white finish on flamed maple

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James Gates
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:52 pm

white finish on flamed maple

Post by James Gates »

I was told it couldn't be done, but I have seen it online.

I have seen a white finish on a flame top. Does anyone know how to do this?

Rodger Knox
Posts: 497
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:02 pm
Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Re: white finish on flamed maple

Post by Rodger Knox »

That sounds to me like a difficult task, primarily because there's not any translucent white stain as far as I know.
You could probably use opaque white pigment diluted quite a bit, and airbrush a thin coat that would be somewhat transparent.
I've done it with black, but I don't remember ever seeing it done with white.
A man hears what he wants to hear, and disreguards the rest. Paul Simon

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Michael Richwine
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:35 pm
Location: Merriam, KS (K C Area)

Re: white finish on flamed maple

Post by Michael Richwine »

It's pretty simple, but it depends on the look you're after. The easiest would be to get some Behlen's 15 minute wood stain in White, thin it around 50/50 with Behlen's reducer for 15 minute stain, and apply it to the wood like you would with kitchen cabinets, wipe thoroughly.

The look and amount of "bite" the stain has will vary with sanding technique, how much the stain is reduced, and how long you let it flash before you wipe it down. You'll only learn exactly how to regulate the look by testing different schedules on scrap. The stain works under just about anything, but if you want the finish to stay white instead of yellow, you might want to look at acrylic or CAB lacquer, or a waterborne acrylic / urethane finish made for instruments.

Tom Sommerville
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:51 pm

Re: white finish on flamed maple

Post by Tom Sommerville »

One problem is that maple will darken over time.

Rather than staining, consider bleaching; you can get two part bleaches from most woodwork tool shops.

One other thing: consider the pigments in stains or glaze. Titanium white pigment
is very opaque; zinc white is more translucent. Pigment content should be listed on the can. Better still,
make your stain from artist paints.

Luke Forbes
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:09 pm
Location: Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania

Re: white finish on flamed maple

Post by Luke Forbes »

As the maple darkens over time the figure will pop though the white more an more. My friend has a Taylor solid body with I semi translucent white finish over flame maple and it looks pretty sweet. Try checking out mixol white pigment. I've never used it but they same that its not completely opaque when mixed with lacquer at the right ratio.

John Sonksen
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 12:16 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: white finish on flamed maple

Post by John Sonksen »

Bleaching will certainly help but I've not found it to go all the way white. It knocks the yellow back quite a bit but isn't quite there. Years ago we did a kitchen with white stain on flame maple, I think we bleached it first, did a wiping stain of white and then used white pigment in a toner coat. It was definitely white but I wouldn't say the look of the grain was all that clear. It really depended on being in the right position to see it and having the light hit it right. A lot of the time it just looked white.

If you manage to do it and have the grain look good I would love to see it, I have a guitar that I'd love to go white on flame maple.

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