Wipe on, translucent color finishes? How about non-toxic finish options?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by dB, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. dB

    dB Member

    Messages:
    3,863
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Are there any good quality wipe on finishes that would yield a Mary Kaye sort of look? Preferably water based, but not critical.

    Part two...what are some good quality, non toxic finish options?

    I'm trying to make the switch in our school wood shop to get away from the nasty oil based Minwax stains and clear poly finishes...but I'd also like it to be a system that lends itself to guitar and furniture quality finishes. Ideally, having some actual color choices would be nice so that everything is not always a shade of brown and amber.
     
  2. KGWagner

    KGWagner Member

    Messages:
    2,907
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Location:
    Metro Detroit Area
    There are a number of water-based dyes/stains/finishes out there that aren't quite as toxic as the solvent-based stuff. For that matter, the oil-based stuff is relatively benign. Unfortunately, most "safe" stuff is typically not as durable and so isn't as well-suited to things like furniture and musical instruments that are exposed to a lot of handling and/or abuse.
     
    wox likes this.
  3. dB

    dB Member

    Messages:
    3,863
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    For oil based are you referring to Tung/Danish/Tru oil types of finishes? We do use those a bit, and stuff like Watco and some of the Sam Maloof recipes. It is a good alternative to Minwax.

    I'm leaning heavily towards giving the Saman stuff a try.

    https://www.saman.ca/en
     
  4. wox

    wox Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,538
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Oil won't hurt you. It's just a bit stinky and will mess up your hands and clothes if you're not careful (and be safe discarding oily rags - let then dry first).

    Big fan of StewMac water-based dyes topped with Tru Oil. Easy finish you can do with no spray or special equipment, and if you give it enough coats and elbow grease, buffs up nicely and looks pro.
     
    9fingers likes this.
  5. KGWagner

    KGWagner Member

    Messages:
    2,907
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Location:
    Metro Detroit Area
    Yes, those are what are called "polymerized" oils, which simply means they've been slightly altered and/or have additives that allow them to cure rather than dry. They react to oxygen, so cure time can be relatively long, but nowhere near as long as a pure oil finish would that dries via evaporation. As bad as they smell, they're relatively safe as far as off-gassing VOCs are concerned.

    Minwax is not a finish, but rather a brand name. They make a lotta different products, so I wouldn't discount them as an option. They have the advantage of being widely/easily available. Plus, they have "wipe on" polyurethane products that are also safe, albeit stinky. On the plus side, it's more durable than any of the oils, polymerized or not. The Saman products you mentioned sound good, although I have no experience with them. Another good wipe-on poly is Behlen's "Master Gel". I've used that to good effect when I wasn't able to spray something better.
     
  6. gitman

    gitman Member

    Messages:
    983
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Location:
    western europe
  7. jaxjaxon

    jaxjaxon Member

    Messages:
    25
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2018
    100 % PURE TUNG OIL I couldn't find it any where but a site called milk paint. I took 3 days reserching about tung oil true oil linseed oil and Danish oil .linseed oil will become quite dark with age.True oil is mostly lenseed oil with varnish and Danish oil is a mix of lensed oil Tung oil and varnish. A lot of people will use Tung oil to finish the neck.it take some time to do tung oil three times longer than other oils and finishes.I think its why its not used much because of the time involved. 100% Tung Oil
     
  8. onemoretime

    onemoretime Member

    Messages:
    2,667
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Location:
    TBD
    Minwax Simply White or Pickled Oak Wood Finish (Oil Based Wiping Stain or Aerosol) / Whitewash Pickling or Honeydew (Water Based Stains) for that Mary Kay look. Simply White/Whitewash looks new, Pickled Oak/Honeydew looks aged. Top with the finish of your choice. Polyacrylic (water based polyurethane) can be used over the water based stains and wiped on if desired. Lacquers can be used over either type of stain when fully dried.
     
  9. sleazy pot pie

    sleazy pot pie Member

    Messages:
    81
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    Rubio monocoat. It is linseed oil based wipe on floor finish. Single application on raw wood. You only need to sand the wood to 150/180 at the most.

    It is basically the same thing as wudtone, which is nice too, but expensive compared to rubio.
    You can mix the rubio colors together to get a custom color.
     
  10. metrokosmiko

    metrokosmiko Member

    Messages:
    1,007
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Location:
    Lima, Perú
    Rubio Monocoat is great. I just refinished my strat body in Rubio and used a coat of "pure" (their transparent color) on my USACG roasted maple neck. It made the grain pop more and "caramelized" the whole thing a bit.
     
    sleazy pot pie likes this.
  11. B. Howard

    B. Howard Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,164
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2013
    Location:
    Magnolia DE
  12. sleazy pot pie

    sleazy pot pie Member

    Messages:
    81
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    Do you have any pictures?
    I gave away the guitar I finished with Rubio, but thinking about trying again
     
  13. metrokosmiko

    metrokosmiko Member

    Messages:
    1,007
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Location:
    Lima, Perú
    Here's the body of my MIM strat I stripped and re-did in Rubio Monocoat. The color hue is "velvet green", and it's much more green and lively than in the picture. It was fairly easy to put on, just be sure you sand your wood thoroughly, because Rubio needs to bond with the wood - if there's any leftover poly, however invisible, you get a blind spot in your finish.
    (Ignore anything in the pickguard area; we were testing out other hues).
    [​IMG]

    And this is the neck, USACG roasted maple. It was more of a pastel chocolate color before, now it has caramelized. I used the "pure" hue (which is transparent but makes the grain pop). Silly of me not to take pictures before/after. In terms of feel, it feels just like the wood but not "sandy" in the hand. I bought a 20ml bottle of Pure and I think I could finish 5 more necks with it. I barely used up any.
    [​IMG]

    If you use the "accelerator" solution with the Rubio oil (you probably will) the thing dries almost immediately but it's recommended to let it cure for a day or two.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  14. sleazy pot pie

    sleazy pot pie Member

    Messages:
    81
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    It never occurred to me to use it on a neck.
    I did a pine body and should have stopped sanding at 180. It didn’t absorb as much as I would have liked.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice