Glossy heritage cherry finish on mahogany with Tru-Oil?


New member
Hello trendsetters,

I'm in the planning stages of a mahogany lefty Nomad. I envision a bit of an SG/Angus homage, so I'm after a heritage or aged cherry look. I'd like a smooth and fairly glossy look, and my research points me to Tru-Oil as a relatively easy to apply and fairly durable finish. I have all the time I need to make it come out right.

My questions: What would I use to achieve the red but slightly brown heritage cherry look? I assume dye of some sort, but would it be a dyed wood filler, or a separate step before - or after - I apply the grain filler?

Also, what would be the best paint to use for a glossy black headstock? Just a simple rattle can glossy lacquer?

Dunno whose Explorer this is (nice work, stranger!), but this is what I'm after.


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Senior member
I’d experiment with Leda dyes.  I wrote to them on my last build explaining what I wanted, in my case a certain shade of amber and they delivered.


Senior member
I think he means Keda dyes. Probably a typo on his phone.

Other possibilities Angelus leather dyes, various water based dyes etc.

You could use a dyed filler and/or a separate step.

A glossy black headstock could be done as you describe.


Senior member
Personally I would not do a dye, but a toner, which I suspect is the Gibson approach.  This ensures uniformity of color across lumber lots.  I suspect the Behlen part no. M101-0386 on this page will do the trick, depending on how bright you want the red to be.

These guys carry a brighter, redder toner from the same manufacturer (Mohawk/Behlen) as part no. M101-0218.
[/size]'s page looks like it's straight out of 1998 but they are solid suppliers.  I've done business with them for years.

You apply these toners very lightly in multiple coats to get to the depth of color you want, then seal and clearcoat as you would an opaque paintjob.

Best of luck