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Cherry Finish: Shellac + Glaze + Poly help

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Forum topic by ilyac posted 09-05-2016 01:14 PM 349 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ilyac

54 posts in 1539 days


09-05-2016 01:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shellac poly cherry finish glaze

Hi Everyone,

I am working on finishing my set of night stands (latest blog entry here) and after looking through the wide collection of often (for me) confusing and (sometimes) contrary advice on the internet on how to finish cherry I have decided to use the method outlined on this site:
http://www.popularwoodworking.com/projects/tips-for-finishing-cherry

Seems pretty straight forward, in theory.
1. Finish with dewaxed shellac as a seal and sanding layer
2. Apply a oil glaze to darken and even the tone, with the shellac there to prevent uneven absorption.
3. Finish with poly to protect.

I am fairly inexperienced with finishes, and this is my first time using shellac, so that’s been a bit rough but I have some questions:
1. Between layers of the glaze, should I scuff with steel wool? There is a warning about how the glaze medium will accumulate in scratches, so I am not sure.
2. Can I use a wipe on poly (like Minwax Wipe-On Satin) over the glaze or do I need something specific, and do I need to scuff the glaze to get better adhesion? I know the Minwax is oilk based, so I think that is good, but I am not sure if the wipe on is better here than a brushed.
3. Has anyone tried this technique before, and if so, did you have any luck? I’ve been struggling with the shellac a bit and can’t say I am loving this method so far.


8 replies so far

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3548 posts in 1228 days


#1 posted 09-05-2016 01:38 PM

You can omit the shellac application and just use pre-stain, cherry stain and poly over it. I rather brush on the poly to give it a thick enough coat and then sand it to 2000 or so before polishing it.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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ilyac

54 posts in 1539 days


#2 posted 09-05-2016 02:04 PM

.

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ilyac

54 posts in 1539 days


#3 posted 09-05-2016 02:04 PM


You can omit the shellac application and just use pre-stain, cherry stain and poly over it. I rather brush on the poly to give it a thick enough coat and then sand it to 2000 or so before polishing it.

- mahdee

Mahdee, Thanks for that tip, but unfortunately it’s far to late not to use the shellac. It is already on there. I think in this case the dewaxed shellac is doing the same thing that the pre-stain would be doing.

When you say cherry stain, do you mean a normal oil stain, rather than the glaze?

View nightguy's profile

nightguy

213 posts in 123 days


#4 posted 09-05-2016 03:04 PM

Your plan is a slid one stay with it. I use a 1 1/2 lb cut for the Shellac, and I would stay with the wipe on it is thinner and easy to get nice thin coats.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4853 posts in 2274 days


#5 posted 09-05-2016 03:56 PM

I’m worried for you. For any finishing technique you need to work up some sample boards. Sand them with the same grits you intend to use, and apply the same finishing products, including topcoats.

This is especially true of cherry… even the concentration of the shellac will affect the color. Too thin and the wood will blotch, too thick and the color will stay light (stain / glaze wipes off too easily).

I typically use a 3:2 mix of Bullseye Dewaxed Shellac sealer to denatured alcohol for a pre-stain conditioner. Sometimes it is as thick as 1:1 ratio. The risk with a full 2# cut is that you won’t be able to achieve a dark color.

I would stop right now and make up some sample boards with the same shellac you used. Then take the sample boards through glaze and topcoat steps to see how it looks.

Another caution… wipe-on poly over a glaze stain can be disastrous. Depending on the gel stain and poly formulas, wiping on the poly may remove some of the color.
I use spray finishes to avoid this problem. Again, sample boards will give you a better idea of the workability of the products you choose.

Finishing cherry is like chemistry lab. Make sure your chemistry is right.
Here is a cherry project with 3:2 pre-stain conditioner, medium brown oil stain, and lacquer topcoat.
Good luck with your project!

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

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nightguy

213 posts in 123 days


#6 posted 09-05-2016 04:21 PM

To seal the stain you could give it another coat of Shellac b4 the Poly.

View ilyac's profile

ilyac

54 posts in 1539 days


#7 posted 09-05-2016 06:09 PM

Thanks all for the feedback. This is my first attempt at a more complex finish, I usually don’t do much in the way of stain, but I got slightly nervous reading about the potential for blotchy cherry.

In retrospect, yes, I should have done a few more test pieces. I had done a few with the dewaxed shellac and glaze, but I did not take it to final finish. With the 2 lb cut for the Zinsser Sealcoat , I will try with the oil stain as well as the glaze since it sounds like at this point the glaze may not take as well.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1056 posts in 1450 days


#8 posted 09-05-2016 08:13 PM

At least for future projects read this for blotch control. Also, research dyes vs pigment stains. You may want to think hard about spraying finishes -adds a lot of capability

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