Dying a rosewood fretboard ebony.

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by matt3310, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. matt3310

    matt3310 Member

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    I have been wanting to do this for a while. I am getting a 2008 Strat that is going to get a serious makeover!!! The entire guitar will be black. Even the screws and saddles! So the rosewood neck is going to look a little off.

    So what to do?

    I got some leather dye and tested on an old neck. Figured out that It would work great. So as soon as the guitar gets here its makeover time!

    Just for the record heres the difference between rosewood and dyed rosewood.

    I did it this way so you can really see the difference.


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    All done!


    [​IMG]



    Heres how I did it.
    Black leather dye, a q-tip and some patience! Mask the neck off completely! Leave only what you want to be black. I used the q-tip as a paint brush. Wiped it all down with dye, then took an old wash rag and wiped off the excess.

    Try not to get it on you dots as it will stain them. I thought I had messed up big time, but heres an easy fix. In fact I coated one dot just to make sure this worked. As soon as I wiped off the dye I got a Mr Clean magic eraser and scrubbed on the dots. The dye came right off the dot and didn't mess with the rosewood at all!!! Super easy!!
     
  2. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    Looks good. I wonder how long it will last?
     
  3. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    I got some of the Stew Mac dye a couple months ago for one guitar in particular... I Just haven't done the deed yet.
     
  4. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

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    Don't forget to make your fret markers black if you really want everything to be black.
     
  5. cherrick

    cherrick Member

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    As well, they now have black chrome. Just saying.
     
  6. Rhomco

    Rhomco Silver Supporting Member

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    You will have matching black finger tips too!
     
  7. rockinlespaul

    rockinlespaul Member

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  8. matt3310

    matt3310 Member

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    The dye has dried completly and looks fantastic!! No stains on the fingers at all!!!
     
  9. Tidewater Custom Shop

    Tidewater Custom Shop Performance Enhancing Guitarworks Supporting Member

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    Nice OP!!

    I did the same thing to a '64 Gibson LG-1 fretboard, which in my opinion was to washed out looking. The black dye (StewMac Leather Dye) worked well. It did not stain my postion markers. You can vary the depth of the darkness by applying the stain, then wiping it off immediately. The longer it sets, the darker the grain becomes... and likely to stain position markers. It wipes right off the frets.

    Since then, I've used the dye on other fretboards (I like 'em dark) and acoustic bridges. Most recently on a D-35. My goal wasn't to make the wood black, just richer brown. I used micro mesh sheets to polish the wood after the stain was fully dry (24 hours later), then Fret Doctor to condition the wood and bring out the grain.


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  10. PB Wilson

    PB Wilson Member

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    The dye on my belts and shoes doesn't bleed so why would a fingerboard? I think they look good.
     
  11. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Member

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    Nice job! I've done a few like that myself. As far as I can tell, leather dye is the very same stuff Stew-Mac sells except the label.

    It will stain synthetic materials like bindings and white plastic dots. Won't stain real MOP or Abalone. I use a Q-tip to apply Vaseline to the areas I don't want stained. If you happen to touch it with the stain, it won't soak in.
     
  12. TC5

    TC5 Member

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    I see you didn't mask the frets. Does the dye stain the frets if it get on them?
     
  13. cardinal

    cardinal Member

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    I've used the leather dye before and IME it comes off over time (and on your fingers) unless the board is well prepped (cleaned with naphtha and left to dry thoroughly) and the excess dye is removed with naphtha after letting the dye dry completely.

    The naphtha takes the dye off the fret markers, and it does not stick to the frets in the first instance.
     
  14. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    old thread. In both electric and acoustic pics, the natural rosewood looks worlds better than the cheap looking dye job. That's how all the Johnson, J.Reynolds...etc. $100 import strats look with it dyed black like that.

    To each his own but why cover up Mother Nature's beautiful art work?
     
  15. Parazyd

    Parazyd Member

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    I would've left it at this:

    [​IMG]

    :D
     
    Fretwerk Orange likes this.
  16. Fretwerk Orange

    Fretwerk Orange Member

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    I was going to say that, too. It looks cool like this. I may try it. Damn this is an old post.
     
  17. I Am Misery

    I Am Misery Member

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    i bought some dark wood dye for my Fender Mustang, but realized before applying it that it has clearcoat on the edges of the fretboard, and the area past the nut at the headstock. this won't work for all guitars.
     
  18. Crunchtime

    Crunchtime Supporting Member

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    I used a Minwax ebony stain pen on an ESP LTD with pale rosewood board. I think it turned out really well.

    People were very insistent it would fade quickly and stain my fingers but, I've played the heck out of it and it's held up and not stained my fingers. It is not jet black but, it was pretty pale when I started. I suppose a second coat would really darken it.

    Wiped right off inlays too.

    [​IMG]
     

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