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Filler then stain, or stain then filler? #3022825 01/10/20 02:03 AM
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I have a strat body that has never been finished. I want to make kinda translucent/transparent white, like a Mary Kay strat. The wood still needs to have the grain filled, and be sanded smooth. My question is, should I stain it first, or fill the grain first?


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Re: Filler then stain, or stain then filler? [Re: picker] #3022869 01/10/20 06:35 AM
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KuruPrionz Offline
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If you stain it and then fill it, you will cover up the areas where the stain settled into the pores of the wood.
That will work if the filler is the color you want already, otherwise it might look strange.

If you fill it first with a filler that takes stain and are careful to sand it back down to where just the pores are filled, and then stain it, you will get a stain "pattern" that replicates the grain of the wood.

Some woods take stain primarily in the pores, like ash or oak. Most woods absorb more stain on the end grain than anywhere else, making the ends much darker.
Some woods can stain unevenly depending on the grain, maple and alder are examples of this.

Speaking of wood, what is the wood?

For that matter, what is the filler and the paint?

The next step would be to mix a small amount of with the some of the clear you are using and spray for the translucent white look.
Then add some clear coats.

Good paint takes time, be patient. You want to allow each coat to dry properly before putting another coat on. Cheers, Kuru


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Re: Filler then stain, or stain then filler? [Re: picker] #3022894 01/10/20 12:55 PM
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Lou Gehrig Offline
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Speaking of which: Is there a good filler that is "soupy" enough to apply around the edge of the guitar? The typical Plastic Wood filler is thick like chewing gum and it works OK on the flat surfaces but on the outside of the tight radius around the edge its cumbersome, at best. Or maybe it can be thinned with something?

Re: Filler then stain, or stain then filler? [Re: KuruPrionz] #3022902 01/10/20 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Speaking of wood, what is the wood?


Well, I'm not entirely sure. I suspect it's pawlonia. The body is very light in weight, and it has some visible grain. It seems very open pored.

Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
For that matter, what is the filler and the paint?


Haven't really settled on those yet. I understood that at least some grain fillers are latex-based, which wouldn't seem real absorbent, especially if the stain is water-based. What would you recommend?

Also, would you think tru-oil would work for the clear coats?


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Re: Filler then stain, or stain then filler? [Re: picker] #3022958 01/10/20 05:20 PM
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KuruPrionz Offline
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If you are going to use a wipe on- wipe off finish for the guitar (and there are many good reasons for doing so), then I would not use a filler.

Carefully sand out any imperfections, manufacturing marks etc. and depending on how hard the wood is, keep moving up in sandpaper grades until you can no longer see a difference.

As a reference point, for ebony I stopped at 600 grit and switched to 0000 steel wool to put the final sheen on a fretboard recently.

For alder 320 is probably as far as you need to go. Don't fuss about the pores or "imperfections", wood is wood. Or, as a hippie friend once said to me long ago "It may not be a perfect circle but it's a perfect whatever it is."

The first coats of stain will typically raise the grain of the wood. Apply a coat or two and allow the finish to completely dry. This could take a week or so. Then fine sand to a smooth finish again and continue staining.
The most difficult part will be getting an even look. With some woods and some specific grain figures, there really isn't anything you can do.

If you seal the wood with a clear to promote consistent results, the stain will consistently not penetrate anywhere, defeating the purpose.

FWIW, I used to have a spray booth. It is a huge PITA and the chemicals creep me out. I'd be doing something similar, the last guitar I finished myself was a pine Tele with a bookmatched walnut top. I just sprayed a few light coats of Deft gloss lacquer from a rattlecan, let it dry and called it good. It's a beautiful guitar and I get compliments on it all the time. Funny because I didn't make the wood beautiful, the trees did that. Cheers, Kuru


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Re: Filler then stain, or stain then filler? [Re: picker] #3023036 01/10/20 10:02 PM
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Get wood filler from Stewart MacDonald's do the filler first let it dry sand lightly and then stain it. My $.02 anyways


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Re: Filler then stain, or stain then filler? [Re: picker] #3024280 01/18/20 01:22 AM
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I went back and found out that the body is made of barrel wood. IT's looks very much like this guy...

https://www.amazon.com/Muslady-Elec...179&s=musical-instruments&sr=1-1


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Re: Filler then stain, or stain then filler? [Re: picker] #3024385 01/18/20 04:57 PM
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KuruPrionz Offline
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Originally Posted by picker
I went back and found out that the body is made of barrel wood. IT's looks very much like this guy...

https://www.amazon.com/Muslady-Elec...179&s=musical-instruments&sr=1-1


I googled "barrel wood", as near as I can tell there is no specific wood variety called barrel wood. Your Amazon ad appears to be a translation from another language.
It is an attractive wood, fairly fine grained.

Wooden barrels in the USA were traditionally made of oak. This is not oak.
Dad was a master cabinet maker, I can identify most American woods and quite a few from other lands.


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