Creating a wonderful sunburst

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by polifemo, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. polifemo

    polifemo Member

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    A sunburst can look horrible, like this one:


    [​IMG]

    Or wonderful, like this one

    [​IMG]

    Would appreciate some input on HOW to go about all this!

    (Will TRY to create a nice subtle sunburst on a guitar build within the next couple of months.)
     
  2. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Top one looks like it was finger painted. I could help you with that one! The other is gorgeous and as nice as can be, and I can't help on that one. I feel like havin' some iced tea......
     
  3. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    Here is some sweet Iced Tea for ya.......

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Blue4Now

    Blue4Now Gold Supporting Member

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    I actually think the top one looks good. Its just a vibrant cherry burst. The one below looks like a soft honeyburst, That's the color that cherry burst fades to after many years.
     
  5. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    It's just a matter of personal taste as to colours (no fan of "iced tea" look myself) - some 'bursts are better implemented, however, whatever the colour...

    Best, Pete.
     
  6. Caretaker

    Caretaker Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    The key to it is patience. My approach is:
    Sanding sealer
    wet sanding
    base color(yellow or tinted clear
    wetsanding
    darker version of base color leaving the middle alone
    wetsanding
    next color, usually a light reddish or brownish tint depending on where you are going colorwise, again, leaving a larger area of the middle alone
    wetsanding
    do this 2 more times with each tint a little darker(this can be achieved by spraying a little heavier also)
    wetsanding in between coats smooths any imperfections ans spitting of color and fades the edges so it doesn`t have that paintbrush look. When trying to acheive that teardrop look, begin at the toggle area and spray towards the fretboardwide until you reach the edge of the neck pickup and then taper outwards towards the binding and around the edgeto the bottom. Repeat this on the other side. Be sure to mask everything you don`t want color on. When you get to where you like it, use clear to bring up any figuring for a 3-D effect. You can use a light amber/yellow topcoat for an aged patine and then one clar to top that off. Let dry for a week and buff it.
    Bursts are easy if you can see it in your mind. I have more trouble with solid colors. Black is the worst.
    There is certainly a lot more to it. It is not an easy process. There are a lot of potholes along the way. It`s all about fading, blending, knowing when to stop and patience. LOTS of patience.
    Good luck.
     
  7. atquinn

    atquinn Supporting Member

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    Because of the red, bursts can be hard to photograph. A nice burst can end up looking like a "clownburst". Unless I can see them in person, I have a hard time judging them. None of which helps answer your question unfortunately. Sorry.

    -Austin
     
  8. codyj84

    codyj84 Member

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    I tell ya, I do love a nicely faded burst, but somethin gets me about those early 60s strats...ya know, with the heavy red band and almost no transition into that deep yellow center.... I don't know why I love it so much, but I do. It really defines that era.....

    Anybody else really dig that look? Am I alone???
     
  9. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Cody, I hate that. I have a '66 strat like that. The red is basically a ring around. Luckily it's wearing off, but I hate that it's not a gradual transition. Maybe I'll stop by the store and pickup some black Krylon and be done with it!




    nah...
     
  10. codyj84

    codyj84 Member

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    haha! See, I LOVE that! I think it's hot man! Tell ya what, you just send that hideous thing over to me... That way you wont have to look at it anymore. I've got a 78 Les Paul thats a tobacco burst you'd love. We'll call it even...;)
     
  11. KennyM

    KennyM Supporting Member

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    The early 60's three tone SB has always been my favorite ever since I had a 64' strat. I do find a lot of really minty ones pretty shocking looking though ala the clownburst description. When they are faded down with 30+ years of loving abuse there is no better to me. That's what I had Jeff go for on my Senn Fullerton he made me. Here it is with my old Tele.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. codyj84

    codyj84 Member

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  13. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    The top LP is the infamous clownburst colour or, to me, the grenadine burst. My preferance is a nice tobacco or dark burst. I love when the maple goes from a bright almost yellow maple to a dark brown that is almost black.
     
  14. KennyM

    KennyM Supporting Member

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    I like that one too. Here's a couple more I was considering buying and a beautiful R9 that someone here owns that I just had to download the image and save. The one 65 strat is pretty extreme on the clown side but still really cool. Enjoy

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. rockinlespaul

    rockinlespaul Member

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    I like your approach...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  16. codyj84

    codyj84 Member

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    My FAVORITE!!!!
     
  17. KennyM

    KennyM Supporting Member

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    Yeah, that's a pretty minty 65 I was looking at. I think he still had tags. Only reason I didn't bite was that I'm always sceptical of a guitar that nobody's wanted to actually play in 40 years.

    Classic 3 tone for sure.
     

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