Reply by CaptainKlutz

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Posted on Sanding Before and After Zinsser Sealcoat Shellac ( topcoat is General Finishes H20 Poly)

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4124 posts in 2498 days

#1 posted 08-31-2020 05:24 AM

Comments from an amateur FWIW:

- The very few times I use a WB top coat and want grain pop, one of my finishing schedules is: 1lb cut of amber shellac (from dewaxed flake only) on white wood, or 1lb cut garnet shellac on dark wood. Judge color change after one coat, use 2 if needed. Seldom do I use blonde or patina shellac to pop grain as it doesn’t have enough color.

- I usually have several different colors of shellac flake on hand and will test different colors or cuts on scraps before coating the project. Have even mixed different amber/garnet colors to achieve the tone desired. Tend to buy flake 1-2 pounds at a time, as have seen one shipment of Amber look more blonde, and visa versa. If shellac flakes are stored in cool place away from moisture (Tupperware with desiccant in humid area); they can last indefinitely. Testing if shellac has been contaminated with moisture is easy. Water cross links the shellac which forms a goop, snot, or jelly; like mass that will not dissolve in alcohol after couple days. What ever shellac does dissolve can still be used as is, just note the cut will be less than planned.

- IME Satin gloss top coats hide or diffuse the grain, compared to gloss finish. To get any serious grain pop with satin finish on white wood, you need some serious color addition. Oil can work sometimes, but IME you need to use highly diluted amber (or brown) dye stain as ‘wash’ coat, and sand back top surface to desired wood color. Then spray 1lb cut of light blonde shellac as sealer to prevent WB carrier from pulling dye out of wood.

- Always test, test, and test again; any new finish schedule before using on completed project. Finishing takes as much time as building, if not longer on large builds for me. I will spend several days testing out any new finishing schedule, or checking out new batch of lumber with unusual colors when using an existing schedule.

Best Luck getting the look you want.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

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