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sanding sealer

by Karda
posted 01-12-2018 02:23 AM

6 replies so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5984 posts in 1461 days

#1 posted 01-12-2018 11:49 AM

I wouldn’t use sanding sealer (also known as shellac) over wax, but I’ve used it over oil with no problems. And yes, just about anything will sit happily in top of sanding sealer. The old rule is, “shellac sticks to anything, and anything sticks to shellac.”

The only caveat I’ve ever found is that you don’t want something super soft and spongy under a harder finish, since any knock to the surface can flex and crack the harder finish that way.

Worst case, give it a try. If it doesn’t work out, you can safely remove sanding sealer (or shellac) with denatured alcohol.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Rich's profile (online now)


5960 posts in 1468 days

#2 posted 01-12-2018 04:33 PM

We’ve got some nomenclature issues going on. First, sanding sealer is not also known as shellac. Shellac is a sealer, but products labeled sanding sealer are a different animal. They are designed to seal the surface to prepare the piece for top coating, and to sand smoothly and cleanly.

What was suggested to you sounds more like a pore filler.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View JRsgarage's profile


389 posts in 1388 days

#3 posted 01-12-2018 05:09 PM

i’m not sure how well it would adhere to wax as Dave mentioned. but i do use Sealcoat on certain items before finish

-- “Facts don't care about your feelings.” ..., Ben Shapiro

View Karda's profile


2522 posts in 1432 days

#4 posted 01-12-2018 05:26 PM

thanks I don’t have to use it on wax I just have a couple I have already used beeswax no big deal. so for what should i use on these woods. This is not fine cabinetry or anything just to make a bowl a little nicer. I don’t have a clue I have never used anything like this before. thanks Mike

View LesB's profile


2620 posts in 4322 days

#5 posted 01-12-2018 07:05 PM

What you are doing is fine and a sealer is probably unnecessary.
In my opinion if a sealer is used it would be used first. Even Shellac may have trouble sticking to mineral oil because essentially it never “drys” or hardens up. On the other hand mineral oil will probably not soak in through the sealer but will remain on the surface. So if you sealer on the item I would only use a wax without the oil or use a Tung oil to produce the top coats (three or four applications are average). A tung oil product often used for gun stocks is called Tru Oil available at most sporting goods stores. I have used this and it produces a great finish.

So the finish I use depends on the intended use of the item. If I’m making a salad bowl that will be used with wet dressings or oils I finish the bowl with a “hard” finish like General’s or Behlen’s salad bowl finish….usually 4 coats, lightly sanded between. These finishes are useful on many small items that may subject to hard use. If the wood is particularly porous I will prime it with diluted shellac or sanding sealer first, mostly to reduce the number of top coats I have to apply.
If the bowl is just for items like nuts or candies I use a oil finish like processed Walnut oil (heat treated) that soaks in and cures to a dry finish (multiple applications are often needed) which also helps harden the wood; then I apply a coat or two of paste wax (carnauba based) using 0000 steel wool as the applicator, and buff for a smooth finish.

Hope that helps.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Karda's profile


2522 posts in 1432 days

#6 posted 01-13-2018 07:47 AM

thanks for the information les, I never knew how to use sanding sealer, I know what it is for but not how to use it. Ill keep the walnut oil in mind for the one I want to eat pout off thanks Mike

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