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Forum topic by ROB_IN_MN posted 03-06-2016 11:58 PM 332 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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29 posts in 1563 days

03-06-2016 11:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question alder finishing

I am finishing an alder bath vanity and am trying to determine my finishing schedule. So far, the base coat color I like is an amber shellac – which also helps me avoid some of the splotching issues common to alder.

I am then planning on some pitch black General Finishes glaze.

my problem is what to use as a topcoat. the shellac specifically says not to use it under polyurethane. So I looked at some lacquer I had and it says the surface must be free of shellac (and other obvious stuff). the glaze is water based, not sure if that matters.

Am I stuck using clear shellac over the glaze for a topcoat? Does having the glaze in between the shellac and topcoat open any other options?

6 replies so far

View jdmaher's profile


379 posts in 1996 days

#1 posted 03-07-2016 01:47 AM

I use shellac under poly all the time. For about 35 years. All kinds of shellac and several different kinds of poly. I’ve never seen a finish failure.

So, who says no shellac under poly?

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View tomd's profile


2019 posts in 3187 days

#2 posted 03-07-2016 01:53 AM

You should not put poly over shellac unless it is dewaxed.

-- Tom D

View jdmaher's profile


379 posts in 1996 days

#3 posted 03-07-2016 01:54 AM

Good point, tomd.

I only ever use de-waxed shellac.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View pintodeluxe's profile


4823 posts in 2230 days

#4 posted 03-07-2016 03:20 AM

Use this. Dewaxed shellac seal coat. It’s a little thinner than standard shellac and works well as a pre-stain conditioner. I like to thin it 50/50 with denatured alcohol, but you can do some experimenting.

A lacquer topcoat would be fine.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View ROB_IN_MN's profile


29 posts in 1563 days

#5 posted 03-07-2016 04:18 AM

so, does this sound like what I need to do?

1. dewaxed shellac. I thought I would get amber flakes and see if it gets enough color to where I like it.
2. stain if i decide I want it darker than the amber shellac made it.
3. seal with another coat of dewaxed shellac if i do step 2.
4. glaze.
5. lacquer top coat.

View OSU55's profile


1039 posts in 1406 days

#6 posted 03-07-2016 12:43 PM

That finish schedule will work just fine. I’ve used dewaxed shellac under poly, pre cat lacquer, WB poly, WB lacquer without issue. One option to getting different color shellac flakes to achieve a particular color is to use lighter shellac and tint with Transtint to whatever color desired. SealCoat works for this. Sometimes SealCoat doesn’t play well with WB topcoats – one theory is the shelf life extender chemicals may interaxt poorly with the WB topcoat. As for blotching, glue size is the best conditioner I’ve found. I use Elmer’s glue all cut 5-8 parts with water.

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