LumberJocks

is French Polish right for this application.

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by Mainiac Matt posted 407 days ago 702 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

3896 posts in 962 days


407 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: shellac finish seal coat french polish

I’m working on an oak rendition of the NYWS blanket chest and I have oak stock that I milled from different logs, with some material lighter (less reddish).

I have my top done, and my rail and style stock cut, all from the more reddish red oak. I finished the top with Cherry tinted Danish Oil and it came out great, with a very rich tone. More rosey than orange.

But the stock I have left for the flat panels is visibly lighter…. (quite a bit lighter, probably from a different Oak Species, though I don’t think it’s White Oak, as that seems to take on a more olive brown patina).

So I’m thinking of doing a two tone finish and want to keep the panel color pretty much as it is.

Would Shellac be a good option? I don’t really want to pick up too much amber tone, so I was thinking dewaxed shellac (Sinser Seal Coat). Would that give me a medium luster, without changing the color too much?

Can you French Polish with Dewaxed Shellac? (i.e. Seal Coat)

or do you need to have the wax in it?

I have very limited experience finishing furniture projects, so I greatly appreciate any ideas.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!


18 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3416 posts in 2594 days


#1 posted 407 days ago

If you choose to really French polish, you’ll need to fill the oak pores first.
Most polishers use a natural shellac (not de-waxed), and it is a true art form that will take some time to perfect.
Any natural shellac finish will be very glossy until the final rub.
Let us know what you decide, and post pics too.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

3896 posts in 962 days


#2 posted 407 days ago

here’s a pic of the cover… though in this light is looks more orange…. it actually is more rose toned.

here is the stock for the panels, ready for glue up…

What if I just sprayed the Seal Coat?

or…

Sealed the grain and brushed on satin Polyacrilic.

My experience has been that any oil based poly will make red oak take on an orange/amber coloring.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

3896 posts in 962 days


#3 posted 407 days ago

I’m thinking of going for a look similar to this…

any thoughts?

does it look dorky or good?

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1736 posts in 1127 days


#4 posted 407 days ago

All shellac is glossy (french polish really shines!), so if you want to tone that down to a “medium luster” you’ll have to do something else to it, like cut the gloss with a rubbing compound or such. Going back to the desire to not change the panel color, you can do that with the shellac topped with a water borne (Seal Coat/Polycrylic) and that should work quite well. You could also do it with a varnish, if you can find an alkyd resin/soya oil formula (such as Pratt and Lambert 38) but it’s getting harder and harder to find. Most varnish is a linseed oil/ polyurethane resin formula,and the linseed oil is what gives it the amber tone (a feature I don’t like); using soya oil takes most of the amber out of the varnish. In any case, I think your plan with the Seal coat and waterborne will do as you want.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, we sent 'em to Washington.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7434 posts in 2281 days


#5 posted 407 days ago

You need super-blonde shellac for the least amount
of ambering.

You can add painter’s pigments (the ones I have
are called Fresco colors, available from Woodworker.com)
to danish oil to shift the color.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Julian's profile

Julian

507 posts in 1324 days


#6 posted 407 days ago

I usually test the finish of small cut offs. This allows for some experimenting with different products and techniques. After spending a lot of time and effort building a project you want to ensure the finish will be equally as good. Pigments and dyes can also enhance the finish. If you want the panels to be lighter you could experiment with adding a little dye to the rest of the chest.

-- Julian

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

3896 posts in 962 days


#7 posted 407 days ago

Thanks for your comments Fred,

I kind of like the Seal Coat/Polycrylic idea… as I have the better part of a gal. of Seal Coat and both satin and gloss Polycrylic in my stash.

super-blonde shellac

Thanks for chiming in Loren… can you please elaborate on what this is? Is it a brand name, or a flake coloring.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

3896 posts in 962 days


#8 posted 407 days ago

Do I need to cut the Seal Coat to spray it from my Harbor Freight gravity fed HVLP sprayer?

Can I spray Polycrylic in the same set up? Or is it to milky?

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

3896 posts in 962 days


#9 posted 407 days ago

I’m sticking with the Cherry Danish for everything but the lighter oak panels. I really like the way it came out… qutie a bit redder than the lighting in the pic would indicate. I may put a coat of something over it to better protect the finish…. but so far I’m liking it as is.

thanks for all the replies…. as mentioned…. I’ve only finished a hand full of projects … and I’m not crazy about how some of them came out.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View Loren's profile

Loren

7434 posts in 2281 days


#10 posted 407 days ago

Color. You can get it from Woodworker.com and
from luthier supply places.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1736 posts in 1127 days


#11 posted 407 days ago

You may not need to cut the Seal coat to spray it, but it might look better if you do. Thinning it a little will allow better flow out on the wood, I usually cut mine by about 50/50 with DNA. Seal coat is (as I recall) a 2# cut, so you wind up (sort of) with a 2/3# cut. But try it straight on a piece of crap and see if you like it, if not add a little DNA.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, we sent 'em to Washington.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1427 posts in 994 days


#12 posted 406 days ago

French polish is an archaic finish that’s a PITA to apply, not durable, and will eventually deteriorate. If you can’t spray lacquer, the choice should be waterborne poly. It’s easy6 to apply, can be rubbed out to any level of gloss, easy cleanup, and will perform as well as any brushed finish.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1792 days


#13 posted 406 days ago

I agree with Clint here. French polish is an application method using shellac…you don’t want to do that on this piece.

I’d go entirely with polycrylic here…or any waterborne poly.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

3896 posts in 962 days


#14 posted 406 days ago

Thanks again for the replies… I’ll have to experiment on some scrap pieces.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10737 posts in 1323 days


#15 posted 405 days ago

Matt, I have padded shellac (not a true French polish) on several pieces of furniture. Easy, looks nice, not as bullet proof as poly. (but much easier to repair down the road.)

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

showing 1 through 15 of 18 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase