A Sunburst Or The Other Vignett

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Blog entry by Texcaster posted 10-13-2014 02:21 PM 1439 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Two things about sunbursts. One, people either love them or hate them. Two, the burst is either glorious or sad. I’m still learning.

I started out doing some fret work to lower the playing action. I ended up re-polishing the top. While everything was demounted it seemed like a good time to darken the burst. The light center always looked a bit anemic to me. I started to darken it with colored shellac or ” dirty shellac ”. It’s mixed strong so not too many coats are needed.

It started out like this.

I’ve nominated this 23in scale archtop as a ” polishing toy ”. It will be changed again and again. Almost as good as getting a new guitar. Like most people I’m guilty of hearing with my eyes as well as my ears.

My first go the whole thing ended up almost black! I wiped it off with metho and started again. The base color is an even dark brown.

most of the colored polish is steel wooled away.

the whole top is colored again.

the bridge area and the two ridges are wooled back.

the top is coated again.

it’s a bit cold, so new shellac with red is added, strong again.

a clear coat.

It’s too glossy for me but we are in for some rain so it will wait. I fitted it up to see how it played and looked.

I added clear polish to the headstock, pick guard and tailpiece. Now they look very different to the fretboard.

I’ll polish the fretboard when I next change strings, so the false sandalwood all looks the same again. The fretboard polish will show finger wear but that will add to a vintage look.

The rubber and polish. Three rubbers and three polish mixes, brown, red and clear.

A used glove on my left hand to help squeeze out the excess and to filter the polish. The glove is removed so I have one dry hand.

Thank You, Thank You Very Much!

The Magpie Is Thinking About Leaving The Building.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

2 comments so far

View AnthonyReed's profile


10005 posts in 2585 days

#1 posted 10-13-2014 05:32 PM


Very informative Bill. Thank you.

-- ~Tony

View Texcaster's profile


1287 posts in 1818 days

#2 posted 10-14-2014 02:38 PM

Cheers Tony, this can be done to almost any commercial guitar finish without damage. It is reversible.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

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