Dark stain on a maple neck

vanhagar

Senior member
Messages
227
OK, so I have already applied a pre stain and 3 coats of a dark red varathane oil base stain to my maple neck, just the back. I used the same stain on the alder body, but the neck is only about half the darkness and I would like it to match as close as possible. I have never used anything but a clear on maple before. Will several more coats of stain bring the color close to the body? the maple neck is  a clear maple, not a flame or birdseye. Thanks! I'm new to this guitar building, auto body work and painting is my thing

Paul.
 

Rickgrxbass

Senior member
Messages
409
My experience with the Varathane product is that it tends to not soak into the grain as deep as a "straight" dye.  You might get a deeper color with additional coats, but since it's a translucent (as opposed to transparent) stain, the more you put on, the more it will cover the grain of the wood and start to look more like paint.  Also, it seems that additional coats tend to sit "on top" of the wood instead of soak in, as if the stain has some sort of sealant in it.  I'd sand back a little (I'd say 220 grit then 320, but I'm sure I'd get yelled at here, so maybe just 320) to cut through the sealant a bit and try a couple more coats.
 

Rickgrxbass

Senior member
Messages
409
vanhagar said:
Would a dark red analine dye work better?

Possibly, another option would be to shoot it with some red tinted clear lacquer.  Otherwise you'll have to sand down to get to wood that'll take the dye, then add stain on top of that to get the same hue as the body (since I doubt the stain has "just" red in it), and then the neck might be too dark, and you have to darken the body, and so on and so on...
 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
vanhagar said:
OK, so I have already applied a pre stain and 3 coats of a dark red varathane oil base stain to my maple neck, just the back. I used the same stain on the alder body, but the neck is only about half the darkness and I would like it to match as close as possible. I have never used anything but a clear on maple before. Will several more coats of stain bring the color close to the body? the maple neck is  a clear maple, not a flame or birdseye. Thanks! I'm new to this guitar building, auto body work and painting is my thing

Paul.

Maple does not stain well.  Its hard.  Its dense.  Even Gibson uses a translucent finish on their maple necks (certain ES guitars have maple necks).  Alder is an open wood.  Maple is a closed wood.  Stains are not going to color, or penetrate the same way.

FWIW, even on Gibbys with maple necks... the necks are usually lighter - even on top end ES-5's and L5ces's the necks are usually lighter.

 

vanhagar

Senior member
Messages
227
Thanks guys! Oh well it's a nice color, I suppose if you have a maple neck or any other kind of wood as long as they look good together that's all that matters  :laughing7:
 
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