simple DIY finishing

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by rorschah, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. rorschah

    rorschah Member

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    I'm thinking of making my own guitar from warmoth parts.

    Any suggestions for relatively easy guitar finishes? It definitely doesn't have to look like factory, and it definitely doesn't have to be gloss. Wearing off relatively quickly is even a plus.

    Any sources, links, suggestions - anything.

    Thanks!

    -thi
     
  2. rorschah

    rorschah Member

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    I was looking on ReRanch, and a lot of the effort seems to be towards making the guitar grain not show through and making it "mirror like."

    I don't really need mirror like.

    -thi
     
  3. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

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    Miniwax brushable stains and clears from Home Depot or Lowes????
     
  4. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

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    Try Minwax wipe-on poly. You just use a clean rag and wipe on one coat on at a time. It's better than brushing as it leaves few if any bubbles, provided you go over it once with the rag and let it dry before the next attempt. Two or three coats is plenty of protection against moisture.
     
  5. rorschah

    rorschah Member

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    Wow - nice. The Minwax water-stain colors look great.

    Is the wipe-on poly definitely the best choice, over the brush-on lacquer?
     
  6. Tuberattler

    Tuberattler Member

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    Actually if you want an opaque color your local automotive paint jobber can usually mix up any color you like which there are a million of them and put it in a rattle can in Acrylic Lacquer just like some of the old Fender stuff.

    Very easy to apply once you've prepped your body and easy to color sand and hand buff to a great finish. I've done quite a few like this with excellent results and it relics just like the real McCoy..
     
  7. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    2 coats of white shellac as a sealer, sand with 320 between coats, 6 coats of quality tung oil or TruOil per instructions - no sanding required for this.
     
  8. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    TUNG OIL!!!! Its amazingly easy and a wonderful organic feeling finish. You can go with a satin or natural finish all the way to semi glooss or high glosss(harder). Tung oil perfect of non gloss especially. Just wipe it on and in with a rag for the first coat. Let dry 24 hours and smooth with 000 steel wool .Apply 2nd coat-light. let dry 24 hours. Repeat. Youcan do this until it gets to a semi gloss or stop after the 2cd or 3rd coat. Easy and feels great. Great for the neck too-great feel. Easy touch up too.
     
  9. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Heres a pic(first attempt with tung oil) of my cheapo PV predator.Not too bad considering I tried high gloss on my first hand applied attempt with Tung Oil.[​IMG]
     
  10. PB Wilson

    PB Wilson Member

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    TruOil is amazing stuff. Easy to apply and looks great if you take the time to get the wood prepped and sanded well.

    Any wipe-on finish will be easier to work with ("tung oil" finishes or wiping varnishes or even a gel finish). They may take a bunch of extra coats to build up to a thicker finish, but you won't have to deal with drips, brush marks and lots of dust that settles into a thicker, slower-drying varnish. Best of luck!
     
  11. rorschah

    rorschah Member

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    Some guitar-making book I was looking at in Borders today claimed that tung oil filled in the pores and made the guitar less resonant than a poly or lacquer, which hung out on top.

    Any truth to this?

    Thanks for all the great ideas, folkies.

    -thi
     
  12. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    Tung oil is too thin to fill pores. No way the buildup is more than poly. I'm not a believer in the finish killing the resonance of an electric guitar.
     
  13. PB Wilson

    PB Wilson Member

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    Lots of tung oil sold in hardware stores isn't really tung oil at all. Many of them are oil/varnish blends thinned so they can be applied with a rag. Being a thinnned varnish, if enough coats are applied, it will indeed fill the pores. It is easier to use a dedicated pore filler if that's the look you are going for.

    About resonance/finish situations, I couldn't say.
     
  14. BrandonT

    BrandonT Member

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    I am not a big fan of any raw oil to raw wood as i think it can hurt the tone of guitar wood.

    Oil gets dirty quick and can look bad after a hard night at the club, and i think real tung oil smells bad.

    try nitro in the spray can if you do not have a rig, you can pick the finish up in hardware stores too.
     
  15. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    No and no.....
     
  16. K-Line

    K-Line Gold Supporting Member

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    They sell clear lacquer at Lowes, HD, etc. Get a can of re-ranch color. Spray on sealed body, color that is. Let dry overnight. Spray on clear, careful not to run. Let dry overnight and take a piece of 1000 grit wet dry and scuff the surface, take off gloss. Let dry a week. Take some rubbing compound and hand rub, stay off edges. The 1000 grit can be used with a block to level the clear somewhat. Not as hard as my directions are to read. You will keep your tone better than any oil finish because they penetrate.
     
  17. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    DIY painting is a slow, painstaking nuisance prone to error. Definitely an acquired skill that you may not want to learn on your guitar.
    More power to those that can do.

    The quick, kind of OK finish I can handle is stain with a wax over top. It yields a semi-satin finish that does not wear well but does not show fingerprints much either. Quick, cheap, easy...like me.
     
  18. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

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    Ain't that the truth. Maybe even a understatement. I get the feeling you speak from experience.:( Actually, pro painting is a slow painstaking process prone to error as well.:D
     
  19. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Hence the Tung oil suggestion.
     

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