Finishing knotty pine wainscotting

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Forum topic by Greg003 posted 08-05-2013 08:24 AM 940 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 1247 days

08-05-2013 08:24 AM

I am finishing our basement and have made a wainscot of roughsawn pine that I milled. It has air dried for over a year. I’m going to put a transparent stain on it followed by polyurethane. My question is, the pine is very knotty, should I seal the wood with shellac before staining or after. I have heard answers both ways. Just want to get it right.

-- Greg, Corinth NY

4 replies so far

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 1709 days

#1 posted 08-05-2013 11:57 AM

Pine is really tough to stain without being all blotchy. We did the backsplash in your kitchen… well it’s one whole wall really… with pine. We used shellac as the finish. one coat of 1# cut to seal it. 1 coat of clear shellac mixed 50/50 with white pigmented shellac to get a whitewashed look, then 2 more coats of clear.

The knots will “bleed” sap. I don’t know what effect that has on poly. Oil or water based poly?

If you just shellac it, you don’t need to worry about the knots :)

View Wildwood's profile


1854 posts in 1558 days

#2 posted 08-05-2013 12:02 PM

Why not go with shellac as final finish, will impart an amber hue, and lot easier to repair.

Wood will darken with age anyway but you could also hasten the process adding dye to shellac.

-- Bill

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 1496 days

#3 posted 08-05-2013 10:11 PM

These and the whole kitchen where finished with just shellac.

-- Who is John Galt?

View Greg003's profile


4 posts in 1247 days

#4 posted 08-06-2013 01:25 PM

Thanks for the tips. The reason that I wanted to use the stain and poly is that it is that I have 5 gallons ( unopened) of each that was left over from when we built our log home 5 years ago. Didn’t want it to go to waste.


p.s. Great looking cabinets

-- Greg, Corinth NY

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