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Question about shellac and gel stain

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Forum topic by Jimi_C posted 05-11-2010 08:13 AM 4201 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jimi_C

507 posts in 1900 days


05-11-2010 08:13 AM

I bought some Bullseye shellac today at Woodcraft, along with some General Finishes gel stain. The plan is to use Mark Spagnulo’s (The Wood Whisperer) plan to evenly stain blotch-prone wood by doing a seal coat of shellac, followed by the gel stain.

Well, unfortunately it appears that this version is not de-waxed, and I was wondering if that would cause any problems with the gel stain? I was planning on using the shellac over the stain once I got the color I was going for, and I know I won’t have a problem with that, but the stain says it’s “urethane based” so I was curious if I was going to have adhesion issues with the stain. I also didn’t realize this version of shellac is a 3lb cut, so on my test board I didn’t dilute it at all and had to use two applications of gel stain to get the darker color I was looking for. I plan on diluting it and trying another test board, but if I’m going to have issues with the wax I won’t bother and will try to return it (not sure what Woodcraft’s return policy is regarding finishes… I’m not hopeful…).

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"


10 replies so far

View lobro4's profile

lobro4

183 posts in 1878 days


#1 posted 05-11-2010 09:03 AM

You are correct. The urethane won’t be able to bind to the wood with the wax present.

-- Rock Chalk Jayhawk Go KU!!

View barryvabeach's profile

barryvabeach

159 posts in 1709 days


#2 posted 05-11-2010 01:18 PM

Jimi, just pour the shellac into a glass jar ( I use mason jars) and cap it and let it sit a few days) You will see the wax and the shellac separate, and just pour off the shellac into a separate container – the wax is the cloudy stuff, the clear stuff is the shellac. If you want a wash coat, then take some of the shellac you have poured out and dilute it with an equal part of denatured alcohol, and you will have 1.5 pound cut.

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Jimi_C

507 posts in 1900 days


#3 posted 05-13-2010 12:00 AM

I had started a test piece before starting this topic, and while it doesn’t look horrible I can see faint wipe marks from where the stain wiped off a bit better in some places than others. So, I’ll look to get some of the de-waxed Seal Coat stuff, and use the waxed stuff for top coats.

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

View hObOmOnk's profile

hObOmOnk

1381 posts in 2793 days


#4 posted 05-13-2010 12:26 AM

The urethane won’t be able to bind to the wood with the wax present.

Were is that documented?

-- 温故知新

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112152 posts in 2242 days


#5 posted 05-13-2010 01:37 AM

Jimi
Charles Neil has just come out with a blotch control that works great.
here’s a post about it.

http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/1430#comment-669909

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Shopsmithtom's profile

Shopsmithtom

780 posts in 2860 days


#6 posted 05-13-2010 03:12 AM

I’ve used polyurethane over regular waxed shellac after scuffing the shellac. I has not been a problem. I tried it because I read in a back issue of Fine Woodworking that (at least that author) said it was do-able after scuffing the shellac. The safe way would be to use the seal coat & keep the regular shellac for top coats. Pouring off the shellac after the wax settles also works, so it looks like you’ve got several options.

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View Jimi_C's profile

Jimi_C

507 posts in 1900 days


#7 posted 05-13-2010 03:25 AM

Thanks Jim, I saw your review yesterday and I must say, I am impressed by that. I had also seen that blog post about it the other day, and I am considering that as well. It’s funny you used poplar, that’s exactly what I’m using and the results on that sample board were amazing, to say the least.

@Shopsmithtom: very interesting, I’ll definitely remember that. However, in this situation I don’t know if that’d work great with the gel stain, probably best to go with one of the other solutions.

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

View herg1's profile

herg1

42 posts in 2378 days


#8 posted 05-13-2010 03:21 PM

I have a jar patially filled with alcohol that I rinse out my brushes in after applying the shellac. This provides a great wash coat. I do test this on a board prior to doing my finishing on the final product first to make sure that it is sufficient for what I want.

-- Roger1

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

1128 posts in 2536 days


#9 posted 05-13-2010 03:34 PM

actually poly or urethane Will bind to a waxed shellac, poly depends on for the most part a mechanical bond… as long as its sanded some for the finish to get a bite it will go on, as long as it doesn’t fish eye .. I have seen that in poly over waxed shellac, but still not a good idea.. for me its just not worth the risk…

as to the shellac over the gel stain, shellac is compatible with any finish.. HOWEVER ..when used over top , I have seen it lift or better put wrinkle up or curdle a dried film of some oil base poly’s and urethane’s…so go easy and test first… the issue is it tries to bite in chemically and softens the film, just enough to let go ,then dries quickly and pulls the film,
I have found that on some gels stains , applying the shellac before it fully cures , so the shellac can “melt in” works better than over a fully cured film, the thicker the film the more chance of it “lifting” , you lacquer guy’s know what happens if you try to put lacquer over oil base enamel… same thing…
water base can be applied over a cured oil base finish, the key is dry or better put cured, but over a poly or urethane base, give it a light scuffing to insure the finish has something mechanical to bit to, a mid coat of shellac IS the best assurance to achieve a good bond when using oils and poly’s , but be sure to note above.. test , test and test some more..

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3469 posts in 2625 days


#10 posted 05-14-2010 04:59 PM

The best answer in my shop is to NEVER use any polyurethane unless it is specifically required. I have come to really appreciate the finishes that don’t look like plastic.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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