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Painting a violin
Can I paint a violin?
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
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musicmumma
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November 25, 2013 - 8:09 pm
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Just wondering if its possible to paint or restain a violin. I have 2 violins belonging to my children. They want their violins to reflect their taste and personalities. Is it possible to paint or restain them without affecting the sound quality too greatly? They are inexpensive but decent enough quality student violins ($200 Australian dollars each) so not expensive top quality but I don't want to replace them for a few years yet. Thanks 

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pky
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November 25, 2013 - 9:21 pm
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Paint may muffle a violin's sound. First of all, you probably need to find out what kind of varnish your kids' violins have on - spirit, oil, or simply sprayed on lacquer  finish.

internationalviolin.com sells oil and spirit varnish and dyes. I have never tried spirit varnish, but if you use oil varnish, you may need to put on several layers, and each layer takes two three days to dry.

It depends on how fast your kids grow, in general a child grows out of a violin in two or three years. It you second child is going to use your first child's violin in two years, he/she may not like the color your first child chooses.

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musicmumma
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November 25, 2013 - 10:03 pm
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I'm not sure how I would find out what kind of coating it is has? They both have their own 4/4 sized violin so having to hand it on isn't really an issue. In a few years if they stick with it I would look at buying better quality which I wouldn't plan on doing anything to, so just thought while its a cheaper one they're learning on now is the time to let them fiddle with it (pardon the pun). Also thinking if they like the look and feel they 'own it' they may show more commitment ( not that it's an issue so far anyway). In regards to muffling the sound, they have lessons at school and play on stage at school, give performances at the local shopping centre, child care centres and nursing homes and 2 concerts a year. Would that be a big issue? I don't really know the difference between a pure tone and a muffled one

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musicmumma
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November 25, 2013 - 10:11 pm
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OK did some research. It is made from spruce and maple, not clear which parts are made from which wood. It says the varnish is synthetic. If you think it won't be too detrimental to the sound, where would I start. Stripping or sanding?

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pky
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November 25, 2013 - 11:38 pm
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May be they should check with their teachers what they think about a color violin. Some teachers only accept traditional "wood" color - from light brown, brown, to reddish brown.

My guess it your violins probably have sprayed on lacquer finish. I don't know how it will take paint, or any other kind of varnish.

Stripping it takes some time (NEVER USE electric sander), refinishing it takes time, too. Could they give up their violin for a while? May be you could work on one at a time.

Many other members in this forum has a lot more experience, maybe you want to wait for their responses.

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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November 25, 2013 - 11:40 pm
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@ musicmumma: First off, let me welcome you to the Fiddlerman forum.

Refinishing or painting a violin that already has a finish to it is not a good Idea. I myself inquired about this same subject with my luthier on Monday, this past. His response was to forget stripping and just buy another violin. There's more to this story, but I won't go into that, so here's a link that may be helpful to you.

http://www.fiddleforum.com/fid.....ic=30446.0

 

Hope this may answer your question.

 

Ken.

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musicmumma
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November 25, 2013 - 11:47 pm
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Thanks fircthecreplies. Teacher is fine with coloured violins. School is about to break up which would give me 3 months to have them ready for next year. I can't find a violin in our price range that has the style and colours they want

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musicmumma
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November 25, 2013 - 11:52 pm
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Thanks for the link

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HDuaneaz
Chandler, Arizona
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November 26, 2013 - 3:34 pm
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I would not paint a violin.

I have a question of my own that this topic brings to mind. I am getting a few nicks in the finish on my violin. Is there something I can do to fix them or at least protect the nicks from causing a bigger problem?

Duane

 

"Violin is one of the joys of my life."

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Fiddlerman
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November 26, 2013 - 3:53 pm
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HDuaneaz,

Yes there are. What color is your violin? If the nicks are deep, as soon as possible put a drop of water on them. If the nicks don't break through the varnish, nothing will happen unless you penetrate the varnish just enough for the water to enter the wood and swell. Sometimes the nick (dent) will straighten out completely. Next, get a hold of some Anilyne Dyes with the right color that you can mix with alcohol to match the color of your violin. Lastly I would use some clear varnish and I'm guessing that your violin has a spirit varnish.
Sometimes, all you need is clear varnish. When varnishing a nick you need to apply with a super small fine brush and apply as dry as possible. Use paper to soak the extra varnish. Apply carefully in layers and when your done you'll want to use super fine sandpaper or micro mesh. Lastly, you'll want to smooth that out either with a French polish or even easier, with a compound and a cloth.
If you've never worked with this kind of thing before I suggest you experiment with a piece of wood or even better a similarly varnished piece of wood.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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HDuaneaz
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November 26, 2013 - 10:20 pm
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Thanks Pierre,

They are through the varnish. I see raw wood. The violin is a dark reddish brown.

Duane

 

"Violin is one of the joys of my life."

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Ferret
Byron Bay Australia
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November 27, 2013 - 3:30 am
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Hi Melissa @musicmumma 

i wouldn't paint them myself. It would probably ruin them.

There are cheaper options. For example

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Ent.....038;_uhb=1

You can get a variety of colours and can be bought for less than AU$200

Speaking of Aussie dollars, what part of the country are you in? I'm in Byron Bay

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

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musicmumma
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November 27, 2013 - 4:04 am
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Hello @Ferret. I'm in Maryborough qld near Hervey Bay. The store I purchased the violins said they had coloured ones but they can back a lot with problems and he would recommend the enrico instead.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 27, 2013 - 8:30 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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You're welcome Duane

You can get what you need here.

http://www.howardcore.com/cgi-.....INI_SR.htm
Check out the Anilyne Dyes, Soluble in Spirit.
Perhaps 3013 or 3058 but the best is to get several and mix till you get the right color. You'll also need some grain alcohol. Just try not to drink too much of it. ;-)

You might also get Item #: 1800
Description: Touch-Up Varnish For Oil & Spirit Varnish

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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HDuaneaz
Chandler, Arizona
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November 28, 2013 - 11:13 am
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You'll also need some grain alcohol. Just try not to drink too much of it. - See more at: http://fiddlerman.com/forum/fi.....spPostForm

Ferret said
Hi Melissa @musicmumma 

i wouldn't paint them myself. It would probably ruin them.

There are cheaper options. For example

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Ent.....038;_uhb=1

You can get a variety of colours and can be bought for less than AU$200

Speaking of Aussie dollars, what part of the country are you in? I'm in Byron Bay

Duane

 

"Violin is one of the joys of my life."

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HDuaneaz
Chandler, Arizona
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November 28, 2013 - 11:17 am
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Pierre, "grain alcohol", that's why I am so blind. :)

Thanks for your help.

Duane

 

"Violin is one of the joys of my life."

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 30, 2013 - 2:14 pm
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You're very welcome. Did you try it yet?

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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