LumberJocks

Tough, yet natural varnish or urethane over shellac on cherry

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by jgoeden posted 08-27-2015 09:02 PM 746 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jgoeden's profile

jgoeden

23 posts in 1355 days


08-27-2015 09:02 PM

Looking for some advice on how to finish 2 cherry pieces that I’m making for a customer. Been doing tons and tons of reading and probably just confusing myself more in the process than learning.

I’ve decided that I want to use some shellac as a sealer, but also to help with the natural chatanoyance (sp?) that it brings to cherry. I think I want to use one or two layers of dewaxed garnet shellac at a 1lb cut. Then followed up by some super blonde dewaxed shellac to help build layers and warm up the colors. But on top of that I need a super tough finish that will hold up to a daycare setting, but let the wood remain beautiful looking and not like plastic. Is this possible to have those two qualities?

Through my reading I think I’ve come down to using P&L 38, or Behlen Rockhard. It seems like both are hard to find, but I haven’t looked too hard yet.

I have minimal experience with French Polishing technique. My son’s bedroom furniture was finished with a 1:1:1 of Cabot Spar varnish, mineral spirits, and BLO. Turned out pristine, IMO. I didn’t know at that point about using shellac as a sealer, so it took about 7-8 coats to build a layer, but it was worth it.

Will my shellac help me finish with less coats of varnish this time? Will either of these varnishes suit my needs? I really want to avoid wiping on some cheap poly. Also, on the blonde shellac, should I cut it at 1lb or 2lb since it’s going over a layer or two of the garnet at 1lb.? I’ve never used shellac.

Thanks for all the help and time. And, yes, I plan on using lots of scrap pieces first!!!

-- Never use a Lancelot woodcarver on an angle grinder. Pictures upon request.


8 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3928 posts in 1954 days


#1 posted 08-28-2015 11:49 AM

The P&L product will do what you want. I have a coffee table built probably 10-12 years ago, and has seen continual abuse from me. I’m more or less a bit cro-magnon and freely rest my feet/shoes/snack trays/whatever on it. Nary a scratch at this point. Even better, it doesn’t have nearly the color shift of a urethane/linseed oil varnish. (Behlen’s is now urethane, I think). The garnet will add a bit of color to the cherry, I’m wondering what the super blonde will do…but I guess your test will show you if it’s what you want. For me, P&L 38 isn’t hard to find…it’s almost impossible! If I want a can it’s either internet, or a 120 mile drive. Too bad, it’s my favorite oil based varnish.

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

View jgoeden's profile

jgoeden

23 posts in 1355 days


#2 posted 08-28-2015 11:58 AM

Thanks Fred for the reply. I was really leaning toward the P&L, just waiting for that one person to tell me to go. I’ll search online for it and get ahold it of some way or another. There’s some hardware stores near me that are listed as dealers, I wonder if they can order. I wanted to stray from the Behlens because of the urethane shift a few years ago, but I think with a name like Behlens, I’m almost tempted to trust the product… they have to know what they are doing, right?!?

I’m not sure about the blonde shellac, I’ve read some guys doing it, didn’t know if it would add anything. That’s why we test 15 pieces of scrap first!!!

Thanks again for pushing me, I’m going the P&L route as long as I can order it.

-- Never use a Lancelot woodcarver on an angle grinder. Pictures upon request.

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

15658 posts in 2467 days


#3 posted 08-28-2015 01:13 PM

If you cant get your hands on what youre looking for I might suggest general finishes arm-r-seal (oil based) or high performance (water based). The arm-r-seal is some tough stuff but very easy to work with. Ive got a coffee table that my 3 year old really beats on and im yet to see a scratch. I like your choice of shellac as a base coat.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4449 posts in 3421 days


#4 posted 08-28-2015 01:27 PM

Be sure to use a coat or 2 of dewaxed shellac before the final finish of choice. Don’t know how super blonde will ”
warm” the color.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View ClammyBallz's profile

ClammyBallz

309 posts in 597 days


#5 posted 08-28-2015 03:44 PM

.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3928 posts in 1954 days


#6 posted 08-28-2015 03:58 PM

One more about the P&L 38, being an alkyd resin varnish it won’t care if the shellac is dewaxed or not. That’s pretty much just a urethane problem.

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

View jgoeden's profile

jgoeden

23 posts in 1355 days


#7 posted 08-29-2015 09:23 PM

So I just cut my first 2 batches of shellac, very excited. I just did a 1lb cut of each and I’ll try different combos.

I think I may order a qt of the P&L but it’s so scarce nowadays, no shops in the area can get it and I can only find 1 place online to buy it. I just don’t want to get used to a product that will get yanked in my near future.

So I’ll try a quart of that on this project and see how it goes. I saw some well-regarded advice on trying out Sherwin & Williams alkyd varnish, it uses BLO instead of Tung oil. The thing about the waterlox that people have recommended is it uses Tung oil,which I didn’t like the look on this cherry that I’m using.

-- Never use a Lancelot woodcarver on an angle grinder. Pictures upon request.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3928 posts in 1954 days


#8 posted 08-30-2015 12:14 PM

The Sherwin Williams alkyd is a super good product. I prefer the P&L because the soya oil base gives it a lot less amber than the SW (from the linseed oil). If you like the coloring it has, it would be an excellent choice….and a hell of a lot easier to find than the P&L.

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

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com