Hi. Can anyone tell me how to keep from changing the color of my binding during the staining process?

Should I tape off the back, sides and front and put a coat of shellac on it and then stain everything else or just tape off the binding and hope for the best????? 



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Taping works fine although it is tedious! On the few guitars I've bound I've used plastic binding which I taped and later scraped with a razor blade. I even made a jig to fit in the sound hole with a radius arm and exacto blade to scrape the rosette. If you're using a wood binding and are painting or spraying a finish with the stain in it I think taping would be OK but if you intend to apply just stain to the adjacent wood, I don't think tape will stop the stain from seeping under it to the binding.
All the best,
It is rose wood binding. And yes I am applying it by hand. I know you can tape it and spray it because it goes on so lightly there is not much bleeding but I am not set up for spraying. I usually just leave the wood natural and use Minwax wipe on poly. This one is a Gibson LGO that I am restoring. I have had to use some filler and patch in some missing grain from around the top edge of the binding, where it pulled out when I removed the old celluloid binding. I tried a small spot just using the poly and it doesn't hide it very well. I tried the stain with poly over the top on a piece of scrap and it looks great. Plus there are a few spots on the back where the original finish soaked to far into the wood and left some darker spots, so I want to hide these as well.
If you are ever useing poly bindings you should first mask the Instrument and put a coat of lacquer or some other sealer on the binding or for any other type binding for that matter if you are useing strait stain.If you are mixing the stain in the finish I always mask the larges part of the bindings and scrape the rest, One day I tryed to use Maple on the head piece and put black water stain on with out first lacquering the poly bindings and it was a disaster you could not get the black out no matter what you used. So please don't trip over the same stone that I did . Good luck Bill.:''''''"""""""""""""""""""'
Bill Eden giving away trade secrets again! Sealing the binding before staining the adjacent wood is the go for knife edge stain borders - only thing I've found that works for direct stain on wood (as different from shader lacquer) borders. R.
For that kind of situation, I mask whatever has to be tainted, spray a coat or two, remove the masking tape and then stain (I wipe water based stains). It works very well... and you can scrap some finish if masking was not perfect. Here's a picture of my last 6 string bass, stained with that process (natural maple and stained ash) :


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