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Hi everyone! This is my first post and i've tried searching, but i couldn't find anything about finishing purpleheart. I want a finish that will prevent the oxidation of the purple heart to brown without altering the the deep purple color of the wood. Perferably since I don't have a spray system i would appreciate suggestions of rattle can products.

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I've only used nitro on the two basses I built that have purpleaheart laminates but to me it looks like the color didn't change at all since I finished them. One was finished in December 2003 and the other 6 months ago. They still look pretty deep an' purple.

however, make sure to let the purpleheart "rest" after you've finished sanding your guitar so you can get that deep purple color to come out. When that color is to your liking then spray it.

I made the mistake of spraying my body a couple of days after sanding and the laminates in it have a much lighter shade of purple to them then the neck does...even 6 months later now. So that'll attest to the fact that the color won't change once your lacquered it.

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I used nitro lacquer too (Deft), and the purple color hasn't changed at all (though it has only been a year). I agree with the sanding advise. When you cut or sand purpleheart, you lose some of the brillant purple color. That will come back if you let it sit a little while. Then you can preserve that color with your finish. Don't use polyurethane -- it will yellow things enough that you won't be happy with the color.

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I don't think finish has much to do with anything, with purpleheart. Some boards stay purple forever, others oxidise to brown, and there's little you can do about it. UV-retarding laquers (ie, not Nitro) may help a bit, keeping the instrument out of direct sunlight may help, but there you go. If you're buying at a wood yard that's had the purpleheart sitting around for a while, and it's gone brown, avoid it. If it's still purple, you're probably fine. My local (Amsterdam NL) place has a couple of huge boards that have been there for at least a year or so now, and they're still vibrantly purple, even in their merely planed, unfinished state.

Also, whether poly yellows depends on the poly. Home improvement stuff, yeah. 2 pack polyurethanes and polyesters? Will stay clearer than nitro, and probably outlast it as well (nitro is by its very nature unstable, and breaks down over time; it's part of what gives vintage instruments their charming distressed look).

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My local (Amsterdam NL) place has a couple of huge boards that have been there for at least a year or so now, and they're still vibrantly purple, even in their merely planed, unfinished state.

That's pretty funny 'cuz I bought my piece of purpleheart at the same place (A'dam Fijnhouthandel) and they got it in a big stash outside, it was totally brown ad nasty looking in its raw form but looked great once planed :D

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I use two part polyurethane. I was told almost all two part urethane clears have some UV protectant although I'm not too sure about the rattle can stuff. Any one know? Anyways, I cleared half a scrap piece and let it bake outside for a month or two and there was almost no fading on the cleared side and the other was an ashy gray color. :D

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Try a test board and wipe it down with Armor-all, then finish it with whatever you're using. Some stuff doesn't like Armor-all.

I haven't used a lot of purpleheart, but when I have I've used the Armor-all trick and it has worked pretty well.

I made a hand mirror for a customer about 18 years ago and it has turned a bit browner than when it started, but it still has a definitely purple cast.

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