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It's kind of reassuring to see that I'm not the only one around that suffers with FDS (Finishing Deficiency Syndrom) - The shellac thread got my attention because I'd just sort of stumbeled into using it (amber shellac) and then following with a paste wax coat. I've liked the results and the way it really brings out the wood without looking plastic coated. Not having seen much written about it, I began to get a little nervous ... I mean after all, if I actually was liking a finish that I had applied, something had to be terribly wrong.
I e-mailed David Thiel who responded with a couple of articles by Bob Flexner that went a long way towards reassuring me that I wasn't nuts.
What I've been doing is applying 2 or 3 coats of amber shellac, letting the last coat cure for a day or 2, and then applying paste wax - first with fine steel wool (which seems to knock down any brush ridges) and then a couple more coats of wax with a soft cloth, buffing each coat. No stain ... nothing else.
So far I've used it on Poplar, Oak, Cherry and Maple and actually am quite pleased with the results. The grain pops out, and you also get a sort of antique-ish look to it.
Just thought I'd throw it out there for what it's worth.
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