Shellac as a sealer? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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Default Shellac as a sealer?

I just finished a nice router cabinet to replace my angle iron one and came to the finishing part. I used clear shellac as a sealer before staining. Imagine my surprise when I read the directions on the can. (Yes I'm a man and sometimes read directions). Anyway, the shellac directions said do not use to seal wood for staining. Why not? Does the stain not stick?
I called the company and talked to a rep. who said that it would not work and told me that I would have to sand off the shellac and start over to get the results I wanted.
I suppose I learned a valuable lesson again.
Have any on this forum had a similar experience and if so, what were your recourse?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 12:43 PM
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Is the shellac dewaxed? I've used dewaxed shellac as a sealer. Note that some premixed shellacs don't say one way or the other. Zinser springs to mind.

When in doubt, try it on a test piece.

Measure twice, cut once and CROSS OUT THE WRONG MARKS.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 01:38 PM
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Did he say to stain it first and then shellac or just don't mix the two Steve? And would it make a difference if the stain was oil based or water based. There is also some alcohol based stain, although I've never tried it. Since the shellac uses alcohol for a solvent then that stain should be able to bite into the shellac.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 02:23 PM
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I read sealer as exactly what it is "a sealer" Keeps everything out. Oldrusty.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 03:10 PM
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actually, it's common to use a sealer before stain to prevent blotching. Pine/fir is particularly bad that way.

Measure twice, cut once and CROSS OUT THE WRONG MARKS.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 03:39 PM
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White birch and cherry are also bad. I think that concoction that Charles Neil sells is basically a sealer.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 04:26 PM
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1 lb. cut of de-waxed shellac will work as a conditioner, the stuff Neil sells is a glue sizing, 1 part PVA glue to 3 parts water. You can use drywall mud mixed to a milky slurry.

So many things one can use but also have to remember, if you use a "conditioner", the color will be much lighter.

Always test on a scrap piece.

Zinser seal coat is de-waxed 2 lb. cut, the Zinser shellac has wax, IIRC it is 3 lb. cut.

I would sand it back with 320 - 400 grit and go for the stain, and as said ALWAYS test on a scrap before the "OH [email protected]#$ " moment.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks fellas. It is Zinser shellac. I suppose it has wax in it, but the can does not say. Anyway, I will try to sand and try to stain again. Another question. I guess that I will have to still put a conditioner or sealer on after sanding, is that correct?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knot2square View Post
Thanks fellas. It is Zinser shellac. I suppose it has wax in it, but the can does not say. Anyway, I will try to sand and try to stain again. Another question. I guess that I will have to still put a conditioner or sealer on after sanding, is that correct?
What the conditioner does is to make your stain act more evenly.

Typically softwoods will appear quite blotchy after staining, unless you apply more than one coat...which helps to make the stain appear more even. As you have discovered, the stain won't penetrate the sealer that you used.

Hopefully you can sand it off and start over again. Good luck.

OK, fess up...which one of you clowns stole my sig? It was right here a second ago.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 12:42 AM
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Impressive, Nice guide, Liked the suggestions here.
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