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Zinssers Amber Shellac

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Forum topic by Kaleb the Swede posted 357 days ago 872 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Kaleb the Swede

1110 posts in 603 days


357 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: tip finishing pine

Hi there. I am in the process of finishing a coffee table build right now. I used Zinssers Amber Shellac on the pine bottom part (the top is something else and will have poly), which I have to say turned out very nice. I was going to wax it, but I was wondering would I hurt it if I put poly on over top of the shellac. The reason I ask this is I don’t think that the shellac is dewaxed or should I use a sanding sealer of some sort. Just wondering if anyone has a suggestion.

-- Just trying to build something beautiful


9 replies so far

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kdc68

1964 posts in 910 days


#1 posted 357 days ago

If you were to use shellac use Dewaxed. Zinsser’s brand is called Sealcoat. Poly and other finishes may have adhesion issues if you were to use shellac with wax.
It is not always necessary to use a separate sealer though as all finishes are sealers. The first coat of your finish will seal the wood once cured. So to save time you can just use the poly unless you need to use a separate sealer beforehand. A couple of circumstances to use a sealer first would be reduce grain raising and seal off oily or resinous woods.
Perhaps more detail of what you are doing would help others post a helpful response

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View distrbd's profile

distrbd

1073 posts in 1080 days


#2 posted 357 days ago

watch this video and judge for yourself:
http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/videos/shellac-under-polyurethane/

I have brought this subject up before,the majority of members here (including Charles Neil) warn you against using regular( waxed )shellac under water based poly ,I on the other hand have used waxed shellac(due to lack of availability of dewaxed shellac) as a seal coat ,then lightly sanded, then applied a few coats of poly without any problem so far.
Using common sense,if dewaxed shellac is available to you,use that instead.

-- Ken from Ontario

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Kaleb the Swede

1110 posts in 603 days


#3 posted 357 days ago

Thanks guys. Ken I may test a small piece of the same stuff I have and just see what happens. Very good video and thanks for the link. Or I may end up just waxing it and being done who knows. thanks again guys

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Loren's profile

Loren

7443 posts in 2282 days


#4 posted 357 days ago

You can dewax Zinsser yourself. Then apply one or two
coats of the dewaxed stuff and you don’t have to worry.

I have found shellac and wax to be pretty durable for
fine furniture and of course it looks real nice.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View danr's profile

danr

150 posts in 1819 days


#5 posted 357 days ago

I have a well tested process/method for finishing G&G items that uses Zinsser amber, for the color, followed by WaterLox Original varnish. I have never used water based poly and I have never used oil based poly over Zinsser as my research advised against it (because the amber shellac is waxed). The WaterLox is compatible with the waxed Zinsser and I use it because I want additional protection. I am not a finishing expert but this combination has worked very well for me.

I think in general you have to do some research and experimentation to figure out what works and what you like. The down-side is that you will not know the long term results for many years to come. I’m sure you will figure it out.

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Kaleb the Swede

1110 posts in 603 days


#6 posted 357 days ago

Thanks Loren and Dan. Always nice to have people with a ton more experience than me answer.

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1736 posts in 1127 days


#7 posted 356 days ago

There is an easier solution: use the waxy shellac you like so well, and then top coat with a non-poly varnish. Commonly available names would be Sherwin Williams Fast Dry Oil Varnish (alkyd resin /linseed oil formula), Pratt and Lambert 38 (alkyd resin/soya oil formula) or Waterlox Original (phenolic resin/tung oil, I think, formula), of therse I like the P&L best, very nice appearance and none of the plastic look of polyurethane varnishes. It’s the urethane resins that cause the adhesion problem, get rid of them and everything works like a charm. BTW, of those 3 varnishes I listed, the SW product looks most like more common poly varnishes. The P&L is much less amber, the Waterlox much darker.

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

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Kaleb the Swede

1110 posts in 603 days


#8 posted 356 days ago

Thanks Fred. I’ll look into those, maybe just buy all three and see where it goes. Great tips

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1736 posts in 1127 days


#9 posted 356 days ago

Just be careful as you look for them, those companies also market urethane products, and it’s easy to get them confused; the labels often look very much alike.

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

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