HELP NEEDED: Hand Rubbed Stains

Andy475

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Hey, I'm doing some modelling and testing and practicing a bourbon burst and just figuring out how the stain works with the maple I have. I have some questions and issues however:

So this is a Gibson model that I really like and I'm taking inspiration from w/ regards to the burst.
And there are some tests that I've done:
Screen Shot 2021-02-28 at 2.06.49 pm.png
Screen Shot 2021-02-28 at 2.08.06 pm.png
This one is a little blotchy w/ the darker side (the camera didn't really pick it up as well) The reason's blotchy is because of the knot in the wood which was right underneath:
Screen Shot 2021-02-28 at 2.10.37 pm.png

Here are the photos for test 2+3 burst:
Screen Shot 2021-02-28 at 2.11.24 pm.png
Screen Shot 2021-02-28 at 2.11.51 pm.png

It's really not picking up the red mahogany colour... ButI'm having some issues as the cherry red is fading well but some of the pores seem to be picking up the red which then leaves little red spots. And the darkest colour (Red Mahogany) doesn't seem to be as dark or solid of a colour to what I want- would I need to add more of the solid stain and make the mix more concentrated or is it because it's being rubbed in instead and not sprayed? Any help would be seriously appreciated!!

If there are any tips and tricks that can be given or any questions please let me know.

Thank you,
Andy
 
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nuance97

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I have no experience with it but have you looked into wood conditioner?
 

Andy475

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I have no experience with it but have you looked into wood conditioner?
Hey Mate, I just looked it up and I am palming my face :rofl:Wood conditioner would be perfect!!! I'll look around and see where I can get it or if there's any lying around the garage.
Thank you!
 

cmjohnson

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Staining a burst or fade is not very traditional and it'll probably never give you a fade transition like a sprayed finish.

But I've done it with good results and the trick is to use the right amount of solvent (lacquer thinner) on a rag and use it to blend the color zones carefully. This can include adding drops of additional dye where needed and blending them in to even out the finish.
 

Andy475

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Staining a burst or fade is not very traditional and it'll probably never give you a fade transition like a sprayed finish.

But I've done it with good results and the trick is to use the right amount of solvent (lacquer thinner) on a rag and use it to blend the color zones carefully. This can include adding drops of additional dye where needed and blending them in to even out the finish.
Thank you, I'll take that on with another test piece and test it out. I wish I could spray the burst but no one near my vicinity has a spray booth which is really unfortunate :( So I've had to resort to a hand rubbed stain so I think what I'll do is play around with the burst until it's something I'm happy with and just see what works and what doesn't.
 

P.H.Fawcett

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Check youtube for how Bigguitars & PRS does their fade. It seems you need a couple of tones and strengths of each colour to get it to work. Best of British luck
 

cmjohnson

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So who needs a spray booth? I've shot lots of paint in my garage, and nobody ever complained. You can even do it with an airbrush.
 

sonar1

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I used to fade stain leather with antiquing. A drop or two an a little piece of sponge, wring it out and rub back and forth a buzzilion times, leaving only a trace.
Build up slow.
Never did wood.
 

cooljuk

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You don't need a booth. You can shoot a burst outside with a Harbor Freight compressor and gun or even rattle cans. Not a glorious long-term solution but you could nail that look.

If you do it with stains, I think you're going to be fighting the grain and will not get that glassy high contrast look like your photo.
 

Andy475

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An update on the practice burst 2+3: I used my brothers older phone for this picture, it's not great quality but it can sort of pick up that colour.
IMG_0324.JPG

IMG_0327.JPG

I think the second one is getting those darker colours in, but it's still not what I want- I think for my next piece im going to try a lot of stuff suggested here in the forum (thank you guys! You're helping more than I could ever thank you for!) I might also stretch out the fade to see how the darkest colour (Red Mahogany mixed with some Cherry Red) .
 

Andy475

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Check youtube for how Bigguitars & PRS does their fade. It seems you need a couple of tones and strengths of each colour to get it to work. Best of British luck
Hey mate, thank you!!! I've been checking out big guitars for a while and that guy makes some real beautiful bursts!! I've also checked out this a couple PRS videos and also Crimson Guitars did one. I think one that I've found really helpful is this guy who is doing a 3-tone tobacco burst on a mandolin. He doesn't say much but I got a lot form it but the comment section seemed to clarify most of it.
 

Andy475

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I used to fade stain leather with antiquing. A drop or two an a little piece of sponge, wring it out and rub back and forth a buzzilion times, leaving only a trace.
Build up slow.
Never did wood.
Thank you man, I'm gonna keep on practicing but finding the right colour for the stains and then getting it right on the maple is hard!!
 

Andy475

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So who needs a spray booth? I've shot lots of paint in my garage, and nobody ever complained. You can even do it with an airbrush.
You don't need a booth. You can shoot a burst outside with a Harbor Freight compressor and gun or even rattle cans. Not a glorious long-term solution but you could nail that look.

If you do it with stains, I think you're going to be fighting the grain and will not get that glassy high contrast look like your photo.
Hey guys, I'll ask around for an airbrush and anything that could help my cause. I'll even have a look in the shed and see if anything could apply. I'll post what I find in the coming days and fingers crossed!! Because the bourbon burst photo attached is the look I DREAM of. If I can't achieve that with hand rubbed stains and I can't find any spray things- then I'll have to settle with what I have. But thank you, it helps a ton!
 

Andy475

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THOSE ARE BEAUTIFUL!!! That look is amazing. What stains did you use? What I've been doing so far is raising the grain and then applying the stain (and from there I'd apply a heap of Ez Vinyl Mohawk spray stuff but I don't have any yet because I want to play with that kinda finishing and see the results)

What process did you do with regards to preparing and then applying the stain etc.?
 

LP1865

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An update on the practice burst 2+3: I used my brothers older phone for this picture, it's not great quality but it can sort of pick up that colour.
View attachment 522233
View attachment 522234
I think the second one is getting those darker colours in, but it's still not what I want- I think for my next piece im going to try a lot of stuff suggested here in the forum (thank you guys! You're helping more than I could ever thank you for!) I might also stretch out the fade to see how the darkest colour (Red Mahogany mixed with some Cherry Red) .
I think the last one is beautiful. You should go ahead with it
Also, what stain are you using
 

Andy475

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I think the last one is beautiful. You should go ahead with it
Also, what stain are you using
Hey thanks man! I'm not completely satisfied yet but I think I'm getting a lot closer OH! and I'm using ColorTone stain from StewMac, unfortunately I didn't know about Transtint but they're basically the same thing from what I've heard (just different labels) Transtint is the same but cheaper from what people have told me.
 

failsafe306

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Since you are averse to spraying due to no spray booth, what are you using for clear coat?
 

cmjohnson

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Be aware that staining the maple directly gives a TOTALLY different look as compared to spraying shaded lacquer over the wood. Your classic Les Paul sunburst uses the shaded lacquer approach, PRS and the guitars I posted above use the stain on wood approach.

You just apply the stains where you want them, darkest stain FIRST, and blend them with a solvent soaked rag, and sand back the "high spots" of the maple for a second, lighter dye coat if you want that high contrast PRS look.

This shows the two base colors I applied, before blending with a solvent soaked rag.

That also lightened the overall color, somewhat.



T
DSC_4517_sm.jpg
 


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