Before gluing the top on, the FF holes need some color. Now, the traditional way is to paint on the ground, the varnish, etc. after the fiddle is assembled and then add color to highlight whatever you want to highlight. The main problem I see with the traditional method is that it’s really easy to dribble paint/varnish down into the body of the fiddle (you’ve seen pictures, right?) through the FFs, and that is just ugly, IMHO. Painting from the underside of the top seemed like a really simple way to make a neat and accurate job of it –

A small, stiff brush did the job nicely. This is an acrylic craft paint that past use tells me won’t soak into the wood so any “overspray” can be easily and completely sanded off with no trouble. It is thick enough to stand up and not run all over the work. The color is mostly black with enough burnt umber mixed in to keep it from looking like a cheap VSO (I hope.)

The gray/brown color was so nice on the FFs that I painted the inside of the pegbox as well. The paint is still wet in the pictures, so it looks lumpy but isn’t. It’s really hard to get varnish down into the pegbox, and it really doesn’t need it, but a little color makes the pegbox recede and the scroll stand out more.

I like it! The scroll outline and corner details will be left until after the varnish is on. Corner and lining details coming up!