How's everyone doing? I've been a long time lurker and finally bit the bullet and made a account. I'm doing quite well myself, I must say I'm very excited about a upcoming project I've been awaiting for quite sometime. I purchased an "albatross" les paul style guitar kit for my first guitar kit experience. Its a pretty cheap kit but I figured it was a good approach to gain some experience before diving into a "59 carved top" custom kit from precision guitars. I do have plenty of wood working experience and have access to a very nice woodshop. I also have experience with guitar setups and such so I'm not blindly diving into this but it will certainly be a learning experience. The kit I acquired is a (African?) mahogany body with a eastern flamed maple cap and a mahogany neck. I'm going for a "iced tea" burst finish. Ill being using kenda aniline dyes with a behlen stringed instrument lacquer finish. I do plan on tinting the lacquer amberish to give an aged apperance. At this point my materials consist of a multi pack of kenda aniline dyes (red,blue,yellow,brown, and black), timber mate grain filler (mahogany), behlen sander sealer( rattle can), a large assortment of wet/dry sand paper (220-3000 grit), and a quart of behlen stringed instrument lacquer. I do have a basic idea of the process I will be taking but I'm really hoping for some feedback from more experience luthiers so this goes as smoothly as possible. I will be starting a build log with pictures to help pass my experience onto others. To start, I will be mixing a brown or black dye (undecided, please give opinons) to help bring out the figuring of the maple. I will do 2-3 coats of the dyes while sanding between coats. Which grit would be best for sanding between coats? I assume for the price I paid for the kit that the cap will probably be very thin so I don't want to risk sanding threw. I will then be using the yellow, brown, and red to hand rub the burst finish. My question on this step is concerning using red. To achieve an "iced tea" look will the red even be necessary or should I just be sparing with it and use light to fade it out some after finishing the guitar? Does it sound correct to use brown on the very outside edge, yellow in the center and red to help feather the brown and yellow? I will then give the dyes time to dry and fully soak into the maple. The next step I will take will be using the grain filler on the back of the body and neck. I will be adding a bit of red and brown to the grain filler before applying. Once dry I will sand the grain filler followed by dying the back of the body and neck using red and brown to achieve a reddish brown mahogany color. I will then give the dyes plenty of time to dry and absorb. Next I will be using the sanding sealer on the whole guitar to help fill any remaining grain or pores to ensure a smooth finish. Should I be sanding between coats or simply applying several coats and then sanding? Which grit sand paper would be recommended for this? I will then use a finishing sprayer to apply a few coats of untinted lacquer over the whole guitar. My understanding is using a few coats of untinted lacquer followed by the tinted amber lacquer will give more depth to the finish. I will continue to add coats of the tinted lacquer until I get the desired finish followed by a few coats of untinted. Then move onto wet sanding and buffing to a shine. Has anyone ever used kenda dyes to tint lacquer for a amber/ aged look? I will probably be using amber and brown mixed with thinner to achieve the desired tint. I will be using wood scraps to test the dyes and lacquer before applying to the guitar. So far that's roughly how my process is layed out so I really appreciate any advice for things I'm missing or advice to improve the steps mentioned. Thanks in advance for any advice you guys can offer!