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Poly over shellac?

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Forum topic by Dogfisher posted 12-04-2015 10:27 PM 867 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dogfisher

11 posts in 379 days


12-04-2015 10:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I glued branch slices down on a plywood tabletop. I’ve shellaced them many times over. I just finished grouting in between the discs with sanded grout. The shellac is a bit too gummy for my taste. It can be dug into with a fingernail. How could I finish it off to give it a harder surface? Polyurethane? That would also be a nice finish over the grout.

-- RMiller, New Jersey, http://inflatus1.wix.com/rsmiller


19 replies so far

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bobasaurus

2674 posts in 2650 days


#1 posted 12-04-2015 10:31 PM

Is the shellac dewaxed? If so, pretty much any top coat should stick to it. Odd that the shellac is gummy, it’s always dried pretty hard on my projects (though I only use thin coats). You probably want to seal the grout with dewaxed shellac before any other finishes, just to make sure the topcoat sticks.

-- Allen, Colorado

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shampeon

1718 posts in 1650 days


#2 posted 12-04-2015 11:22 PM

Uh oh. How old is the shellac? Expired shellac will turn gummy and take forever to dry. Good shellac will dry to the touch within minutes.

You can try periodically doing a coat of denatured alcohol over it over the course of a day. But if that doesn’t work, and the shellac is expired, you’re probably going to have to strip and start over.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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Dogfisher

11 posts in 379 days


#3 posted 12-05-2015 12:27 AM

That could be. It’s not that old but there was also some grey flaky crap that came off of the bottom of the can. I could sand it down and put a different finish on it. The discs are proud of the grout so sanding should work. Plus grouting was my main reason for shellacing. Now that the grout is done, I can refinish it if necessary. Thanks.

-- RMiller, New Jersey, http://inflatus1.wix.com/rsmiller

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AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1775 days


#4 posted 12-05-2015 10:34 AM

How many coats of shellac did you use? When shellac is applied to thick it can alligator in a year or so.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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Tennessee

2410 posts in 1981 days


#5 posted 12-05-2015 12:18 PM

By the way, stunning design!

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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Dogfisher

11 posts in 379 days


#6 posted 12-05-2015 01:14 PM

Wow I didn’t think about that. Maybe I should sand it off and poly the whole top instead?
And thank you.

-- RMiller, New Jersey, http://inflatus1.wix.com/rsmiller

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3947 posts in 1959 days


#7 posted 12-05-2015 01:23 PM

Sanding shellac can be a PITA (clogs paper), and if it’s gummy it can be even worse. I agree with the points made above: the shellac does sound like it’s too old, and even if it isn’t shellac is a thin finish…you have almost certainly applied too much. I’d try to remove it by scraping or some other method. Whatever you choose to do, I wish you the best….it’s really a nice looking table.

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

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dhazelton

2326 posts in 1763 days


#8 posted 12-05-2015 01:52 PM

Try wiping it with an alcohol soaked rag to see if it removes the bulk of it. May just turn into a mess though.

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Rick M

7930 posts in 1846 days


#9 posted 12-06-2015 06:07 AM

Before you create a big mess, if it’s still warm where you are, try setting the shellac in sunlight for a few hours and see if it hardens. This time of year where I am tends to be chilly and wet so finishes cure extra slow. Also if you put a lot of coats on quickly they will cure more slowly.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Dogfisher

11 posts in 379 days


#10 posted 12-06-2015 12:52 PM

Will do thank you.

-- RMiller, New Jersey, http://inflatus1.wix.com/rsmiller

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2156 days


#11 posted 12-06-2015 03:29 PM

I applied too many coats of shellac to a project and had that soft/gummy feel. I put it in the sun for a few hours and came back to find bubbles the size of grapes!!!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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a1Jim

115202 posts in 3043 days


#12 posted 12-06-2015 03:38 PM

I agree with dhazelton wiping it with denatured alcohol should get the bulk of it off and leave enough for almost any finish to cling to. The one thing I do wonder about is how well a top coat will cling to grout . I would apply just a little to some of the grouted area and make sure you get good results before doing the whole top,
Cool looking table

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Rick M

7930 posts in 1846 days


#13 posted 12-06-2015 03:57 PM



I applied too many coats of shellac to a project and had that soft/gummy feel. I put it in the sun for a few hours and came back to find bubbles the size of grapes!!!

- gfadvm

You always have the weirdest stuff happen, lol.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Dogfisher

11 posts in 379 days


#14 posted 12-06-2015 04:34 PM

I think I might just leave it as is and see what happens. If a problem arises, I will address it then. Thanks for all the great advice! Now to paint the base and put it to use.

-- RMiller, New Jersey, http://inflatus1.wix.com/rsmiller

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ThomasChippendale

244 posts in 398 days


#15 posted 12-07-2015 01:48 AM

I think you are right, it will eventually harden and then you can coat with your preferred finish. I would be inclined to flood the surface with epoxy on such a project.

-- PJ

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