Finish help

lpstudio78

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Hi All,

I'm getting towards the end of my second build, a reverse firebird, and think I screwed up the finish here a bit.
I was hoping to get some advice.

I decided I didn't want to deal with a spray finish, as I don't really have anywhere decent to do it, so I went with a danish oil (tried and true brand).
I first stained the body/neck in red with a water based stain, and then did 4 coats of the oil, a day apart, before letting everything dry for a week or so.

After the week, I was able to rub the guitar without any stain coming off on the cloth, so I figured I was good. I proceeded to apply a wax paste and buff it a bit. All seemed good and it looks great. However, as I'm playing it, I'm getting stain coming off onto my hands! My thought is that maybe I needed more coats of the oil, or maybe that just isn't sufficient and I need some sort of seal coat over the top of the oil.

Now I've applied the wax, am I screwed? Do I need to remove the wax (and probably a good amount of the stain) and start over, or is there anything I can do to seal it up over the wax, somehow?

Any advice would be appreciated!

Thanks.
 

cmjohnson

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Get some wax and grease remover and use it to de-wax the guitar. Now you can do what you think you need to do, whether it's give more time for the existing danish oil to cure properly or add more.

Clearly you need to give the finish more time before you can handle it and the wax may have reactivated uncured oil.


I think it's interesting that you chose this more labor intensive and difficult finish option rather than wanting to deal with a spray finish, which is actually easier if you're set up to do it.

Any time I ever did an oil finish on anything, I put a LOT more labor into it than spraying the finish, including the time wet sanding and buffing the lacquer or urethane. Oil finishes are the MOST labor intensive type. In my opinion based on what I've experienced, that is.
 

ARandall

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Danish oil is also not a permanent finish. So it might soak in and look great, but its not a 'covering' the same way a sealer will lock in a stained body.
Truoil is the one to go for if you want a more durable and permanent covering.
 

lpstudio78

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Thanks guys.

That's what I was wondering ARandall. I have some truoil here. Maybe if I can get the wax off, I can do a coat or 2 of that over the danish oil and that will seal it up better.
 

pshupe

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I think it's interesting that you chose this more labor intensive and difficult finish option rather than wanting to deal with a spray finish, which is actually easier if you're set up to do it.
I've done a few Tru-Oil finishes and they are by far quicker and way less labour intensive than spraying nitro. I was after a matte finish and wasn't too worried about imperfections but that is the result I'm after when I use an oil finish.

Regards Peter.
 

cmjohnson

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The one time I did a tru-oil finish I laid on many coats over many days. I was going for the full gloss gunstock look on a custom headshell I made for my Mesa/Boogie Mark III.

I could have finished and stripped and refinished it five times in the same period of time using either acrylic lacquer or automotive urethane. And gotten a mirror gloss.

I have no evidence that oil finishes are fast if high gloss is what you seek.
 

lpstudio78

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Yeah I was going for a matte, natural wood look, not looking for a high gloss. I'm not really set up for spraying. I did my first build with nitro rattle cans, and it came out ok-ish. Just figured I'd try something else this time.

I just didn't realize danish oil really needs to be sealed in some way.
I did not grain fill, and didn't want some sealing coat of whatever to get all shiny in the grain pores, so I was hoping the oil would be enough with some wax. It *seemed* fine, I was rubbing it with a cloth and no red was coming off, but it's not waterproof at all I guess.

Just my noobness with finishes :)
 

cmjohnson

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Tung oil or boiled linseed oil will get you to where you want to be. They are both sealing oils.
 


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