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asked July 26th 2017

Mahogany effect for guitar cake – help!

Hi I'm hoping you amazing cakers can help me please? I'm making a life size guitar cake for my son's 18th in two weeks and need to know how to get a mahogany wood effect for the main body. I've looked all over the internet but can't find anything suitable. Can someone advise on airbrush colours I should buy and a technique so I can start practising? Or is there a tutorial I can buy? I don't really want to have to pay for a full membership for one tutorial but am happy to pay for a one off. Alternatively should I be using paints and brushes rather than airbrush? It needs to be a really smooth finish though. I'm not too concerned about getting a grain effect but need to get the colours just right. Hoping someone can help me as am just starting to panic! See attached image of the actual guitar. Many thanks

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Madeitwithlove I think you've saved my life. I've ordered up the gel and am in communication with Fabricake about the airbrush option. Don't think I'll need a texture mat because looking at the wood on the guitar it's a very close grain. I might see what I can do with with a brush to create texture. I'll be practicing a lot when the gel and other stuff arrives! I'll remember to build up the colour little by little! Thanks again for taking the time to help me ??

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Glad you've found everything you need. Good luck with this special cake 🙂

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Oops don't think I can attach image?

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Hi Denisetrue

The image can be copied and pasted if it's from a stock picture on line.
There is a realistic guitar cake tutorial on the site which can be seen here:

Guitar Cake

...... and gel colour mahogany can be found here:
https://www.fabricake.co.uk/edibles-c1/colouring-c27/gel-colours-c31/rolkem-concentrated-gel-colour-sugarcraft-food-colouring-15ml-mahogany-p1443

Rejuvenator spirits to use in conjuction with for thinning the gel :
https://www.fabricake.co.uk/edibles-c1/essential-items-c12/sugarflair-rejuvenator-spirit-food-grade-ethanol-280ml-p2581

If you are able to attach image or describe the kind of guitar you're making it would be helpful eg does it have a high gloss, is it acoustic or non acoustic, do you need it to have grain etc.

When painting either with traditional or airbrush methods, you get a better and more realistic effect building up the colour in layers. If you are hand painting start with a coloured base icing a few shades lighter than mahogany and build the colour up using the gel and rejuvenator spirit. Painting with airbrushing can be done directly on white icing, again gradually building up the colour and shading. It will give the smoothest finish, however using good paint brushes will also yield good results.
There is a free introduction to airbrushing tutorial here:

A beginner’s guide to airbrushing

Shout out if you need more information 🙂

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Wow thanks so much for speed and great help Madeitwithlove. I've checked out Paul's tutorial which is helpful though he doesn't do wood effect. Here is the link to the actual guitar - I still can't copy and paste for some reason. It isn't high gloss and it's electric. I'm not sure how I would manage to do grain though maybe I should try - presumably that would be easier if handpainting colour on? These links are great, had no idea I'd be able to get a mahogany colour gel and it looks fab - I will definitely buy that. I had been thinking that airbrushing would give me a neater finish though so in that case I'd need the same colour but for airbrushing if such a thing exists? Actually just seen that Fabricake recommend Rolkem quick dry essence to mix with their colours for airbrushing? Does this work - it could be my answer : )

http://www.ibanez.com/products/eg_detail17.php?year=2017&area_id=3&cat_id=1&series_id=1&data_id=172&color=CL01

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There are a number of woodgrain texture mats available which may suit purpose. Google search 'woodgrain texture mats for cake decorating' and you see all differnt types. You need one with light texture to impress on the icing, nothing too deep. The link which I gave for the rejuvenator spirit will work for hand painting and for the airbrush. I use 97% food grade alcohol, which is the same thing. Up until now I didn't realise fabricake carried the bigger bottles of the liquid. I've not tried the Rolkem quick dry essence so can't comment on how good it is. I'm sure it's fine, however you can give them a phone call to get more information. From what I understand they are very helpful. They may even carry airbrush colours in mahogany. Which ever you use, build up the colour little by little.

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Hello again Made it With Love! Re my guitar cake... I did a test fondant paint yesterday with the Rolkem gel paints. The colours are amazing. I did have a bit of a problem getting them to dissolve with the rejuvenator spirit though. It doesn't work if you put the gel into a container of spirit, as advised by Fabricake, it just seems to break up into bits. I tried it the other way around and added the spirit to the gel bit by bit - it was slightly better but it took a long time mixing with the paintbrush and there were still little bits that wouldn't dissolve. It was the same when I tried vodka as an alternative. Thought I'd check in with you in case I'm doing something wrong or could it be because Rolkem is so concentrated? I've also emailed the shop for advice.
Many thanks ?

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I haven't tried any of the Rolkem products so it may well be the concentration which is preventing the colour to mix properly. The product description says it mixes with ethanol (alcohol). Hopefully they'll contact you with an answer. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated. 🙂

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Panic over! This morning I tried diluting the gel with the Rolkem quick dry instead of the Sugarflair rejuvenator spirit and it worked like a dream. Fortunately I bought both from Fabricake not realising until speaking to them that they are meant to be the same thing. Rolkem definitely does not like the Sugarflair spirit though. Always learning...?

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The Rolkem product must be water based and the quick dry probably contains a % of water to enable the mixing process. Thank you so much back for giving your useful feedback, it will help other members.