Reply by Fred Hargis

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Posted on Finishes to Swear By

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Fred Hargis

6502 posts in 3374 days

#1 posted 07-17-2017 08:21 PM

I’ll offer my opinion on the last question…shellac. I love the stuff, but it just isn’t durable enough for tables or such things that see wear, spills, or whatever tough things may happen. I have a set of end tables that needs the tops refinished since all I used was shellac. Once I o the repair I’ll top coat them with an alkyd resin varnish. Oil based alkyd/soya oil varnish is what i use most often, though I won’t call it a “go-to” finish. But my methods of applications vary somewhat from using it as a wiping varnish to brushed coats. I’ll sometimes want a “glass smooth” surface and will apply several coats, let it cure enough to wet sand and then sand it back a lot, repeat until the surface is glass smooth. Lastly, for outdoor use my go-to (appropriate in this case) is untinted oil base exterior paint; the tint base made for deep/dark colors. Coming very close to true marine spar varnish in durability and costing a lot less, also easier to use. That’s only when a clear finish is needed, though…otherwise my go-to exterior is paint!

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