Friday, July 28, 2006

"Sunbursted" the back tonight

Sunday, February 26, 2006

I've spent some time almost every night for the past week or so staining my practice spruce and maple. I got to the point where I was happy with the colors I was mixing, and getting fairly consistent with blending the transitions, so I decided to go for it. I did the back first because spruce is considered harder to do. I was extremely nervous, but things went just as they had in my latest practice attempts, so there was nothing to worry about.

I'll write a few details about how I did the stain. Again, I used aniline dyes from LMI. They are an alcohol dilutable dye that come in a powder form. I rubbed the whole back with diluted plain yellow dye, and then immediately wiped as much off it off as I could with a clean rag with denatured alcohol on it (which is the alcohol I also use for the dye). I repeated this process several times, which brings out the figure, or flame in the maple. Next I started around the edge with my dark reddish brown, rubbing it from the edge to about 2 inches in all the way around. I immediately rubbed the dye vigorously with the alcohol rag, toward the center, to smooth the transition and get rid of the defined point where the dye stopped. I repeated this several times until the reddish brown started getting darker, and then I added my second color- a subtle orangish color. I added this close to where the reddish brown trailed off, and rubbed it close to the center, but not completely over the yellow center. I only did one coat of this orange, it's pretty bright, almost fluorescent, and much more would be ugly I think. Using a new clean alcohol rag, I lightly wiped the entire back a couple of times, which further smoothed the transitions and also darkened the bright yellow center to a more mellow color. I then went back and added several more coats of the reddish brown, but only went in about an inch with it, and rubbed it with the alcohol rag to smooth it with the lighter part of the reddish brown.

At this point I was very happy with the colors and the transitions, but I noticed quite a few "white" places around the edge that hadn't received the dye at all. It was obvious that there was glue causing this, so I scraped/sanded the places, re-dyed and re-smoothed with alcohol, and everything looks fine now. For my first attempt, I couldn't be more proud of the results, but I don't want to get overconfident- I still have the spruce left to go.


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