Question on Using Shellac As a Sealer Coat for Cherry

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Forum topic by gerrym526 posted 06-06-2010 08:27 PM 4025 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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06-06-2010 08:27 PM

Thought I remember reading somewhere that to eliminate the blotching problem when finishing cherry, a one pound cut of shellac could be used as a sealer coat.
If my understanding is correct, is the shellac sealer coat stable enough as a base for a wipe-on urethane like General gel topcoat?
Thanks for the help on this.

-- Gerry

6 replies so far

View barryvabeach's profile


159 posts in 3283 days

#1 posted 06-06-2010 08:44 PM

Generally, you can use anything over a dewaxed shellac. So as long as the shellac sealer coat is dewaxed, you can use anything over it. Practice on scrap first -

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#2 posted 06-06-2010 09:33 PM

Charles Neil sells a great Blotch control

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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4541 posts in 3313 days

#3 posted 06-06-2010 10:59 PM

barry is right about shellac and Jim is right about Charles Neil’s blotch control. I’ve done both. I think I like Charles Neil’s product a little better but it costs more, especially when you have to order it and pay shipping in addition to buying the product.

Note – Regarding shellac, it must be dewaxed. Every spray on shellac is dewaxed. Otherwise, the wax plugs up the nozzle.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3290 days

#4 posted 06-07-2010 12:09 AM


Spray shellac makes a fine sealer, and one can use just about any finish over it. However, one man’s “blotch” in cherry is another man’s “figure”. Go figure.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

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Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4364 days

#5 posted 06-07-2010 12:54 AM

Yeah, I just used dewaxed shellac over polyurethane to get a semi-utility piece to take gel stain. Stuff sticks to dewaxed shellac.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

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2469 posts in 4109 days

#6 posted 06-07-2010 02:17 PM

Gerry , if you are not using a stain, or dye you really don’t need any blotch control, the gel urethane you have will do fine, however a coat of a nice amber shellac does look good on cherry , blotching is a issue predominately only with dies and stains, cherry will age quickly ( darken) ,and any blotching you see initially with a clear coat will blend in as the cherry ages , the other thing the shellac will do is to help you build the finish quicker, meaning a couple of coats sanding with some 320 between the first and second coat , then some 600 or finer after the second, will give you a good foundation for your gel finish, the reason for the 6oo as the final sand for the second shellac is that gel finishes go on pretty thin, and trying to fill 320 grits scratches can get a little tough, the 600 or finer will give you a nice finish much quicker and with less coats.. gels need at least 3 coats, if you have to scuff between coats on the gel, then go to an even finer paper like 1200 , however if you want to skip the shellac , simply massage a coat of the gel into the wood, wipe it back , leaving it smooth , then when dry ( 12 hours), give it a good scuff with some 600 and proceed on , in this case 4 or 5 coats are needed

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