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Do I need to Shellac before Waterlox (on Cherry)?

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Forum topic by Ben posted 03-23-2013 08:50 PM 1658 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Ben

204 posts in 1609 days


03-23-2013 08:50 PM

About to use Waterlox for the first time on my Cherry cabinets. Will start with the face frames.
I’m using all very clean looking heart wood.
Do I need to shellac it first to avoid blotching? Or just Waterlox right off the bat?
I’m concerned that if I use the shellac, I’d be negating some of the penetrating/grain popping abilities of the Waterlox.

Thoughts?
Thanks!


13 replies so far

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1479 posts in 1114 days


#1 posted 03-23-2013 08:57 PM

Cherry doesn’t necessarily blotch, so try some Waterlox on a piece of scrap to make a determination of the need for anything else. I’ve never had to use a “blotch control.”

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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Ben

204 posts in 1609 days


#2 posted 03-23-2013 09:35 PM

Thanks.
I did a sample and then went for it on the cabinets.
Seems OK. Not crazy about how dark it turned everything, though.
I’ll post photos in awhile after it’s all done.

View redSLED's profile

redSLED

687 posts in 645 days


#3 posted 03-23-2013 10:20 PM

Some find hardwoods like maple or cherry that bloch at bit when stained desirable. Most likely not for typical customers though.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

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Ben

204 posts in 1609 days


#4 posted 03-23-2013 10:22 PM

i think i have one or two small areas that look a little blotchy.
will this go away with multiple coats?

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1064 posts in 1039 days


#5 posted 03-23-2013 11:17 PM

waterlox isn’t a stain so I guess I don’t understand how it would blotch. It will absorb into some of the grain faster than other, but depending on how you’re applying, it will be a uniform sheen after subsequent coats.

So how are you applying it? And which waterlox are you using? (original, low VOC, satin….)

View OggieOglethorpe's profile

OggieOglethorpe

907 posts in 862 days


#6 posted 03-23-2013 11:26 PM

Try it with and without shellac on prepared scrap.

The oils in Waterlox can either bring out figure beautifully, or make it scary.

To paraphrase a famous woodworking writer, “Cherry blotches, get over it…” ;^)

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OggieOglethorpe

907 posts in 862 days


#7 posted 03-23-2013 11:28 PM

”i think i have one or two small areas that look a little blotchy.
will this go away with multiple coats?”

No. Blotching is a function of the first, sealing, coat. Cherry will darken in time, and Waterlox ambers, so it may work out in time.

View Ben's profile

Ben

204 posts in 1609 days


#8 posted 03-23-2013 11:45 PM

Thanks, Guys.
Here are pictures showing the 1st coat on the face frames.
I think mostly it’s looking OK. Hard to tell what is blotching and what is just funky grain change.


The bottom piece has some quilting to it, but along the left side of that piece looks a little weird.


Again, more quilting here. This stuff looks pretty good to me.


Blotchy on right end of bottom board? Hard to tell in this light but this is the worst of it.

So what do you guys think? Am I in the clear here?
Or do I need to sand it all back down to bare and shellac it?

There’s another cabinet to the right of the sink that basically looks fine.

Thanks again.

View OggieOglethorpe's profile

OggieOglethorpe

907 posts in 862 days


#9 posted 03-24-2013 12:03 AM

Looks good to me! I think the curl and quilting looks nice.

Remember, the difference between blotching and figure is the wood underneath. Technically, the “flame” on a classic Les Paul, or the tiger stripes on an 1800’s antique secretary, is “blotch”... ;^)

A lot of people who expect a perfect, even cherry color and finish, are probably thinking of a furniture factory or large cabinet mill’s sprayed on color.

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redSLED

687 posts in 645 days


#10 posted 03-24-2013 12:12 AM

^ Exactly. Agreed.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View OggieOglethorpe's profile

OggieOglethorpe

907 posts in 862 days


#11 posted 03-24-2013 12:19 AM

look at the blotch on this bad boy… Awful! ;^)

View Ben's profile

Ben

204 posts in 1609 days


#12 posted 03-24-2013 12:22 AM

yeah, pretty sweet!
but in all seriousness look at my last picture, just above the right corbel on the bottom.
this is blotch, right?

but ah well, you guys make me feel OK about it.

thanks.

View OggieOglethorpe's profile

OggieOglethorpe

907 posts in 862 days


#13 posted 03-24-2013 12:28 AM

It’s figure!

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