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Shellac only without oiling?

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Forum topic by mikebibby posted 07-26-2020 06:17 AM 906 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mikebibby

3 posts in 500 days


07-26-2020 06:17 AM

Topic tags/keywords: shellac no oil finish no oil shellac only finish shellac only finishing holly wood keeping wood white not oiling wood

I have a holly branch I made into a walking staff and sanded and ready to finish. The wood is so beautifully white that I want to keep it that way as much as possible. My question is can I just skip the oiling process (was going to use tung) and go right into my French polishing? I got the clearest shellac powder I could find. What might happen if I don’t oil it? I’m pretty new to wood finishing. Thanks!


14 replies so far

View DrTebi's profile

DrTebi

402 posts in 4557 days


#1 posted 07-26-2020 06:40 AM

No problem. I have done it several times either to save time or to keep the woods lighter look. But be aware that even the clearest shellac will darken the wood a bit. I suggest to test on a cut-off or so first.

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

5033 posts in 2785 days


#2 posted 07-26-2020 08:47 AM

+1 Test, Test, Test.
Best way to learn about finishing is by trying things out on scraps.

If you want a water clear or ‘water white’ coating that doesn’t add color, try some water based polyacrylic or polyurethane. GF High Performance is water white. Varathane WB Ultimate Poly from BORG is water white too. The lack of color is usually a complaint by users. lol

If you want to talk color purity, Varathane has very subtle blue tone, usually only visible in very bright LED lighting by trained eye. Blue dye is actually a hidden secret in the polymer world. It counteracts yellow tones of the cross linking agents used in clear polymers. It is also used in white pigmented coatings to make them bright white. Test some Varathane on scrap before committing your staff, as you might find holly looks almost too white? At least that was my thoughts on some maple scrap testing I did. Have never seen wood that white after finishing. But if you want zero yellow color, white holly – it will do job.

Best Luck.

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

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7302 posts in 3784 days


#3 posted 07-26-2020 12:25 PM

I did this some years back to show someone how clear platinum blonde shellac is. The line seperates the bare wood (hard maple) from the shellac (on the right). You can see there is some color shift even with the clearest of shellacs.

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

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8837 posts in 1873 days


#4 posted 07-26-2020 01:18 PM

I’m doing a shellac-only finish on some bookcases I’m working on. I tested by building a smaller box to hold sandpaper, and decided that oil followed by shellac on pine was too yellow, and shellac-only looks okay for now, but will probably yellow some over time.

For your holly, I suspect super-blonde or platina shellac will look good out of the gate, and there are a few polys that might look even better, but I haven’t finished enough holly to be sure how it will behave over time. It certainly won’t hurt to try shellac-only, and if you don’t like the result in a year, shellac has the advantage that you can remove it fairly completely with alcohol, and try something else.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View typing's profile

typing

48 posts in 876 days


#5 posted 07-26-2020 02:33 PM

If you want to keep wood white you do not use shellac. You should use water based finishes, like GF high performance.

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

2298 posts in 1470 days


#6 posted 07-26-2020 02:49 PM

Shellac wouldn’t be very durable choice if it will get used.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

4146 posts in 3089 days


#7 posted 07-26-2020 03:05 PM

Deft spray lacquer would be my choice.

-- Aj

View mikebibby's profile

mikebibby

3 posts in 500 days


#8 posted 07-26-2020 09:06 PM

Thanks this is all extremely helpful. I got the varathane wb poly. I’ll use a sponge brush. If I apply the poly to the staff on a drop cloth what do I do about the points where the wet poly contacts the drop cloth because of that pesky gravity? Especially on the last coat is there anything I need to know or special material for the points of contact? I was wondering this same questing for shellac as well.. Can’t find any info about that online. Also is there any point in putting my paste wax over the poly??

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CWWoodworking

2298 posts in 1470 days


#9 posted 07-26-2020 09:18 PM

Take a board and put 4 screws through it in position that they will hold up the peice. Do the top, flip it, d the rest. The screw marks will hardly be noticeable

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

5033 posts in 2785 days


#10 posted 07-26-2020 09:26 PM

If I apply the poly to the staff on a drop cloth what do I do about the points where the wet poly contacts the drop cloth because of that pesky gravity?
- mikebibby

Build a finishing fixture. For large projects, can buy painting pyramids that only touch at one small point.

The DIY version is to hammer some nails though a piece of plywood. For round items I make a cradle, and hot glue thumb tacks upside down in cradle. Dull the points a little with file if you are going to paint on top of them to avoid leaving dents in wood. A round shapes rests nicely between 2 touch points mounted just off center.

PS – Wax is secondary protection. Use, don’t use; it all depends on the look, feel and protection you want. Would think that hard wax would make staff too slippery, and tend to be dropped? But then @IAMAKLUTZ. :)

Best Luck.

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

View typing's profile

typing

48 posts in 876 days


#11 posted 07-27-2020 04:28 PM

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

3022 posts in 1453 days


#12 posted 07-27-2020 06:27 PM

a word of warning: if the support mechanism and finish is not applied
to a walking stick correctly, the world could reverse on its axis and
we will all perish.

.

-- I am a painter: that's what I do, I like to paint things. --

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

4961 posts in 4400 days


#13 posted 07-27-2020 07:38 PM

If you want no color, you can buy the newer catalyzed clear coat paint used for automotive finishes. Doesn’t yellow and wears well.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

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mikebibby

3 posts in 500 days


#14 posted 07-28-2020 06:15 PM

That’s a good point, John. Pressure’s on. Good thing I’m wearing my brown pants.

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