Reply by Douglas Bordner

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Posted on Help me choose my topcoat...

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Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4092 days

#1 posted 07-13-2007 11:50 PM

I use Zinsser Sealcoat de-waxed shellac to seal the wood after P220 grit prep, then rub that with a red or gray non-woven adhesive pad. Just be sure to avoid steel wool as you will get rust flecks that don’t go away. Follow with the waterborne. No grain raising.

Beauty wise, it’s no question at least the equivalent of solvent based lacquer. It is water-white finish, but the shellac sealcoat does warm it a little. Over darker woods, I mix a little amber additive (I add a drop or two of Jewitt’s Trans-Tint per pint measure) which warms it to Nitrocellulose tint. On maple it is simply glorious without additional tinting, preserving the creamy tints of tiger maple etc., while providing the chatoyance (color reversal dependent on visual angle) that one experiences with figured woods. And it doesn’t tend to yellow over time like solvent based Nitrocellulose. I could not be happier with the change from standard lacquer, plus I am allowed to bring it in the house to cure, something none of the other residents will allow here at the Bordner house (especially Magnalac which off-gases with a smell of toxic nuclear bananas for at least a week). Stuff smells like standard Latex paint as it cures.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

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