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Shellac Streaking/Beading Issue

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Forum topic by Ed posted 09-26-2014 02:04 PM 1340 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Ed

65 posts in 2040 days


09-26-2014 02:04 PM

Hi guys,

I have been working on my basement bar for some time now. Just got around to making real progress and I’m on to finishing. I hit a snag, I think. I’m seeking your generous advice.

The plan is to dye the wood, seal it with dewaxed shellac (Zinsser Seal Coat) and top coat it with GF High Performance.

I applied my first coat of seal coat last night. It streaked when I first put it on. I just kept going figuring I should worry about it after I let it dry for a bit. After a few hows I added another coat. The wood soaked up the shellac pretty good so I felt it was best to get a little build before sanding for fear I’d cut into the dye.

After 2 coats you can see on the right of this pic what I’m concerned with. The bar top is 2 parts. This only occurred on the one piece and only after the first few brush strokes.

Is this an application error? I had my brush conditioning in mineral spirits prior to the application. Maybe I didn’t get enough spirits off of the brush? By the way the brush is a new Wooster Pro China White Bristle.

Should I panic? Because I’m panicking. Lol.

Any insight to what I did wrong and how I can fix this will be MUCH appreciated.

Thanks!

Ed


10 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3938 posts in 1956 days


#1 posted 09-26-2014 02:12 PM

My guess is it’s the application technique. I don’t have a recommendation because I can’t brush shellac worth a darn. I can pad it, and I can spray it…which is probably what I would have done here. Having read a lot about brushing, it sounds like you went back and forth (?) which is a mistake with shellac. One stroke, move over keeping a wet edge and repeat. I don’t think the MS was part of the problem, but next time pre treat the brush with DNA. One thing about shellac, it sands out fairly well, though it does clog sandpaper very quickly. You might try scraping the ridges off, using a utility knife blade with the corners knocked (prevent scratches). You could also pad it out, just using a pad and DNA. The shellac will re dissolve and smooth out after being worked with the pad.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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Ed

65 posts in 2040 days


#2 posted 09-26-2014 02:22 PM

Thank you, Fred!

I knew not to go back and forth, but I certainly may have on these first few passes. This was my first time. I may have lost concentration out of fear. Rookie move! Lol.

I’ve read about padding DNA. I’ll look into it and probably pick some up this afternoon.

Thanks again!

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1642 posts in 1780 days


#3 posted 09-26-2014 03:07 PM

First, be sure to get all the mineral spirits out of that brush as it’s not compatible with shellac. If you intend to brush shellac, get some dedicated brushes and condition them in alcohol, not mineral spirits.

Next, thin out the shellac some. A 2lb cut is a little on the thick side for easy brushing and your climate may have some effect on that. I’d add about 25%-40% alcohol to that until it brushes the way I like.

A scraper is a good way to get rid of the large ridges. I’d follow that with a light padding with alcohol to smooth things a little or perhaps a light sanding. You can move back to applying shellac again.

One other issue is that brushing and rubbing shellac over a dyed surface can be problematic. Is the dye part of a self-sealing stain mix or is it something like TransTint in water? If you are using a straight dye, brushing or padding will pull dye out of the wood and into the finish which is not good. The best way to seal in that situation is to spray a light application of the sealer.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View Ed's profile

Ed

65 posts in 2040 days


#4 posted 09-26-2014 03:15 PM

Thanks JAAune!

Wow, I can’t believe I made that mistake with mineral spirits. I’ll be sure to switch today. I have another new brush. I ‘ll put aside the one I used for this project.

Thanks for the tips!

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4854 posts in 2276 days


#5 posted 09-26-2014 04:02 PM

1+ denatured alcohol is the solvent for shellac.
That said, any brushed topcoat will occasionally lift dye or stain off a project. Increasing dry time for the dye or stain sometimes helps. Ultimately the solution is to spray the topcoat.

Good luck with the project.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Ed's profile

Ed

65 posts in 2040 days


#6 posted 09-26-2014 04:55 PM

Thank you, Willie!

I will certainly report my progress.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3938 posts in 1956 days


#7 posted 09-26-2014 05:02 PM

Ed, a couple of other things that might be useful: IF the brush is dedicated to shellac, there is no reason to clean it. Let it harden and hang it up. The next time you need it, suspend it in some DNA (or even the shellac you’re about to use) and it will soften up and be ready to us in about 15 minutes (DNA) or a little longer in the shellac. However, if you do insist on cleaning it, use household ammonia instead of DNA (this applies to everything that may need cleaned of shellac as well). The DNA simply dissolves and dilutes the shellac, while the ammonia will absolutely destroy it. I store shellac in canning jars, once it’s used up I clean them by simply soaking in a warm water/ammonia solution. They only need rinsing after that….besides, ammonia is a hell of a lot cheaper than DNA.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Ed's profile

Ed

65 posts in 2040 days


#8 posted 09-26-2014 05:21 PM

Thanks Fred!

I’m putting these tips to work today. I really appreciate it!

View Ed's profile

Ed

65 posts in 2040 days


#9 posted 09-27-2014 12:27 AM

Hey guys,

I was able to bring it back. I wet sanded the top with 400 grit. Slowly. My first attempt need more work.

You can see on the right that the streaks are still there.

I gave it another go and got them out. I cut the dye, but only on the edges. I was initially worried of course. Then tried touching it up and it was a cinch. Then as luck would have it the areas that were affected are on the rail sides. Whew.

Laid down a final coat after using a new brush conditioned in DNA and it went on like glass.

Thanks so much guys! I will post a thread with this entire build once it finish.

Ed

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1642 posts in 1780 days


#10 posted 09-27-2014 10:08 PM

Glad to see you got it sorted out. Fortunately shellac is an easy finish to repair which helps with the learning curve.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

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