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  1. When restaining a body which was finished in stain to begin with, you can run into the following problem: You've block sanded a workpiece ready to be stained to where the sheen of the top coat is gone and and applied the new stain evenly across the side you're working on. As it dries you notice that areas didn't take the stain well and are developing light imperfections. What has happened here is that the top coat was absorbed into the finish deeper than you thought it was. First let the stain dry completely. Then take a piece of fine grit sandpaper and scuff down the surface even more where the spots are showing till your sure there is no more coating blocking the stains ability to absorb. Now take a cotton tip swab and lightly moisten it with your stain (I know they suck up stain like a sponge). Wipe the tip of your swab against some scrap newspaper till it is almost dry, then gently rub the color into the spotted area. This way you can control the amount of stain that actually is absorbed into your project blending the imperfection(s) away. This sure beats sanding the whole thing down again and starting over! Just as an added extra when staining figured tops: Stain them twice (though most do anyway), but make the first coat very dark i.e. don't dilute it too much, then sand when dry to 400 grit removing much of the stain as you go along, then re-stain with the color diluted correctly to achieve your end color. The point is that the first "dark" coat will bring out the figure of the wood much more after being sanded and the final more diluted coat applied.
  2. One simple step a lot of people overlook when finishing a guitar body is masking off the neck pocket and other important areas. While it really isn't necessary it does have benefits. Sprayed paint can build up rather thick especially around the edges, which could effect alignment of your neck during assembly. Another benefit which is cosmetic; when you peel the tape away from the body you will be left with a clean professional-looking finish. Suspending the body while painting is a must in many situations.... One simple tool which you will find yourself making is a hook to hold it up. If you use a wire coat hanger, taking the time to form its shape helps build a convenient tool. Make the hook which fits through the neck screw holes to extend out further. An extended flat bottom "J" which allows painting around the hole without any problems. A shorter hook can actually mask the body from spray otherwise! This also allows you to suspend the body upside down by hooking it through the trem rout. You will find this advantage helpful when painting the bottom of the body. Making your hook long enough to be able to hold on to the top will also allow you more control of the body when painting around it if your working in a limited space. Keeping the design simple on top also allows you to remove it from the area your painting it and hang the body elsewhere to dry, like if you find yourself painting outside and the weather is less than perfect. Ever wonder how to go from a shiny metallic, bright or dark burst edge to the middle and keep relatively the same hue of translucence color on your body? Metallic looking edges are made by applying a silver burst around the body, then painting the entire body in the translucent color of choice.Bright looking edges are made by applying a white burst around the body, then painting the entire body in the translucent color of choice.Medium to dark edges are made by applying a medium to dark gray burst around the body, then painting the entire body in the translucent color of choice. Painting pickups: I have had limited experience here but I will tell you of one success story. I used acrylic artist paints which are flexible even when dry to paint the missing part of the pattern found on a Jem FP. It looked pretty cool because it gave the illusion of the pickups disappearing into the body.
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