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2-tone Color Tone Stain On Swamp Ash, And Then Tru Oil

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Okay, so I did a test on a scrap piece of Swamp Ash to see how the finish will look on the guitar i'm building.

I'm wanting to do a 2 tone stain, trans-red and trans-black with a solid black line seperating the 2 colors. I'm also wanting to apply a Tru Oil finish on top of the stains.


As you can see, the problem I have here is the bleed through of the stain due to the grain of the wood. That's supposed to be a solid straight black line seperating the 2 colors.

For this test piece, I just sanded down to 400 grit, then wiped on the stains masking off each side, then masked again leaving the center stripe visible and I stained that with undiluted black stain. It currently has 2 coats of Tru Oil on it, not cured or polished or anything as well. (after the staining of course)

Any recomendations on the best way to fix this problem? Can I grain fill and then stain, then use Tru Oil?

I may end up just having to do a lacquer finish and spray the stain on instead, after grain filling, sanding sealer, etc.

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Honestly, I don't think staining a solid black line is at all workable. You could stain both, with a bit of space between them, then shoot a clearcoat, then mask, shoot solid black, then shoot more clears. Getting this kind of effect on an oiled guitar seems difficult, bordering on the impossible. You might be able to seal/shoot black-tinted shellac as the undercoat, and apply tru-oil on top of that; quite a few acoustic builders seal with shellac and then tru-oil on top to prevent the oil from sinking in too far, which would dampen the thin plates used in acoustics a bit too much.

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Thanks for the replies.

Both ideas are good. I'll keep the Shellac idea in mind though i've never used shellac before.

I haven't thought about binding on this thing yet. That's actually not too bad of an idea. Though the way i'd have to do it wouldn't be normal for binding, it would have to be more of an inlay than binding. But you've definitely got me thinking about it.

Here's the design for the guitar i'm working on

The picture is of the bass version, but the guitar version is the same shape except I ended up cutting off the ball end of the lower horn. The guitar version is the one that will have the 2 tone black and red stained finish. The red will be on the top face and back face and the black will be on the sides and contours. The black stripe of course would have to follow the edges of the contours. So you can see what I mean when I say it'd be more of a binding inlay than traditional binding if I do go that route. I'd have to make a new template to use as a guide to route out the channels for it but i'm thinking it's doable.

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to be honest,wen i looked at that i thought that you ment to do that,and i thought it looked cool

i think its a liam lynch guitar or something?that has this sort of effect,although thats a decal

but it looks cool like that

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