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Aug 10, 2022 - 9:36:22 PM



1203 posts since 11/8/2014

I'm repairing some binding on a KK-11 resonator, and need to touch up the black/blue lacquer in very small places next to the binding. I am having trouble finding nitro lacquer generally, and would like to know if anyone has a source for two colors that could be mixed together to match, as close as feasible, the lines where the binding meets the wood. Other suggestions would also be appreciated.  The missing lacquer is very small stripes, and probably black only would work. 

Edited by - rmcdow on 08/10/2022 21:37:44

Aug 10, 2022 - 10:27:48 PM

17 posts since 4/22/2018

Back in the '80s I converted a TB 11 to a 5 string configuration. Nitro Cellulose lacquer was readily available at stores that specialized in automotive paint. I had a Dupont store (as I recall) simply mix the paint color to match the original color on the old neck.
I don't know if they still handle lacquer, but you can paint most any type of paint over it and be OK.
Hope this helps.

Aug 10, 2022 - 10:32:52 PM



4430 posts since 2/20/2016

I have had excellent results matching pre-war Gibson colors with alcohol soluble aniline dyes.
I have not had the occasion to match blue, but it is the first thing I would try.
I believe that it is quite likely that aniline dye was Gibson's primary coloring material in the old days. It was a very common product back then.

One source is International Violin Company. They list both black and blue on their website. If they are out of it, you should be able to find it at a woodworker's supply house.

Very important: When mixing aniline dyes, use only pure grain alcohol for a solvent. Denatured alcohol is not suitable-- it can cause color changes.

Also important: When adding aniline dyes to lacquer, add 25% acetone to the liquid dye. This is to prevent the mixture from precipitating the solids.


Another choice is Fiebing's leather dye. Use the original line products. I have added their black directly to lacquer. I do not know if a blue is available or whether it would be the right hue.

If all else fails, you can try Trans-tint. Since it is a modern product, the colors might differ noticeably from the original finish. But they do have black and blue.

Aug 11, 2022 - 9:48:53 AM



1731 posts since 7/2/2007

Rives, not sure exactly what you are trying to do but you might want to check out GluBoost.

Aug 11, 2022 - 10:57:35 AM



1203 posts since 11/8/2014

I ordered powdered aniline dyes today, that the rep told me will mix directly with lacquer. Thanks for all the input.

Aug 11, 2022 - 11:32:56 AM



4430 posts since 2/20/2016

I think that will be your best bet on a color match.
Still, it won't hurt to cross your fingers and toes, and bow 3 times to the west before you start.
Color matching is tough. Avoiding a dark line where new finish meets old finish is tougher.

Sometimes, I have mixed a couple of dabs of color into shellac and applied it with an artist's brush to the spot first, and let it dry really well before overcoating with lacquer. It seems like it gives me a little more control over minimizing the dark line, where the colors "add together."

Anyway, best wishes for a hard-to-notice repair. I've learned to accept a 90% match and blend as a grand slam in the bottom of the 9th with three runs behind.

Edited by - rcc56 on 08/11/2022 11:35:26

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