Wood Filler Tinting:
Traditionally the wood filler is used not only to give a level surface with which you can spray your final finish layers, it also is used as a coloring agent to enhance the grain pattern of the wood.
Typically this is the role of the coloring agent that is added to your paste wood filler recipe and often the best results are obtained only with experience and experimentation.
How To Choose Your Color:
To guide you thorough this let’s take an actual example: You have built your guitar using East Indian Rosewood sides and back plates. This Rosewood has tremendous color variation in that one set of plates may range from chocolate browns with black streaking. Another set could be rosy pink with mahogany colored streaking.
The easiest way to select the appropriate color is to first match the dominant background color, being the chocolate or the rosy pink hue. Mix up a color combination to match that color very closely and at a minimum get into the same color family.
In order to enhance the grain we will want to color the pores somewhat darker than the surrounding grain and certainly not any lighter than the dark range of the wood. The reason for this is if the dark streaking has lighter colored pores they will really pop out and that wouldn’t necessarily be the desired effect, (although there may be situations when you would desire this effect).
Therefore, I would recommend that you go just a bit darker than the darkest streaks in the wood. This will mute the dark wood colors just a bit and highlight the lighter woods quite a bit and bring out the beauty of the wood grain.
Testing The Colors:
The first thing you should do is a bit of testing, and I would recommend that you do this on a scrap piece of wood and not on the actual guitar.
Ideally you should do this on a scrap piece of the same wood you built your back or side with. Usually there are some cut-offs that are big enough to work with, to allow you to get a good feeling of the stain tones.
While you are mixing colors you need to keep track of the amount of each color you use, and record it. This way you can use it for future reference and also use it as a base color with which you can make modifications.
Coloring Agent for Wood Filler – The Advantages:
- Allows you to enhance the color of the wood grain.
- Allows you to make subtle color shifts in the wood tone by coloring the pores.
- There are a wide variety of colors are available.
Coloring Agent for Wood Filler – The Disadvantages:
- Can be a pain to get it just right and you will need to change your recipe with most every different guitar because the wood tone vary so much with certain species.