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Zinsser Bulls Eye SealCoat use?

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Forum topic by Vasko posted 1197 days ago 13195 views 2 times favorited 60 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Vasko

271 posts in 1285 days


1197 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question walnut finishing rustic sealcoat zinsser sealer

Hi, At the advice of the guy in the Big Box store, I bought some Zinsser SealCoat today – the wax free sanding sealer. I’m going to test it on some scrap walnut tomorrow (I hope) and I was wondering about some of the things I’ve been reading about it. Many folks have said it’s best to cut it 50/50 with alcohol, and I wonder if I should? The container says nothing about this. What kind of alcohol do they mean? (not brandy, I guess – lol) Denatured? Rubbing? Vodka? I hope to start on some rustic walnut window benches (interior) soon, as I finally borrowed a ROS from a friend. After using the SealCoat, I was going to finish with an oil base satin Spar varnish because the benches will be in direct sunlight often. Any tips? Thanks!

-- - Cindy, texture freak -


60 replies so far

View BreakingBoardom's profile

BreakingBoardom

615 posts in 1679 days


#1 posted 1197 days ago

To cut the SealCoat (Which is dewaxed Shellac) you would use denatured alcohol. What that will do is make it thinner and it should dry faster and maybe penetrate deeper. I’ve been using it without mixing alcohol in it and have had good results. It may just be a matter of preference or what type of application you’re intending on using it for. Shellac is very useful. Good luck.

-- Matt - http://breakingboardom.wordpress.com/

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Howie

2656 posts in 1521 days


#2 posted 1197 days ago

Hey Breaking, does that work for a seal coat to stop blotching too?

-- Life is good.

View bubinga's profile

bubinga

861 posts in 1266 days


#3 posted 1197 days ago

Zinsser Bulls Eye SealCoat use——Amazing stuff
The best thing is you can use it under water based finishes, your first seal, wash, coat,is best thinned out
After that if you want build your Finnish ,don’t thin it
Denatured alcohol,in the Shellac, Vodka in yoo mouth !!!!
Highly recomened By ,Michael Dresdner

A great place for finishing INFO
Michael Dresdner
straight talk about wood finishing
http://www.michaeldresdner.com/

OVERVIEW:
SealCoat™ Universal Sanding Sealer is a solution of 100% wax-free shellac in denatured alcohol. Formulated using a patented process, SealCoat is guaranteed to be compatible over and under ALL clear finishes. It’s guaranteed to remain fresh and dry to a hard film for at least 3 years after the date of manufacture.

PRODUCT FEATURES: Compatible with ALL clear wood finishes Great for sealing ALL interior wood, including floors Dries lightning fast – can be sanded & recoated in minutes Does not darken or yellow with age Easy clean up with alcohol or ammonia and water Gives extra beauty & warmth to water-base polyurethanes Can be used as a pre-stain conditioner for pine and softwoods Can be used as a bond coat under new finishes – adheres to any existing finish

PDF] Bulls Eye® SealCoat™ Technical Data Bulletin
http://www.rustoleumibg.com/images/tds/CBG_ZIN_TDS_BULLS%20EYE%20SEALCOAT%20Universal%20Sanding%20Sealer_2010.pdf

OK is that enough info for ya ???

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View superstretch's profile

superstretch

1482 posts in 1291 days


#4 posted 1197 days ago

Just remember…

friends don’t let friends ROS drunk

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1757 days


#5 posted 1197 days ago

Cindy:

The ideal use of this product is to washcoat your project prior to coloring it. Its use is to prevent the colorant from penetrating unevenly into the wood, and thus preventing blotching. The amount of “cut” you use depends on the type of colorant and how it is applied. I normally use this product straight from the can, but I will often spray on my colorant, which means that it will naturally lay atop the wood, as opposed to a product that is rubbed or brushed on.

Yes, you cut it with denatured alcohol, but the amount you use depends on the type of colorant, how it is applied, and the type of woods being used.

The problem is that you have to find a balance between the amount of cut (to stop blotching) and the richness of the color you want. If the colorant is vastly different from the original wood, then too much sealcoat will make it almost impossible to achieve that color on the wood because it won’t penetrate the sealcoat. But if you spray on a dye or perhaps “tone” the project with your colorant mixed into your film finish (poly, varnish, lacquer, shellac, etc.), then you will likely get better color…though you have to be careful how much you conceal the grain.

It works, but you have to do test boards to get the balance right.

I know Charles Neil makes a great anti-blotch product that is getting good reviews, which might be the better solution for those who don’t want to experiment so much, but I haven’t used it myself personally.

Many people hate finishing, chiefly because can be difficult to achieve this balance and yet achieve professional results. It’s both an art and a science.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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Earlextech

903 posts in 1289 days


#6 posted 1197 days ago

Spray it! Thinned or not.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "finished"!

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1757 days


#7 posted 1197 days ago

Oh, just noticed you are using it on walnut…I’ve haven’t had much issue with blotching on walnut, particularly since I try to keep walnut as natural as possible (I normally use oils to bring out the contrast in features). It’s probably why I like walnut so much. It finishes very well…same way with oak.

In general, woods like pine and cherry are the ones that will really blotch..and ruin a project.

BTW, while your sealcoat can be used as an anti-blotch technique, I actually do it for a different reason in my projects. If you purchase wood from multiple sources and/or are using different types – some projects might use both hardwood and veneered plywood – then you would use the seal coat to help make the color more uniform across the different woods. Subsequently, I would chase the seal coat with a toner, as opposed to a stain.

Moral to this story…the more that a colorant lays atop the wood (dyes, toners, and gel stains), the more likely your color will be uniform and blotch-free. You just have to balance this with the tendency to hide the grain. In other words, the more the colorant acts like “paint,” the more it will hide the wood’s features, like paint.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1757 days


#8 posted 1197 days ago

One more thing…the guy at the Big Box Store will not have a clue what to do…he’s probably never seen walnut before. If he had, he probably wouldn’t have told you to use sealcoat for your application.

If your walnut is anything like my walnut, I’d just put on an a little oil (BLO, Tung, or a danish oil mix) before using your spar varnish. If you go that direction, just make sure you give the oil a long time to cure. In fact, that’s likely the best time to use the sealcoat…to seal in the oil and transition to the spar. Shellac (sealcoat) works well in that regard because it prevents the solvent in the finish from negatively affecting the undercoat of colorant. This is less true of oil, of course, but it’s very true when using actual pigmented stains.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View superstretch's profile

superstretch

1482 posts in 1291 days


#9 posted 1197 days ago

Natural Danish Oil is my go-to for Walnut. You’d think that the wood had a hologram in it!

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View Vasko's profile

Vasko

271 posts in 1285 days


#10 posted 1197 days ago

Arghh! Well, I had a can of Watco clear (natural) Danish Oil in my hand, reading the info on it, when the guy in the paint & stain dept. told me the SealCoat was better suited to my needs (after I explained to him everything I said in my above question – walnut, oil based spar & all) I told him I had planned to try the clear Watco because I’ve used their medium & dark stains before and I love them, but he told me I couldn’t put the spar on top of it. Said the Watco was a complete product in it’s own, and anything I put over it would peel. Yet the can said otherwise, which I pointed out.

I can’t go out & sand today anyhow, we have a high wind advisory until deep in the night. Maybe it’s a sign I should go back out & get the Watco. I imagine I’ll use it on some other project anyhow…

Thanks folks for all the responses!

-- - Cindy, texture freak -

View superstretch's profile

superstretch

1482 posts in 1291 days


#11 posted 1197 days ago

I use Watco then a couple coats of oil based satin poly for protection. Watco is a hardening oil, if I recall, and shouldn’t make anything peel off it. I haven’t experienced that at least..

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2603 posts in 1649 days


#12 posted 1197 days ago

Lots of good information has been posted above already, so I’ll add a couple more things about the Seal Coat and also about your intended project.

The Seal Coat is a 1-pound cut of shellac straight out of the can. Wash coats, or seal coats are typically considered to be a 1/2-pound up to 1-pound cut of shellac. This basically means that there is between 1/2-pound up to 1-pound of shellac flakes, per gallon of alcohol (the solvent), or basically, your dilution/concentration rate.

If you haven’t worked with shellac before, definitely practice on some scrap as it will dry very quickly and you may get runs or overlap marks. If this happens, you can take a muslin/regular cotton rag and put a bit of denatured alcohol on it to blend in these runs/lap marks, as well as pull a bit of the excess shellac up.

I blogged about my first experience applying shellac by hand, and fixing my too heavily sprayed shellac out of the can. It’s a bit lengthy, but it tells what not to do, as well as how to fix your mistakes. I also included an external link that I found to be very helpful with the overall process.

With all that being said, you can certainly apply shellac under the oil-based spar varnish to give the grain a bit of extra “pop”. You should get a bit of that from the varnish though with it being oil-based. Just give the shellac a little time to dry before applying the varnish.

You could also certainly go the danish oil route under the spar varnish to show off the grain. As mentioned, just make sure to give the danish oil plenty of time to fully cure. This will take days/up-to maybe 2-weeks to cure, versus a couple of hours/overnight for the shellac to dry.

I would recommend experimenting on some scrap pieces, or cutoffs of your walnut before attempting to finish your piece of woodworking. I’m in-agreement that you shouldn’t have to worry about blotching on the walnut, so you don’t really need a seal coat, at least from my experiences with walnut. With that being said, if you have some sapwood that you’re wanting to try and darken to match the heartwood, you’ll want to lay down a seal coat, then use a dye or other colorant to try and match the two areas up.

Another alternative to blending sapwood and heartwood is using a tinted danish oil. They are supposed to help mimic certain species, with walnut being one of them. If you go this route, do not apply a seal coat of shellac, or anything else under the danish oil, as the oils are meant to penetrate the wood, rather sit on top of it. You could apply the colored/tinted danish oil to the sapwood to darken it up, then apply natural danish oil to the heartwood, as it doesn’t need the extra color. I have not used any of the colored danish oils, so I’m not personally recommending them, but they do exist.

Once you figure out what looks good to you on the scrap, as well as feeling comfortable and confident in your application technique of whatever finish, or finishes you choose to apply, then move on to actually finishing your piece. It’s better to experiment and learn on the scrap, rather than your carefully built piece of woodworking. Lots of us have made that mistake, myself included.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Vasko's profile

Vasko

271 posts in 1285 days


#13 posted 1197 days ago

Thanks Dan, that was my experience/understanding of Watco too -

The Watco can said you could finish with the poly of your choice after waiting the proper length of time.

On a side note, I went looking at paint samples yesterday too, to paint polystyrene-foam molded faux-tin ceiling tiles. I couldn’t get the guy at Sherwin Williams (the store manager, no less) to understand the paint had to be latex, since propellents and solvents would dissolve/damage the foam.

Hopefully I will have better luck today. I have to renew my driver’s license before the end of the month and I’m going today. That way if my aging eyes fail the eye exam, I have time to get glasses before my license expires! lol My eyes turn 50 this month – lol – I’ll probably be jumping right into bifocals ; )

-- - Cindy, texture freak -

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Vasko

271 posts in 1285 days


#14 posted 1197 days ago

Thanks Jonathan,

I have some scrap of the walnut to play on, and I will be sure to check out your blog. I’ll keep the can of SealCoat, since I’ve never used shellac before – dewaxed or not. From all the things I’ve been reading here and elsewhere since getting interested in learning about woodworking, I know shellac is in my future somewhere! Now I can fool around with the SealCoat on scrap & learn something.

Someone mentioned using a sprayer – I should say here (sorry for the repeat for folks that already know) that I am a squeeky brand-new newbie, and I don’t have hardly any tools, let alone a sprayer, workbench, etc. The workbench is something I’m hoping to find space for, but I don’t know…but no sprayer, I’ll be applying any finishes by hand.

Thanks everyone!!

-- - Cindy, texture freak -

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2603 posts in 1649 days


#15 posted 1197 days ago

I took a long time in submitting my above comment, so I guess you’re familiar with the colored Watco DO then, sorry.

As far as I know, you can put oil based (anything) over the Watco, especially once it’s cured, as Dan mentioned above.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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