Dovetail box in Mahogany and Poplar (in 4 parts) #3: Finishing with Shellac

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Blog entry by Paul Sellers posted 12-17-2011 11:12 AM 7141 reads 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: roundover for box lid (2 of 4) Part 3 of Dovetail box in Mahogany and Poplar (in 4 parts) series Part 4: Setting the Hinges »

Hi all,

Here is part three, finishing with shellac. I just wanted to show a beautiful finish which is really easy to apply.

Hope you all enjoy.


-- Paul Sellers, UK

5 comments so far

View nobuckle's profile


1120 posts in 2784 days

#1 posted 12-17-2011 10:40 PM

Nice! What was the cut for the Shellac?

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View Mauricio's profile


7144 posts in 3174 days

#2 posted 12-18-2011 01:48 AM

Paul, I can’t tell you how many times in in the middle of a project and I’m thinking, “There has to be an easier way, I know I’m overcomplicating this”. The information you are providing is exactly what I’ve been needing. I just caught your part 4 of 4 on your youtube channel, more great tips, Thanks!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 2677 days

#3 posted 12-18-2011 02:04 AM

What are your thoughts on filling grain before using shellac? I figure if the cut is light enough you can skip that and leave the texture of the wood intact.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View AttainableApex's profile


347 posts in 2855 days

#4 posted 12-18-2011 07:21 AM

ya grain filling takes time and a little pain but it comes out so good on mahogany, especially if the filler is black.
what brush are you using?

-- Ben L

View Paul Sellers's profile

Paul Sellers

278 posts in 2593 days

#5 posted 12-18-2011 07:59 AM

I start all my shellac with a 1 lb cut, but often end up thinning (cutting US) again cos I leave the lid off the jar. Bad habit of 40 years I suppose.

I only grain-fill on restoration work, not new. I like texture in species so whichever wood I work in can be identified by grain colour, configuration and texture, though I do use dyes and stains where I feel appropriate.

On larger areas I pad, on small projects I lay on with a brush. Here I am using what is called a ‘hake’ used by watercolourists in art. They are not too expensive from Hobby Lobby or Crafts etc type places. A 1” hake will cover a fairly large area without problems. The finish lies flat without brush texture and the advantage of brush-on is of course volume. Two coats usually does the job depending on the cut. I also use paint pads for larger areas. It goes on superfast with no brush or fillament marks, but this works well mainly with flat surfaces and not moulded stock.

-- Paul Sellers, UK

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