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Forum topic by Travis posted 02-22-2021 10:17 PM 404 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Travis

505 posts in 817 days


02-22-2021 10:17 PM

Table top is ash, oil stained, sealed with dewaxed shellac, oil grain filler, then about 4-5 coats of Arm-R-Seal. Cured for full 30 days before use. I’ve not been terribly impressed with the protection ARS provides for this family table, but that’s a different topic.

Somehow the surface got damaged and it appears to have exposed some of the bare wood. I don’t want to refinish this top, especially since the piece is stained. I’m wondering if I could just touch up the exposed spot with some stain to color match and then put a couple of coats of shellac over it to help seal off the stained wood. I was thinking shellac because it sticks to anything, and I believe if I did ARS again it would leave a visible edge. Maybe shellac would do the same thing, that’s why I’m asking.

Is there a way you would recommend to just touch up this spot?

-- The plan is wrong; my finished piece is right.


12 replies so far

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Rich

6768 posts in 1640 days


#1 posted 02-22-2021 11:24 PM

If it isn’t gouged too badly then you can simply touch up the color. Don’t use shellac to seal it however, get an aerosol can of lacquer in the same sheen as the Arm-R-Seal you used. Spray very lightly making swift passes until it looks good. Be careful not to spray enough to form a puddle, because that will leave a visible ridge around the area.

In other words, if it looks wet, you’ve blown it. Don’t stress though, a little acetone on a towel will remove the lacquer without damaging the varnish, allowing you to start over.

Check out some Mohawk Finishing videos on their hard fill products to see the technique for spraying the lacquer.

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

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Travis

505 posts in 817 days


#2 posted 02-24-2021 03:48 PM

I’m sorry for the delay in responding. I’ve been busy and have not immediately returned to that task.

Thank you Rich for your response!

Were you recommending spray lacquer because lacquer offers more protection than shellac, or because you thought it would be easier to get a flat/seamless repair?

-- The plan is wrong; my finished piece is right.

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Rich

6768 posts in 1640 days


#3 posted 02-24-2021 07:04 PM

You’ll get a better blend and can match the sheen. Shellac is gloss only. Lacquer is the standard finish for small repairs like that.

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

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Travis

505 posts in 817 days


#4 posted 02-25-2021 11:59 PM



You’ll get a better blend and can match the sheen. Shellac is gloss only. Lacquer is the standard finish for small repairs like that.

- Rich

Thank you for the information, very helpful!

-- The plan is wrong; my finished piece is right.

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Rich

6768 posts in 1640 days


#5 posted 02-26-2021 12:17 AM


Thank you for the information, very helpful!

- Travis

You’re welcome, Travis. Glad to help. I do a lot of this sort of touch-up and repair. Practice your light spray technique on some scrap finished with Arm-R-Seal before you do your repair. It’s very important to getting a flawless result.

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

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bilyo

1345 posts in 2153 days


#6 posted 02-27-2021 10:14 PM

You can make that gouge totally disappear if you are patient. Start by using a very sharp knife or razor blade and trim away any loose splinters or fuzzies. Then, touch up the color using caution not to make it too dark. Start with the lightest color in the nearby existing color range. Then, start filling the gouge with the finish you used on the rest of the top. Just a drop off of a toothpick at a time. Let it dry, then do it again, and again, until the finish “filler” is higher than the adjacent area. Then, using a new razor blade, very carefully scrape it level. Then, starting with a small piece of 400 grit wet/dry paper, start polishing it. Work up in grit until you are satisfied that the sheen matches the rest.

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Rich

6768 posts in 1640 days


#7 posted 02-28-2021 12:37 AM


Then, starting with a small piece of 400 grit wet/dry paper, start polishing it. Work up in grit until you are satisfied that the sheen matches the rest.

- bilyo

That runs the risk of turning a small defect into a huge mess. Like I said, I do this work professionally. The only way to make that defect completely disappear is using a hard fill burn-in, which is not something someone with no experience should tackle. Besides, the tools and materials to do the work will be very expensive. It would be cheaper to hire a professional.

Even if the build up of the finish and final planing with a razor blade worked, trying to sand to match the surrounding sheen is likely to cause a larger problem. If Travis wants to try this technique (which is not one I would ever use or recommend), rather than trying to match the sheen by sanding, he should sand it flush over as small an area as possible with some 600 or 800 grit paper and then go over it with lacquer as I described above.

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

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bilyo

1345 posts in 2153 days


#8 posted 02-28-2021 02:06 AM


That runs the risk of turning a small defect into a huge mess. Like I said, I do this work professionally. The only way to make that defect completely disappear is using a hard fill burn-in, which is not something someone with no experience should tackle. Besides, the tools and materials to do the work will be very expensive. It would be cheaper to hire a professional.

Even if the build up of the finish and final planing with a razor blade worked, trying to sand to match the surrounding sheen is likely to cause a larger problem. If Travis wants to try this technique (which is not one I would ever use or recommend), rather than trying to match the sheen by sanding, he should sand it flush over as small an area as possible with some 600 or 800 grit paper and then go over it with lacquer as I described above.

- Rich


I don’t necessarily disagree that the process requires lots of care. With respect to your professional experience, it is technique that is frequently used to fix stone chips in automotive paint. I have used for that as well ast to fix small gouges like the OP has with success. I have also used clear epoxy the same way. As you say, keeping the repair area as small as possible can be a challenge. For a repair that small, I would glue a very small piece of sand paper onto a very small tapered stick with a sanding surface of perhaps 1/4”-3/8” square and use very short strokes. It may be necessary to go as high as 1000 or 2000 grit and maybe even automotive polishing compound. I don’t know why you recommend lacquer over the top of the existing Arm-R-Seal. If it is necessary to re-coat the entire surface, why not just put on another coat of ARS following the repair.

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Rich

6768 posts in 1640 days


#9 posted 02-28-2021 03:55 AM


I don t know why you recommend lacquer over the top of the existing Arm-R-Seal. If it is necessary to re-coat the entire surface, why not just put on another coat of ARS following the repair.

- bilyo

Allow me to explain my goal when I reply to a question like Travis had. It is to give him a solution that he can perform without a lot of experience doing touch up and repair. I’m not telling him how I would do it, because I’ve got hundreds of hours of practice, and well over $1000 in tools and supplies. The recommendations I made will not make that defect invisible, however it will make it less noticeable. In other words, if you examine the area, you’ll find it, but if you walk into the room and sit at the table, it won’t catch your eye.

If you want to see the nerd-level I go to doing my repairs, take a look at this blog post. To give an idea of the cost of entry into this work, the set of E-Z Flow burn-in sticks I show in the blog (there are actually two trays, only one is shown in the photo) costs over $250.

I recommend lacquer because that’s what will blend best. It’s the go-to topcoat for repairs, short of a full re-coat. Look at any finish repair tech’s kit and you’ll find a couple of dozen cans of lacquer, lacquer based toners, etc. It’s the best choice for this sort of situation when done right. That’s why I stressed for Travis to practice his technique on scrap before doing the actual repair.

Regarding what you suggested, I didn’t have a problem with it until you got to the sanding. Matching the sheen with sandpaper is hit-or-miss, and if he misses, he’s gone from a small problem area to a large one which will stand out like a sore thumb. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but I do think it’s more challenging for someone without a lot of experience.

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

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bilyo

1345 posts in 2153 days


#10 posted 02-28-2021 04:15 AM


Allow me to explain my goal when I reply to a question like Travis had. It is to give him a solution that he can perform without a lot of experience doing touch up and repair. I m not telling him how I would do it, because I ve got hundreds of hours of practice, and well over $1000 in tools and supplies. The recommendations I made will not make that defect invisible, however it will make it less noticeable. In other words, if you examine the area, you ll find it, but if you walk into the room and sit at the table, it won t catch your eye.


I guess I have more confidence in the ability of the OP to judge his own capabilities. I try to carefully explain the process, materials, techniques, and cautions needed and let him decide if he is capable of doing it. I’m not any more capable or talented than anyone else and I had no problem using this technique on both automobiles and wood projects.

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Rich

6768 posts in 1640 days


#11 posted 02-28-2021 04:46 AM


I guess I have more confidence in the ability of the OP to judge his own capabilities.

- bilyo

A little virtue-signalling there? Good grief.

This is not automotive, and the technique you described is used by absolutely no one in the business of wood finish repair. The rookie assumes that a clear fill will be perfect because it’s invisible. Well, it’s not. Light refracts differently through it and it’s very noticeable.

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

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bilyo

1345 posts in 2153 days


#12 posted 02-28-2021 04:35 PM


A little virtue-signalling there? Good grief.


I’m too old and social media illiterate to know the term. I’ll just accept it as a compliment and we can agree to disagree.

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