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Alright A Few ?'s From A Newbie


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okay. i have an ash strat body that i am aiming for an amber/very light brown stain on. i am not adding color (well, just the stain). here are the steps i have so far.....

1. fine sanding (to what grit?)

2. stain (as many coats needed to get desired color, correct?)

3. sealer (how many coats?). also, i have a compressor but no spray equipment. is there an aresol sealer out there or should i buy some spray equipment?

4. clear coat (was going to go with the aerosol here, how many coats?)

sorry if these are stupid ?'s but i have gone through the turturiols and they always end up adding a color and i am not. this is my first and i dont want to screw it up.

also, i have looked only at stewart mac for finishing stuff. are there some other places/brands everyone recommends? did i leave out any steps? thanks in advance for the advice.

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Hey man welcome to the forum firstly you dont really wanna sand your body with a fine grit probably about 15 minutes of sanding with some 220 is all you'll need cause you want the surface semi ruff so the paint well stick good then you'll want apply your stain.Then seal your body normally 2-3 coats is good then when clearcoating probably about 8 coats but I normally do as many as it takes to use 2 full cans.As far as suppliers try reranch there stuff is very very good and they have great tutorials on there site hope this helps cheers.

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You can do this many ways, here is the way I would do it.

Your MOST IMPORTANT step here is a step you didn't include, and that is filling the pores with a pore filler.

Ash is very porous and the pores NEED to be filled, and you need to do a very thorough job of it.

Level sand to 320 then 400 using a hard-backed sanding block for the flats.

Your finish will 'grip' just fine.

Blow off the body thoroughly with compressed air, get all those pores blown out and clean.

Pore fill with slightly thinned 2-part epoxy (my choice) using a plastic spatula or a credit card to press it into the pores initially, then to clear off the excess before it dries.

There are other pore fillers out there you can use, each has it's own set of ups and downs and learning curves.

Sand back to level with 400 (carefully, carefully, this will take some time and patience)

You can tint it if you want to enhance the color of the pores (I absolutely would do this, but it is an option, and is a little more complicated, sort of an advanced technique)

Sometimes you will need to pore fill again and check your work closely with a lamp held closely to the body, looking for any areas that didn't get pore filled the first time.

You want that body -mirror damn smooth- with no pores unfilled.

This will make a HUGE difference in your job, in your progress, and your overall satisfaction with the guitar.

Do not rush the pore filling stage, it is truly the most important part (IMO)

Apply 6-8 coats of clear lacquer. Maybe more if needed.

Gently sand back to level w/ 400 grit. Pure, smooth, sweet level. Take your time.

You're not trying to remove a lot of lacquer now, just get it sweet, soft, and smoothed out.

No humps, no holes, no spray waves.

Pure smoothness is what ye seek.

Apply your color coat with a can of Reranch tinted lacquer. Color is your choice.

6-10 more coats of clear lacquer (maybe even more)

Let cure for a few weeks.

Do your buffout starting with 1000 grit and work up from there until done.

There are many tutorials on sanding and buffing out, no need for me to spell it all out here again.

Your biggest 'deal' is filling those pores the correct way and starting with a perfectly smooth body.

Everything else afterwards will go MUCH smoother if you do that.

If you don't, you will face many new unnecessary hurdles and make things really hard on yourself.

You will be tempted to rush thru this stage, do not fall and give in to the Song of the Temptress, for She is a wicked tyrant.

For me, 2-part epoxy is the BEST pore filler. It doesn't shrink back, and dries hard as a rock.

Great pore filler.

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