HELP NEEDED: Hand Rubbed Stains

Andy475

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Since you are averse to spraying due to no spray booth, what are you using for clear coat?
I'd like to play around with clear coat finishes, but I'm leaning towards Mohawk Ez Vinyl spray or this other brand of Nitro lacquer
 

Andy475

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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 View attachment 522290
What kind of shaded lacquer would I use? So far I've just been staining it straight onto the wood (raising the grain a couple times before hand). Do you recommend I try seal the grain with some sort of sealer and then apply stain?
 

failsafe306

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I'd like to play around with clear coat finishes, but I'm leaning towards Mohawk Ez Vinyl spray or this other brand of Nitro lacquer
So if you are spraying the clear, why not spray the color as well? Just curious.
 

Andy475

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So if you are spraying the clear, why not spray the color as well? Just curious.
Honestly, I'm not sure. I'm planing on getting aerosol cans for the clear coat. I think another reason I'm so reluctant to spray the finish is because I already bought the stains like an idiot without looking for other options :rofl: HOWEVER- I think I recall having some sort of spraying device in the garage- as to whether it's useful or not I don't know. I'll try dig it out and get a photo and post it here and look into it. The stains I have are ColorTone which luckily can be used for hand rubbed and spray (all I'd need to do is find a solvent). Soooo what I might do (if the spray thing can work or if it even exists!)I'll experiment with that some and see what's easier and look better etc.
 

The Ballzz

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cmjohnson

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Yes, share photos of your work! All efforts are commendable, and commendable efforts lead to stunning efforts with a little practice. Never be ashamed of what you've poured your heart into.

Shading lacquer is easy. Just add dyes to clear lacquer. This goes on second to last. Clear overcoats go on last.

For dyes, LMII sells some really good dyes that are available in both water soluble and alcohol soluble versions. I recommend the alcohol soluble versions because they won't raise the grain in the wood.

Mohawk makes some really good penetrating stains as well. Fiebing's leather dyes can be great, but be aware that some of their dyes are lightfast, but then again, many of their dyes fade quickly on exposure to sunlight, too. If in doubt, dye some samples and leave them in the sun for a couple weeks.
 

Andy475

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You can use the dyes you have in lacquer, and for a super affordable option check out these Preval sprayers. It’s essentially a spray can that you mix your own colours for. I’ve seen them used with very good results. Check out this build: https://www.mylespaul.com/threads/newbie-1959-burst-build.128342/
View attachment 522401
Thank you Daniel! I checked out the 'newbie build' and the final product looks that of an experienced professional! With the sprayer bottles, how does he nail that fade without getting specks w/ the spraying?

Cheers,
Andy
 

Andy475

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Yes, share photos of your work! All efforts are commendable, and commendable efforts lead to stunning efforts with a little practice. Never be ashamed of what you've poured your heart into.

Shading lacquer is easy. Just add dyes to clear lacquer. This goes on second to last. Clear overcoats go on last.

For dyes, LMII sells some really good dyes that are available in both water soluble and alcohol soluble versions. I recommend the alcohol soluble versions because they won't raise the grain in the wood.

Mohawk makes some really good penetrating stains as well. Fiebing's leather dyes can be great, but be aware that some of their dyes are lightfast, but then again, many of their dyes fade quickly on exposure to sunlight, too. If in doubt, dye some samples and leave them in the sun for a couple weeks.
Hey cmjohnson, I've currently got Stewmac's Colortone stain. I'm sure I can scrounge around for some sort of thinner and hopefully find a sprayer type thing!! I might try that out (I'm not sure if the colortone stains fade or not but it would be interesting to try) Just to confirm, the shading lacquer would be the darkest colour? I'm planning a 3-tone burst with a nice dark red, then cherry red, and finally a vintage amber.

Cheers,
Andy
 

nuance97

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Thank you Daniel! I checked out the 'newbie build' and the final product looks that of an experienced professional! With the sprayer bottles, how does he nail that fade without getting specks w/ the spraying?

Cheers,
Andy
That was always one of my favorite build threads from back in the heyday of the forum

Not sure how he got it so perfect, but it at least demonstrates that it’s possible
 

Andy475

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That was always one of my favorite build threads from back in the heyday of the forum
It looks amazing! When I get home I'm going to see if I can get closer to that desired colour and fade (referring to the dark red on page 1). I think if it's more concentrated then it might become a more solid colour but I'm unsure
 

cmjohnson

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Colortone stains are good and they don't fade. If you have them, use them.

You don't get spots when spraying a shaded finish if the spray paint can is properly shaken up for even mixing, unless the nozzle is very low quality. Preval bottles are pretty good and can yield professional results if you do your part right.
 

Andy475

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Colortone stains are good and they don't fade. If you have them, use them.

You don't get spots when spraying a shaded finish if the spray paint can is properly shaken up for even mixing, unless the nozzle is very low quality. Preval bottles are pretty good and can yield professional results if you do your part right.
Thank you, I'll check out the Preval bottles and see what I can do :) hopefully this will all be worked out and ready by the time it comes to the real thing!
 

Andy475

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Preval bottles are pretty good and can yield professional results if you do your part right.
Another question. Would I hand rub the base colour (Vintage Amber) and then spray the darkest colour (Red Mahogany) and smooth out the transition between the two with Cherry Red? What would I spray and in what order? Would you please be able to explain a good process in preparing the wood like to what sanding grit you'd go to and then what you'd do for spraying/hand rubbing etc. and what you'd do to get the bourbon burst type look (referring to the photos on page 1)
 

Andy475

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LOOKS PROMISING:
Screen Shot 2021-03-02 at 5.07.30 pm.png

This would work right? Reading it and having a look it looks like it does but I thought I'd post it here to check and see.

Kind Regards,
Andy
 

cooljuk

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I bought a gun like that for painting a house, once. Splatter city! It was a much nicer one than that, too. Rollers would have been better.

That's not what you want. It's made for latex paint and thick stuff, doesn't have the control and range of mist / air you want etc.


If you are doing just one guitar and want to stay cheap and spray a finish, why not just use rattle cans?

There's lots of information on spraying guitar finishes for beginners on YouTube, not to mention in threads already here. You'd be good to absorb all that info before spending a penny on a bad decision, like that thing above.
 

Andy475

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I bought a gun like that for painting a house, once. Splatter city! It was a much nicer one than that, too. Rollers would have been better.

That's not what you want. It's made for latex paint and thick stuff, doesn't have the control and range of mist / air you want etc.


If you are doing just one guitar and want to stay cheap and spray a finish, why not just use rattle cans?

There's lots of information on spraying guitar finishes for beginners on YouTube, not to mention in threads already here. You'd be good to absorb all that info before spending a penny on a bad decision, like that thing above.
Yeah I was pretty suspicious of it too. I was reading through the booklet that came with it and found that it came from Aldi which is basically a grocery store so I really cant imagine it's great quality.

In response to buying and using rattle cans... Like a complete fool, I got caught up in the excitement and purchased some stains straight from Stewmac. It's a shame really because aerosol would have been a much easier solution. Alas, I've done some test pieces on some spare maple and there are the results so far...
IMG_0327.JPG

This is just one of the test pieces among many. I think it needs work and some toying with but with what I have I think it's acceptable. I may not end up with my dream bourbon burst look, but that's okay!

Anywho, I appreciate the feedback mate. I was pretty reluctant to even consider using the spray gun but hearing it from someone else has definitely sealed the deal.

Many thanks,
Andy
 

cooljuk

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I would not, personally, let the fact that I spent a few bucks on some Stew Mac stains I don't need prevent me from having the finish I want. Don't make a bigger mistake, just because you already made a small one.

Your samples don't look anything like your OP photo, but I'm sure you know that. No extremely dark high contrast to the burst. Just very very subtle changes with heavy bluring and gradual fades between not very different shades.

If you really feel you must use what you already bought, for some reason, dye the whole top yellow and spray your burst over it, around the edges from a rattle can or, if you think you will do more than a few guitars worth of finish work, buy a real compressor and professional spray gear.
 

Andy475

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I would not, personally, let the fact that I spent a few bucks on some Stew Mac stains I don't need prevent me from having the finish I want. Don't make a bigger mistake, just because you already made a small one.

Your samples don't look anything like your OP photo, but I'm sure you know that. No extremely dark high contrast to the burst. Just very very subtle changes with heavy bluring and gradual fades between not very different shades.

If you really feel you must use what you already bought, for some reason, dye the whole top yellow and spray your burst over it, around the edges from a rattle can or, if you think you will do more than a few guitars worth of finish work, buy a real compressor and professional spray gear.
I'll check out spray cans at Stewmac. are there any other places you'd recommend? anywhere better or cheaper?
I don't think I'll have the funding for a real compressor or professional spray gear. However, I will look into spraying and see what I can find.
Thank you for the advice,
Andy
 


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