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painterbob
09-02-2011, 06:48 AM
I have a Kala KA-S soprano that I like but the faux plastic mother of pearl tuners were pretty ugly. So I used a trick i've used before to color plastic or vinyl. I got some Rit fabric dye, wine color. I took off the tuners and sanded the surface of the ugly buttons to give them some tooth for the dye to stick to. Then I soaked them in the Rit dye.

Pretty easy. I like them better now. They still have that fake mother of pearl look but at least not that milky grey white. I could of just bought some new tuners but I wanted to try this out.

-Bob

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TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
09-02-2011, 06:50 AM
Cool idea.

Now I'm imagining tie-dyed tuning pegs on the family Dolphin.

Mandarb
09-02-2011, 07:10 AM
I have also heard of people doing this with either coffee or tea.

vanflynn
09-02-2011, 07:14 AM
Great idea. Do you have to seal them or anything? How about trying it on the saddle?

bazmaz
09-02-2011, 07:36 AM
They look great. Good tip!

painterbob
09-02-2011, 07:40 AM
No, you don't need to seal them. They're stained into the plastic. I guess you could put some clear Polycrylic or something but it would make them glossy. You could do it on a saddle but you'd have to be really careful sanding it to get a tooth for the dye. You don't want to mess up your saddle height or string surface etc.

Tudorp
09-02-2011, 08:11 AM
Looks good. I do this to get a mineral or marble effect with a solution of mahogany powder stain, coffee grounds, and alcohol. Heat the solution up a little bit (the pores will open up in the plastic with some heat), let the buttons sit in it for a few hours, then take em out and wipe them down. Cool effect..

dkcrown
09-02-2011, 09:05 AM
nice job, painterbob. I like the looks of them, but I like the effect that Tudorp gets with his too. Tony, can you provide a link to the thread where you posted pics of yours or can you just post some more pics?

Tudorp
09-02-2011, 09:42 AM
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These were done with solution I mentioned above..

Pueo
09-02-2011, 09:45 AM
Thanks! I'm collecting ideas for my Gecko project...

dhoenisch
09-02-2011, 09:53 AM
Painter Bob, those look great! I can see using that method to antique some bright white replacement buttons I got for tuning machine repair on older instruments. Tudorp , that marbling effect is great too. I am more for the solid color look, but I can see how that may work out better on some instruments.

Awesome ideas all,
Dan

Tudorp
09-02-2011, 10:08 AM
Painter Bob, those look great! I can see using that method to antique some bright white replacement buttons I got for tuning machine repair on older instruments. Tudorp , that marbling effect is great too. I am more for the solid color look, but I can see how that may work out better on some instruments.

Awesome ideas all,
Dan

Yeah, mine looks good on vintage or vintage style ukes. Maybe not so much on a new shiny modern style tho.. For that, I would rather go with the solid color like Bob did..

painterbob
09-02-2011, 10:50 AM
Yea. I think it would work well to yellow some white buttons. White ones would give you a better starting point than the mother of pearl also. Always have to go lighter to darker but if you get an ugly color you can always re-dye to dark brown or black.

chindog
09-02-2011, 12:52 PM
I have also heard of people doing this with either coffee or tea.

People dye their coffee and tea? Gross!