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Spray Templates For Burst Finishes


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I saw a thread somewhere ??? A guy has a step by step guide for getting a burst finish using a poster board template that is suspended over the guitar body with a space underneath. One sprays at an angle, the spray goes under the template and fades toward the center of the body. He makes the template by tracing around the body top. He cuts the template out and suspends it over the body. Where the heck did I see that set-up?? In my dreams? This method would work for 3 or more color bursts, if the colors and size of the templates were wisely chosen wouldn't it?

I can't remember what forum I saw this on, dang it. :D

I know there are paint nuts that read every written word on this subject, please help.

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I did that a few times many many years ago to get a distinct pattern.

You can say, cut out a leaf pattern, or a star pattern or whatever to do a custom application.

It's not as easy as you might think it is.

If you want to try it, ABSOLUTELY practice on scrap a few times first.

You still need good hand/eye coordination, you still need a little experience, and many things can go wrong, so don't chalk it up as a 'most excellent crutch', because it's really not, it's just another way of doing things, another tool in the toolbox, that's about it, and you have to know how to use ANY tool.

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I use that method. I find it so much easier to do it that way than freehand. I never practiced it and I've always got the burst I'm looking for. I do however use quite a low concentrated dye in my lacquer so I can check after each coat how it looks, altering either the spraying angle or height of the template to suit. Much more successful than all my failed freehand techniques :D


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It is actually a quite cool effect when used to outline a particular softly diffused shape.

Teardrop burst, oval burst, star burst, leaf burst, explosion burst, pentagram (devil) burst, etc...it can be a very creative tool when used like that.

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I've done a water-based dye burst, golden glow --> tangerine --> pagoda red on a flamed maple tele. I used 2 carboard templates, one about half size of the body and the other full size and notched the edges deeply with scissors to help diffuse the dye. I also sprayed using Windex sized spray nozzles feeding out of mason jars. This gives a heavier pattern, what I call a "spatter" burst. First I ragged the entire body with the golden glow then used plastic bulletin board pins to suspend the smaller template over the body and shot the tangerine, then used the large template and shot the red. If the pins are set in far enough with sufficient weight on top, and you keep your shooting angle steep enough, you can avoid hitting the pins underneath and leaving behind those little 1/4" circles. When dried I coated liberally with rattlecan poly. The results looked like a big ripe peach, very close to a classic tequila sunrise burst.


Edited by Southpa
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