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Oil/stain Guitar Before Clear Coat

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Hi all,

I've been in the process of refinishing my guitar for the past couple of years...just been going at it reallllly slow. I'm at the point where I have the body ready to be oiled/stained and clear coated. I am planning on taking it to a body shop to get it clear coated as I want it professionally done.

The body is a Les Paul style, with a mahogany back and maple top. I am going for a natural finish. My question is, how do i get the colour of the mahogany and maple to 'pop'. Is that going to come with the clear coat or do I have to oil or stain it before I clear coat it.

I took a very lightly dampened cloth and wiped it over the whole guitar and basically got the look I was going for. The mahogany turned a nice deep red colour and the maple kinda glowed. But as soon as it dried it went back to its dull colour.

What are my options here?


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It is pretty much going to look very much like it did wet when it is finished with clear. If the maple is figured, there are a number of things you can do with dye to accentuate the figure, but if you liked it when it was wet(and you can use mineral spirits or naptha to wet it without raising the grain), then you should be happy with it when it is cleared.


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