Finishing "layers"

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Forum topic by Bret posted 02-23-2010 05:38 PM 1424 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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162 posts in 2914 days

02-23-2010 05:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing cherry

I’m building a small apothecary cabinet for my wife’s quilting supplies. She’d like it to have a gloss finish. It’s predominately cherry, with pulls made from maple stained black (because I already had them cut when she decided she wanted ‘em dark).

I’ve already stained the cherry using General Finishes Candlelight stain. I was planning to apply the following and wanted a sanity check before I start:

1. Single coat of shellac to seal it up.
2. 3-5 coats of gloss General Finishes Arm-R-Seal
3. A single coat of paste wax to bring up the gloss as much as I can.

Thoughts? Thanks!

-- Woodworking is easy as 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510...

6 replies so far

View Icemizer's profile


88 posts in 2959 days

#1 posted 02-23-2010 05:55 PM

Would probably just skip the Shellac step completely. Covering it with urethane will be more than sufficient. Even the website for the finish itself says that Arm-r-seal penetrates which of course it would not if you have a layer of shellac between it and the wood.

-- Say what you mean and mean what you say.

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 2488 days

#2 posted 02-23-2010 07:01 PM

Skip the shellac, that Arm-R-Seal is plenty. Applt it in thin coats and give it a light sanding with 220 (or finer) between coats. You probably won’t need the paste wax, either.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3241 days

#3 posted 02-23-2010 08:39 PM

Bret, normally I would apply a shellac seal coat after using oil base stain to keep the stain from bleeding into, or being lifted off, by the topcoat if the topcoat were a straight wipe on varnish. But, in this case, since you are using Arm-R-Seal which has an oil modified resin in it (and I don’t have a clue what “oil modified resin” is but wouldn’t be surprised if it is boiled linseed oil) I would skip the shellac sealer as well.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Bret's profile


162 posts in 2914 days

#4 posted 02-23-2010 09:25 PM

Thanks. I’ve usually just gone from stain to Arm-R-Seal, but was wondering if the shellac would make a difference. If I can find any more cherry in my shop I’ll do a test board but will likely just proceed to glue up the drawers and then start varnishing. Thanks again!

-- Woodworking is easy as 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510...

View CharlesNeil's profile


1602 posts in 3290 days

#5 posted 02-23-2010 11:04 PM

I think the candlelight is a gel stain, oil base , let it dry 24 hours before using just the arm r seal, the shellac unless you are spraying will remove the stain worse than the oil , if you use the shellac use only a 1/2 to 1 lb cut , other wise you will form a hard barrier and the oil will not have anything to bite into .

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 3547 days

#6 posted 02-23-2010 11:29 PM

FWIW, “oil modified resin” is oil-based varnish (oil and resin cooked together to form varnish).
Arm-R-Seal is a diluted urethane wiping varnish, not an oil finish.
The exact formulation or ingredients is not revealed in their MSDS and trade literature.
However, they are clear on the intended use of this product.

Skip the shellac over stain, unless you intend to use it under the stain to control blotching.

-- 温故知新

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