View Full Version : Slight Sunburst Finish on Curly Koa?

04-10-2009, 03:56 AM
How would a very slight sunburst finish look on curly koa? Would it be too much?

04-10-2009, 06:29 AM
I think that the color of the koa used would be a determining factor. If it is light and fairly uniform in color it could look good. I'm not so sure about a darker, multicolored top. Also, how are you going to apply the sunburst? You can tint the finish coats or hand stain the wood it self. Applying tint to the finish coats is a lot easier to control, hand staining, especially highly figured wood is tricky and hard to undo, but has the potential to really enhance the figure.


04-10-2009, 06:46 AM
Well, I'm not actually going to do it myself. I'm in the *very* early stages of having a custom built. When this is actually going to happen remains to be seen, but I'm just kind of thinking about it. I always loved the look of sunburst, but I like the sound of koa. So I'm a bit torn. I guess it's going to depend on what luthier I go to.

Ukulele Friend
04-10-2009, 06:58 AM
Aloha Ukebucket,

A koa back and sides with a spruce top and light sunburst would look wonderful in my opinion. If the entire instrument were to be made of koa and then lightly sunburst it could look a bit busy (depending on the color of the grain and the amount of figure in the wood too).

just a thought,


Pete Howlett
04-10-2009, 07:07 AM
Koa has it's own sparkle - why fiddle about with it? You chose a sensational bit of curl and that's all you need.

04-10-2009, 07:11 AM
Thanks for the advice, everyone. I kind of thought a sunburst on koa would look busy as well. So...I'll just have to make that decision.


04-10-2009, 07:19 AM
Plz post pics once it's done!

04-10-2009, 07:45 AM
Sure will, Alan! Although...you'll probably have to wait several months. Hehe...

04-11-2009, 08:13 AM
I agree with Shawn. If you want a sunburst, do it on a Spruce top.

Be careful how this is going, though. Do you want a Spruce top because you want it sunbursted, or do you want a Sunburst because you firstly want a Spruce top?

Koa and Spruce will give you two different instruments.

If Spruce isn't part of the equation, Pete said it best.

Just my $.02 -Aaron

04-12-2009, 12:36 PM
It sounds like a good excuse for TWO new ukes to me!

04-12-2009, 03:45 PM
I know the Taylor T5 guitars have a light burst on the edges. It's not entirely uncommon for koa to have a burst. I think it would look great! Just try to find a balance between showing off the wood and showing off the burst. I'm not one of those ukulele purists, but I'm also not one of those ukulele uber-bling-blingers (new word?). I think moderation is the key.