all the banjos on this site were colored
with luthier dye, not stain. Dye is better
for many reasons. The grain and 'stripes' in
the curly maple become more visible. Dye is
superior at coloring hardwood, unlike stain,
it is consistently even and is never blotchy.
The color possibilities are endless. In addition
to the colors you see here, we've had requests
for 'wine' and 'warm gray.' The traditional old
time finish that is applied over the dye is hand
rubbed to a super smooth low luster. Players love
this non-gloss non-sticky feel. The super smooth
surface is produced by rubbing it, not with steel
wool, but with crushed limestone powder and oil,
again, the old fashioned way. You may have seen
this on antique furniture, it's simply beautiful.
a variety of colors, even 'natural.' I'm sure
you already have a favorite. Many players have
even requested the neck and rim to be two different
colors. Here are some suggestions for choosing
the color of your banjo.
GOLD is an attention getter for sure. Yet I don't
think it looks 'right' on a Brawley or Stichter.
LIGHT BROWN looks great on all the banjos and is
the preferred color for Stichters.
MEDIUM BROWN is the most requested color for the
Boucher but Bouchers seem to look great in any color.
DARK BROWN looks great on the Sweeney. I've only made
two Sweeneys that weren't dark brown. The eye popping
MAHOGANY and BURNT SIENNA look especially pretty on
curly maple Bouchers and Sweeneys. What else can I
say? Heck, they're all pretty. The choice is yours.
I've always been fascinated with banjos. I grew up in a musical family with lots of instruments|
but the banjo was always my favorite. I spent hours and hours drawing banjos and trains when I
was little. In college I majored in art and design. I began building instruments in my 20's. I
also had a commercial art business for 25 years. In 2005 I decided to put all my energy into the
making of minstrel banjos. Michigan violin maker Rudolph Gotschall was an inspiration and good
teacher to me. I learned most of my luthier skills from him. The best part about this endeavor
has been meeting all the banjo players and knowing how much they like my banjos.