Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

Archive for the 'dye' Category

Hand applied sunburst

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Q: How do you recreate the look of the old style hand applied sunburst used on Gibson mandolins from the 1920s and 1930s? A: The somewhat rough look of the inside ring of the sunburst comes from the old style hand applied sunburst as opposed to one that is sprayed on. It’s a moderately difficult [...]

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Bigleaf, big pattern

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Q: I am making a cabinet door of solid cherry with a quilted maple panel. I want a bit of contrast between the cherry and maple and to show off the quilting in the maple. I was planning to stain the maple with a cherry color oil based stain and sand it lightly with 600 [...]

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Sunburst by hand

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Q: I read somewhere that the first sunburst finishes were produced by hand. Can you describe how this was done? A: I can and have. Many years ago (1983, if I recall) I described the process at length in an article for Vintage Guitar Bulletin. That piece later became part of a small book or [...]

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Bleeding sunburst

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Q: I stained a guitar red/brown using water soluble dye. After the stain was dry, I dry brushed dark brown water soluble dye around the edges, fading toward the center for a sunburst-like finish. Clear lacquer coats finished the job. Will the dyes bleed into each other over time and become unattractive? A: No. Water [...]

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Mixing vs. buying stain

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Q: When you say to control the color by how you mix the stain not how you apply I am a little confused. My stain is premixed. It is General Finishes water based dye stain. Can that be thinned using water and do I need to thin it? A: You can thin any stain, should [...]

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Just a shmear

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Q: If I brush on a final finish, will it cause water based dye stain to bleed into the finish on the brush and smear? A: Water soluble dye can bleed onto a brush loaded with waterbased finish. Whether that will be enough to smear the stain also depends on your brushing technique and how [...]

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Dye another day

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Q: I am about to start staining and finishing my new maple kitchen cabinets. I decided to use a dye stain. On my sample pieces I applied a wood conditioner then lightly sanded, then applied the stain to the color I wanted. A: Dyes work best on raw wood. Wood conditioners work by inhibiting stain [...]

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Odds of even

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Q: I built a small table from reclaimed mahogany. There is a lot of variance in the colour and grain pattern. I want to stain this so to even out the colour. What do you recommend? A: Most pigmented stains work very well on mahogany to even coloration, in large part because they take full [...]

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Gel dye

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Q: I am trying to find the gel base for water based dyes. Do you have formula or resource to this gel base, and does anyone make water base dye gels? A: I used to. Back in the late 80’s to 1995, my wife ran a company called Clearwater Color Company, making waterbased gel dye [...]

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Fishy finish

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Q: I stripped an oak fish tank stand and applied two heavy coats of espresso colored Varathane oil stain, leaving it sit one hour before wiping it off. I then applied two heavy coats of Watco Teak Oil and left them overnight. I found a sticky, gooey mess in the morning. When I tried to [...]

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