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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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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.
 

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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.
 

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White birch and cherry are also bad. I think that concoction that Charles Neil sells is basically a sealer.
 

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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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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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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.
 

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Finishing has always been a confusing mystery to me. My last project was a picture frame made of pine. Stain alone really didn't look good, but with a stain prep, it turned out very well. Once applied, you want to put the stain on within 2 hours. Very even color as a result as a result and wipe on poly produced a great sheen in two light coats, applied with a folded paper towel, btw. On the stain, a good rub down with an old Tshirt removed all drips.
 

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I have used shellac for years and never once had a problem as a sealer, even the one that says to not use it under another finish. I have put water based poly over it without any problems many,many times.
I love the spray shellac from Zinser, I now use it for sealer and final finish on everything. First coat and sand to 400 grt. then 3 more coats. If the weather is warm ,I can do all 4 coats in a day.

Herb
 
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