Reply by Cosmicsniper

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Posted on help to finish a carved guitar body

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2202 posts in 3665 days

#1 posted 04-19-2011 02:53 PM

That’s just amazing. I haven’t seen its equal.

I would probably spray on a washcoat of shellac (or a thin coat of your normal finish) and then use a tinted finish to get your color right. I just would not rub on anything, especially in the carved areas because you will get disuniformity in those areas (even with a clear finish). And, because it’s cherry wood, I’d be careful with any blotching, particularly if the back of the guitar is flat and uncarved. In other words, you want to keep your things atop the guitar as much as possible…any disuniformity will come because of penetration.

I would spray the entire thing using about a 1000 very thin coats (over exaggeration there) to make sure you’ve covered all your carved areas without danger of oversaturating it. Final coats with clear finish of your chosen sheen.

Definitely sand down to 300 to 400 grit initially and 400 to 600 grit between finish coats (lightly sand). The last few coats I’d wet sand up to 1000 grit.

Most instruments are finished similar to this fashion, particularly hollow-bodied guitars. Although yours is solid-bodied, it will benefit from the same approach.

Now, there are way to add contrast by glazing the carved regions prior to your final coats (i.e. perhaps slightly ebonizing in between carvings), however because I have very little experience with that on intricate designs like this, I’ll just defer to other more experienced LJs.

-- jay,

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