Can a dark stain be applied over the pale fingerboard?

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Smallfloor

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Together with my guys I made a Les Paul Custom replica from kit elements. As it happens, the guitar is pitch black, but its fingerboard is some kind of rosewood, and it annoys me terribly. The sound is OK, that's all, but it somehow differs from a completely black guitar, so I was thinking about repainting the fingerboard thinly with ebony stain, which is normally used for varnishing paneling and boat floors. I know it won't change the sound of the guitar as if it were ebony, but at least it will look nicer. I've seen many people change the color of the body of the guitar, "shave" the back of the neck, so I thought that maybe this kind of operation on the neck (or something like that) could not do much harm to the guitar. Has anyone ever had an idea like this? And how did you perform it? Thank you.

P.S. please don't throw stones at me now!
 

JaymzJ

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You can darken the rosewood with Raw linseed oil. There have been many discussions on using boiled or raw, but Dan Erlewine recommends raw, and HE knows his stuff. Look him up!
I have used raw for several years now, and it darkens the fretboard up, nicely. After about 10 minutes or so, wipe off all the excess oil really well. I'd try to look for a Dan Erlewine video (maybe YouTube?), if you want to watch him apply it, and give you some tips.
That said, stewmac also sells an ebony stain, and you CAN stain the fretboard, if you want it BLACK! I did this to an Epiphone Silverburst Custom about 15 years ago. It turned out decent (not perfect), as there were random slight cracks (from, I am guessing, pounding the fret wire into the fretboard) in the clear coat that the stain seeped into along the fretboard binding. You could not see these cracks at all, before I applied the stain. Knowing this, I probably could have been a bit more careful and applied the stain more cautiously.
So, to darken, use raw linseed oil. To make black, stain. Anyway, hope this helps.
 

Smallfloor

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Thank you.. I think that this process would go the best with the stain: nice, pitch black fretboard, dark like a white shark' eye :cool: 😃
 

siamackz

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Sure you can! I just made a guitar and it’s all black and I used stewmac black stain on the ebony fretboard to make it pitch black. I finished with boiled linseed oil because raw linseed oil will take FOREVER to dry. All the best :)
 

JaymzJ

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Sure you can! I just made a guitar and it’s all black and I used stewmac black stain on the ebony fretboard to make it pitch black. I finished with boiled linseed oil because raw linseed oil will take FOREVER to dry. All the best :)
Raw, because you only use small amount, and wipe off well. Over time, it will turn the wood a nice black color. You can mix with naptha like Dan Erlewine. Helps it dry.
Boiled doesn't have the same effect. At that point, I'd use bore oil.
 

Smallfloor

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Thank you for your kind and practical advice! Although this process may sound easy like "just like cooking beans" to some, it can still lead to the destruction of the guitar or put the guitar in such a condition that it is no longer desirable.
rawlinseedoil.jpg
 
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