Reply by Kenny

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Posted on Refinishing a pine aquarium stand (first project)

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260 posts in 2470 days

#1 posted 03-21-2012 06:10 PM

Seabiscuit, paint does not give the glow of a stain, and it covers the wood.

And in my opinion, it wouldn’t look nearly as nice with paint as it would with a nice evenly colored stain.

BinghamtonEd, you are getting into sketchy territory there!
Shellac is a film finish, and while you can apply a stain over it, you will actually be glazing it and not staining the wood as one would normally think. Now here is where things get really iffy! Not all stains are in fact “stains”. Some of the lesser branded stains are really a dye, ore a combination of dye and stain, and will not work over shellac as a glaze. And again, glazing is not staining anyway, and it will not give the same coloring effect.

I use it at times over a stain to seal it down so I can lightly sand the surface smooth without pulling color. And since it is shellac, it is compatible with any top coat you choose.

I think what Zinsser intends it for, is a pretreatment for one of their other shellacs, which are colored shellacs in blonde and amber (if I recall correctly). You can much more easily sand their sanding sealer than their “shellac”, as their shellac is not dewaxed, where as their sealer is. I have found waxed shellac to clog up in the paper more readily.

I’m sure there are many other uses, and there are others who can give much more detailed answers than I. I’m not 100% positive about every use for sanding sealer (ie: 2lb cut of dewaxed shellac), but I have never heard of it being applied before stain. I have heard of it being used in a 1lb cut between applications of stain, as you can get a darker color this way, but never as a “blotch control” as you are suggesting it be used.

Charles Neil has several Youtube videos on stains, shellacs and other finishing topics, I suggest you watch those. They explain things better than I can, and he knows a LOT more than I as well.

-- Kenny

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