Shellac splotchy due to grain?

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Forum topic by Dave11 posted 03-04-2016 11:25 PM 529 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Dave11's profile


33 posts in 2536 days

03-04-2016 11:25 PM

Pic is of a door from 1951. Was originally stained and then I believe varnished, to a golden/brown color. Then had multiple coats of paint over the years, which I removed. Then I wanted to experiment with shellac, so in the pic the door has had three coats.

It looks a bit splotchy, and I thought it might be due to my brushing technique, so I slightly sanded the dark spots, made them lighter than the surrounding finish, then lightly coated them again. Same splotches return.

Does that mean the wood is the cause? Before the shellac, it was a very pale color, and I’m wondering if these are areas of grain irregularity that are becoming more noticeable due to the finish.

Was this perhaps a door meant only to be painted, or heavily coated?

I could paint it now I guess


2 replies so far

View Aj2's profile


1361 posts in 1766 days

#1 posted 03-05-2016 04:34 AM

Dave it looks like a old fir door.IF so then it can be tricky to get a good clear finish on it you might have to go with a satin sheen.Also shellac is best used with the very lest amounts or layers noticeable.I build up many coats of a very thin mix.Since your using a brush I’m thinking its just too heavy.You might try cutting some layers back.
The can you have there has wax so hopefully your paint will bond okay.

-- Aj

View OSU55's profile


1636 posts in 1958 days

#2 posted 03-05-2016 01:41 PM

Most likely due to uneven absorption by the grain. The sanding after coats you did just made it appear to lighten due to the different surface finish. If you used waxed shellac you can try paint. Rough up the surface with 100-120 grit, the paint may adhere ok. Rubbing to a satin sheen will probably make the splotches less noticeable. Using glue sizing wood conditioner on raw wood will help even out the absorption.

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