Shellac or Waterlox over Poly/Stain

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Forum topic by ThanosT posted 02-28-2020 02:09 AM 1066 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 821 days

02-28-2020 02:09 AM

Topic tags/keywords: shellac over stain shellac over poly waterlox over stain waterlox over poly shellac poly minxax waterlox

I don’t know if anyone has done that and how effective it was but I have a couple of maple live edge pieces that I want to apply any these combinations to add an extra layer of protection but also achieve the warmest color, plus bring out as much grain as possible. My question is which would be best without creating any issues :

Shellac over Polyshades Minxax Pecan OR Water Based General Finishes Pecan
Waterlox layers over Polyshades Minwax Pecan OR Water Based General Finishes Pecan
Odie’s oil over Polyshades Minxax Pecan OR Water Based General Finishes Pecan
I’m also including a picture of one of the slabs

5 replies so far

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2391 posts in 1639 days

#1 posted 02-28-2020 04:14 AM

I would make samples if possible.

I would also stay away from anything minwax that has color in it. Especially polyshades.

That’s a pretty chunk of wood. How about odies oil and nothing else?

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Fred Hargis

7481 posts in 3954 days

#2 posted 02-28-2020 11:41 AM

Of your choices, the Waterlox (if you refer to “Original Waterlox” is going to be the most durable, it’s a phenolic resin varnish and very tough. It’s also the darkest of varnishes, so be aware. But if your first coat is ployshades or an imitatro, I wouldn’t do anything else….you’ve already done enough damage. Just my opinion. As CW said, try your ideas on a sample.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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220 posts in 854 days

#3 posted 02-28-2020 01:08 PM

Like Fred said, Waterlox is going to give you the most protection and color. I’ve used the original (the darkest Waterlox) on many projects including a queen sized bed that in transit while moving was left in a large puddle of collected water in the moving van for at least 24 hours. After my heart rate slowed back into the normal range and I wasn’t swearing like the saltiest sailor anymore, I saw that only a little raised grain occurred. It’s good stuff. I also used it on oak flooring which stood up to some serious abuse. Not perfectly, but it performed like a hero under dog claws, moving furniture and lots of kid traffic. I like the stuff, even if it’s expensive. I’m going to use it on a dining room table and a bar top next.

Beautiful slab. I hope you share final pics when you’re done.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

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1384 posts in 1955 days

#4 posted 02-29-2020 12:26 PM

I would also use Waterlox, with no stain. It’s very durable and will add a nice amber tone to the wood. It will take 6-8 wiped on coats to build a decent film. Don’t use an oil product unless these pieces will see very little use, it’s not durable enough.

I especially like Waterlox on cherry. There are a couple of pieces in my projects that are Waterlox on Cherry if you want to see the amount of darkening you can expect. Also, FWW did a great comparison of finishes including Waterlox a few years back.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

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3039 posts in 3450 days

#5 posted 02-29-2020 01:23 PM

I’ll be contrary and state you can use polyshades, but use it this way – thin it 1:1, apply like danish oil, flood on, keep wet for 10 min or longer, wipe off, keep wiping bleed out. Do not build any film with it, use the waterlox.

I would not use polyshades. I use mw poly with dye applied as described all the time (examples in my LJ projects). I mix the colors and intensity I want. Read here. The poly shades may use pigment vs dye (been too many years since I messed with it) in which case dont use it. The lockwood dye can be mixed into waterlox, apply as described for 2 coats, then wipe on topcoats. Shellac is not a durable topcoat for a table.

If you use waterlox which is a bit dark due to the phenolic content, and or add color, the maple will blotch. Use blotch control read here. Shellac is a sealer not a blotch controller, there is a difference.

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