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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just purchase this body, and while I wait for it to arrive, I am interested in some finishing ideas. It looks so nice as is, I am tempted to just do straight tru oil, though a light earthy brown dye might look nice first. I've never finished maple before. Alder body with maple top.

 

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Finish options for maple to consider:

- Just a clear topcoat
- Couple coats of shellac, then topcoat
- Transtint dye, then topcoat.

Here are some examples of coloured maple guitars I've done.

When colouring flame maple, it looks good to dye it dark brown or black first, then sand back and add the colour. The darker brown/black will stay in the figure and add depth.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the tips. I like the way idea of darling the figure first I will check some you tube videos.

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If you varathane it, each coat of varathane will darken it slightly. You can always add a little bit of stain to your varathane to get the right colour but try only a little and do a test patch on some similar wood first until you get the desired result.

NOTE: You can buy varathane with stain in it but avoid using this as it does not provide a hard enough finish and will scratch easily.
 
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tung oil to make the grain pop. then shellac then whatever you want on top of that. Shelac is awesome because it sticks to everything, and everything will stick to shellac.

Alder body, 1 coat tung oil, then 4 each of blonde and garnet shellac at 1# cut, and tru oil on top of that. this is not polished, just the tru oil dry on top of shellac.





This photo is one coat pure unpolymerized tung oil, nothing else after two weeks drying
 
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The shellac acts as a perfect grain filler so if you want to do tru oil, I suggest a few coats of shellac first if you really want the glossy tru oil finish. No Sanding between coats. i do a very thin french polish coat on top of the shellac for about 20 coats and it is glossing without trying.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What's the opinion on zinzser shellac sealer aerosol? Per can, they seem a bit expensive. Is it a good product? It's easy to find at home depot in this town.

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What's the opinion on zinzser shellac sealer aerosol? Per can, they seem a bit expensive. Is it a good product? It's easy to find at home depot in this town.
Zinsser is a no. There is no way to tell how fresh it is and shellac has a relatively short shelf life.

Something else to not overlook is Minwax waterbased polyurethane. It brushes on nicely, dries quickly, sands flat easily and has a great feel to it. I use the satin variety on smaller pieces often when it's not worth getting the gun out. I keep meaning to try it on a neck, the feel is really nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Minwax water based poly. I will look that up. I have some Minwax Wipe on poly, but not sure if its water based? Instructions say to be sure that the surface is free of shellac and laquer.
 
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