Shellac vs. Sanding Sealing (lacquer) for prestain control

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Forum topic by wwbob posted 11-18-2010 06:02 AM 8297 views 1 time favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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111 posts in 3950 days

11-18-2010 06:02 AM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing shellac sanding sealer oil based stain plywood

I’ve been working with Baltic Birch plywood for my doll’s cradle project. Without shellac or sanding sealer, the plywood looks nasty after staining. Using an oil based stain, Minwax. I’m thinking about spraying or brushing on clear lacquer for my top coat.

I don’t see much difference between my samples, so is there a recommended prestain controller?

-- "I like the quiet I hear." - Channing, age 4

5 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4897 days

#1 posted 11-18-2010 01:29 PM

Bob, as far as I am concerned the jury is still out on which one is the best. I have used several and really find that there is not a lot of discernible difference between them. I feel that any of them will work and it is largely a matter of personal preference. The main thing is that when staining birch plywood, poplar and pine to use some form of blotch control before applying oil base stains. You might want to take a look at Charles Neil's blotch control. It is on my list to try and several members have been giving it a thumbs up.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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1381 posts in 5202 days

#2 posted 11-18-2010 03:10 PM

Shellac – 40 years of experience.

-- 温故知新

View treeman's profile


208 posts in 4524 days

#3 posted 11-18-2010 03:27 PM

I use dewaxed shellac as a sealer, usually a couple of coats followed by a light sanding at 220. My preferred stains are the General Finish gel stains. They go on easy, they don’t run and they color well over the shellac.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5349 posts in 5035 days

#4 posted 11-18-2010 04:35 PM

I have begun to use shellac more and more. I have also moved away from MinWax stuff whenever possible. Yes it is available everywhere, but I feel that it is only an average quality product.

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View Beeguy's profile


179 posts in 4711 days

#5 posted 11-18-2010 06:50 PM

I love shellac, maybe I use it too much. Zinsser Seal Coat mixed 50/50 with denatured alcohol works well. Make sure the shellac is dewaxed or you will have some issues with stain adherence. Charles Neils’ sealer is also very good. Using a gel stain (I like General Finishes) works better, or at least it is more forgiving, on this type of wood.

-- Ron, Kutztown, PA "The reward is in the journey."

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