, I decided to add more brown and blue. This one I shot the yellow darker (more passes) with 6% red, .2% blue, .2% brown, 25% lacquer and the rest thinner. It also sat in the sun for about 2 days.

    [​IMG]

    One thing that is noticeable in the previous photos is that the yellow turns an amber / brown color. Looking in BOTB, it looks like the yellow does have an amber tint on a lot of the faded LPs. Was it the wood getting darker or the yellow dye turning amber?

    On this last test I decided to use a TransTint yellow toner to test if it was the wood or yellow changing color. The yellow is 1.8% yellow, I added a bit of amber - .15% amber, 49% lacquer and the rest thinner. I also added more lacquer to the red shader (45%) but kept the same ratios of red, blue and brown the same as the previous photo.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the yellow didn't chance much after 2 days in the sun. Also, the red didn't become as brown, probably because the yellow underneath didn't turn amber?

    OK, Opinions?!? Which do you like and why? Any suggestions on how to get a '59 like teaburst that I have never seen in person? :doh:
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
  14. Hiltz390GT

    Hiltz390GT Junior Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 23, 2016
    Can we re upload the pics? definitely want to see the results! I'm about to do my own burst finish
     
  15. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

    Messages:
    5,092
    Likes Received:
    5,618
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    I wouldn't hold your breath. Last post in this thread before yours was 5 years ago
    and the most recent post by the OP on the forum was over 3 years ago. :)
     
  16. jkes01

    jkes01 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,843
    Likes Received:
    757
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Not to mention the debacle that PhotoBucket forced on all of their users. No one is willing to pay to post pics.
     
  17. Duane.S

    Duane.S Member

    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    50
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Well, you can breath again... ;) I too was disappointed by photobucket's decision to cut the web hosting for free, lots of great information lost. So, I got a Flickr account.

    Here are a couple more photos of how it turned out. This is after I sprayed the burst.

    [​IMG]

    Here it is sunbathing,

    [​IMG]

    Getting ready to apply the final lacquer coats.

    [​IMG]

    And after a few years here is a recent photo, you can see how it has continued to fade.

    [​IMG]

    This was a fun project and a really nice Les Paul was the outcome. But, since this guitar I have stuck with using TransTint dyes....
     
    SoCal Flood likes this.
  18. SoCal Flood

    SoCal Flood Silver Supporter

    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    141
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    I'm in awe of your skills. Wow, it's perfect!
     

Share This Page