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The Best and Easiest Way to Finish Pine

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Forum topic by JSB posted 553 days ago 6308 views 5 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JSB

676 posts in 680 days


553 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: video finishing pine best way to finish pine amber amber shellac shellac yellow pine beautiful pine pine look good stain

Sorry to those who have already seen this in my blog. I should have posted here from the beginning as this is the finishing forum.

In my opinion this is the best and easiest way to finish pine projects. This isn’t the greatest demonstration but hopefully I was able to show how easy it is to finish pine. The product I am using is Zinsser’s Amber Shellac. I suppose you could get similar results using a shellac compatible tint or dye for brown tones but I have not tried. I have never messed up a project using this method. The video is a little on the long side so I do apologize. I would love to hear any comments, suggestions, or questions you might have. Thanks for watching.

Here’s a link to the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqlQ-YB0NpA

-- Jay - http://www.jayscustomcreations.com or http://www.woodworkingwithsketchup.com


28 replies so far

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 2346 days


#1 posted 552 days ago

Nice video. Very informative. I like to spray shellac. I don’t have a spray booth, so I usually won’t do it if I have other pieces in the shop, then I’ll just pad it on.
You’ve got some nice projects done, using this method. Personally, my favorite finish for pine is to pour a little used mineral spirits on it and light it with a butane lighter. Keeps the shop nice and warm. But that’s me.
Thanks for the post.

View Dchip's profile

Dchip

267 posts in 1854 days


#2 posted 552 days ago

I agree that it gives a great look. My only concern would be its use in a high-wear situation. Shellac is not known for its durability or resistance water for instance, and the Zinsser amber shellac only comes waxed (meaning it shouldn’t be top-coated, though this is always up for dispute). I guess you could do periodic touch-ups, though, since shellac is very friendly with re-coating. Thanks for the video.

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC, http://www.9x7woodworks.com

View kizerpea's profile

kizerpea

746 posts in 969 days


#3 posted 552 days ago

Never done da 50/50 …but i,m gona give it a try…thanks

-- IF YOUR NOT MAKING DUST...YOU ARE COLLECTING IT! SOUTH CAROLINA.

View JSB's profile

JSB

676 posts in 680 days


#4 posted 552 days ago

Thanks for the comments folks.

Dchip – Shellac is ok with being top-coated. It is recommended to not use a Polyurethane based finish over waxed shellac…but I have done so with good results. The first blanket chest pictured in the video has a polyurethane top coat and was built 3 years ago with no problems. Any other type of finish such as lacquer is ok to use.

-- Jay - http://www.jayscustomcreations.com or http://www.woodworkingwithsketchup.com

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10591 posts in 1292 days


#5 posted 552 days ago

Thanks for posting that very informative video. I too noticed you used plain (not dewaxed Seal Coat) and then applied lacquer over it. The end result looked very nice but I’ve always been told not to topcoat over regular shellac. Have you ever had any problems with doing this?

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View JSB's profile

JSB

676 posts in 680 days


#6 posted 552 days ago

I have never had any problems with poly or lacquer over shellac. If I’m not mistaken, it is only Polyurethane that has a problem with the shellac…not lacquer. Correct me if im wrong but every argument against waxed shellac specifically states polyurethane. Either way, I have never had any problems and will continue to top coat over shellac.

-- Jay - http://www.jayscustomcreations.com or http://www.woodworkingwithsketchup.com

View Tedster's profile

Tedster

2269 posts in 813 days


#7 posted 552 days ago

I’m a big fan of shellac. Never thinned it to 50/50.. usually about 20/80, the 80 being shellac of course. Also I don’t have a sprayer so I always brush. I’ll have to try the 50/50 some time. I imagine it works a lot easier.

I’ve never done lacquer before, just always assumed it’s a bear to work with, requiring a special brushing technique to avoid overlapping because it dries so fast. But it looks pretty simple the way you did it. I’ll have to get some lacquer and give it a shot.

This is some really great info… thanks for sharing it.

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

View JSB's profile

JSB

676 posts in 680 days


#8 posted 552 days ago

Ted. Try some Target Coatings EM6000. The BEST lacquer I have used. Easy water clean up too!

-- Jay - http://www.jayscustomcreations.com or http://www.woodworkingwithsketchup.com

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3785 posts in 982 days


#9 posted 552 days ago

Shellac is durable, just that it is less durable (usually) than varnish or lacquer. Varnish quality however varies a lot, just look at durability tests and it’s not uncommon for one brand to fail in days while another lasts for weeks or months (under extreme conditions). I put 2 coats of shellac on my living room floor and it lasted for 3 years. I put 2 coats of varnish on my dining room floor and it barely lasted a year. With the living room I can just put down more shellac but the dining room has to be sanded down and refinished. The shellac isn’t durable thing gets blown way out of proportion and I’d guess it started with varnish manufacturers.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112000 posts in 2179 days


#10 posted 552 days ago

Dewaxed shellac will allow you to top coat with any finish,I don’t see any reason to use shellac that has wax in it.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1295 posts in 785 days


#11 posted 552 days ago

+1 on the Target EM6000. Sprays nicely, self-levels, and cleanup couldn’t be easier.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Dchip's profile

Dchip

267 posts in 1854 days


#12 posted 551 days ago

It’s not so much the durability of shellac as it is its resistance to water, alcohol etc. From what I understand it’s actually a very hard finish (and the ease of reapplication should always be considered – I fear needing to touch up old poly-coated pieces). The existence of 100+ year old antique furniture finished in shellac and still going strong is a pretty good argument.

Rick – You’re probably right about the varnish companies. Marketing can make things fact – look at DeBeers.

And regarding top-coating waxed shellac – the wood whsiperer did a video about this and concluded that it didn’t affect anything, again with the expected dispute to follow. One point raised was the fact that it may be good for a couple of years, but eventually fail before it otherwise should have. My oldest pieces are nearing about 6 years old, so ask me again in another 30.

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC, http://www.9x7woodworks.com

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1452 days


#13 posted 551 days ago

There’s considerable information here.

What happens to the shelf life of the product once it is cut with the alcohol?

What brush do you recommend?

Thanks kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View JSB's profile

JSB

676 posts in 680 days


#14 posted 551 days ago

There is always going to be controversy on this subject. For me it works. I have never had a problem. And until I do (If I ever do?) I will continue to use this technique. I understand that if you want to make a piece of furniture last 100 years or more you would want to take all the upfront precautions you could but lets keep this in perspective. I definitely wouldnt be using knotty pine if +100 years was the objective. Were using cheepo knotty pine here. With the wood used I would be more concerned with the longevity of the knots and the wood itself than the finish.

Dchip – Im with you, ask me in another 30.

Lee – Shelf life is not an issue for me. I always use it within a month or two. Never had any problems. I like to keep into consideration what I am working on and what I have planned. I use a cheepo synthetic brush and have used the same brush for the past several projects without cleaning it out. I let it dry and harden on the brush. When I am going to apply this finish again I let the brush soak in the new mixture for about 10 minutes and the brush is ready to go again. I suppose you could be worried about contamination here but I personally don’t think so.

6 one way, half a dozen the other.

-- Jay - http://www.jayscustomcreations.com or http://www.woodworkingwithsketchup.com

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10591 posts in 1292 days


#15 posted 551 days ago

JSB- Thanks for the replies and the informative video. I am a big shellac fan!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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