Warning: "continue" targeting switch is equivalent to "break". Did you mean to use "continue 2"? in /homepages/2/d186594044/htdocs/michaeldresdner/wp-includes/pomo/plural-forms.php on line 210
Dark sound, dark board – Michael Dresdner

Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

Dark sound, dark board

Q: I usually finish the soundboard of my classical guitars with dewaxed shellac. It has no color at all and therefore the soundboard ends up being very pale. I noticed all classical guitar sound boards are more toward a brown tint. My question is, do you think luthiers stain their soundboards only by using different shades of shellac (amber, garnet, etc) or they have some kind of stain colorant or whatever to add color to shellac?
A: Both of the above, and two other options as well. First, some builders use lacquer, not shellac, and many lacquers have a slightly brownish tint. In addition, many classical builders use western red cedar for their tops, and it is naturally browner than spruce or yellow cedar. It is also worth noting that both spruce and cedar darken over time with exposure to sunlight, and that, too, may impact the color you are seeing.