best way to protect homemade vanity in master bath?

Installing a vanity in master bath that I built myself, i am wondering what is the best way to protect it from moisture. Considering shellac or polyurethane any comments or suggestions?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Shellac is way to fragile for that environment. It is disolved by alcohol, so spilling some cologne or other items in the bathroom will be a solvent.
Yes, Poly is the best bet. It can be hard to get a good finish with poly if you aren't familiar with applying it.
1. It can change the color of the wood slightly. 2. It can easily attract dust while drying because it typically takes a long time to get a dry film. 3. Application problems from drips to orange peeling to a too thick application that looks like plastic.
Not to scare you off, just impressing that you should familiarize yourself completly with the materiasl and process on some scraps before commiting to the real piece.
Many folks fine wipe on poly a great solution for application when you don't have a spray setup, etc. Much easier to get a good result than brushing only. Again, if you go this route, try out the process until you get good at ot and a result you like.
I prefer 3 or 4 very thin coats. I thin standard poly 50% or more with mineral spirits to make my own. Apply with a brush then wipe down with a rag dampened with the same solution until almost none on surface at all. If thin enough, you can barely tell it is on there but still get a film protection. You can also build to a greater finish. Always lighty sand between coats after 12 hours or more of dry time. Use 400 or even 0000 steel wool or maroon synthetic scrub pad. .
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I did one with shellac as the base coat, and spar varnish wiped on three or four coats over that. It has survived just fine so far.
The shellac was a first cut, and likely is not needed. Live and learn. But it looks nice.
Maple and cherry. The cherry is just now darkening nicely...
Patriarch
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Rodney Taylor wrote:

Go with the poly. Shellac doesn't like many of the cleaning products used in a bathroom.
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 29 Aug 2007 23:06:28 -0400, "Rodney Taylor"

Polyurethane. It's about the toughest finish I can think of at the moment. Some (bathroom) products are made from alcohol which will quickly destroy a shellac finish.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Phisherman wrote:
<snip>

Products containing ammonia will also destroy shellac.
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Phisherman wrote:

Among the one-component systems a precatalyzed lacquer would be a good bet, but that's not something you'll find at a BORG, because it has a very limited shelf life after the catalyst is added.
For something with reasonable durability and very easy application, Minwax wipe-on polyurethane would be a good bet.
--
--
--John
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Rodney Taylor wrote:

Shellac's chemistry isn't tough enough for bathroom use. It dissolves in alcohol so spilled aftershave will leave a mark, and it isn't very water resistant. Poly on the other hand is tough as nails, nothing attacks it short of paint remover. I've used it topside on yachts and it stands up to sun, saltwater, rubbing against the pier, and other abuse. Bathroom use isn't gonna stress poly. Was it me, I'd do three coats of gloss poly, sanding with 220 grit between coats. The last sanding will leave a matte sheen. If I wanted more gloss, I'd put a coat of Butcher's wax on after the last sanding. Shortcuts. I might use shellac for the first coat, 'cause it goes on a little easier and dries faster and sands out easier and the two topcoats of poly will protect it. Before doing the poly, I'd decide if I liked the color of the wood as is, or maybe stained mahogany or walnut or a light pine or what ever. Do the stain first. A coat of poly or shellac prevents the stain from sinking in. I'm halfway thru a bathroom medicine cabinet made from poplar. I was going to stain it with a light tan stain (colonial pine perhaps) and then go with three brush coats of poly.
David Starr
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
David Starr wrote:

Fresh dewaxed (emphasis) is very moisture resistant. It's one of the reasons it's used to coat medicinal pill and confections. Shellac that contains wax or has esterified becomes less resistance to moisture.
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Nova wrote:

What part of "dissolves in alcohol" are you having trouble with? Alcohol is not "moisture".
--
--
--John
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
J. Clarke wrote:

I think he had a problem with "and it isn't very water resistant".
Chris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well, yeah, but it doesn't really matter -- even if shellac were completely water-PROOF, it still would be a bad choice for a bath vanity because it dissolves readily in alcohol (which is the primary constituent of most perfumes, colognes, aftershaves, etc.). One aftershave spill, and the finish is ruined.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Doug Miller wrote:

I agree it isn't a good choice for a bathroom even though I use straight alcohol to "clear" (remove the oil) after french polishing a surface. If the aftershave spill was wiped off promptly it wouldn't harm the surface.
I don't recommend shellac in the bathroom because of the products used to clean the bathroom.
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Doug Miller wrote:

And as Jack mentioned, ammonia, which is also likely to be in a bathroom.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yep, forgot about that one... That would seem to make shellac a spectacularly poor choice of finish for any surface within two feet^H^H^H^Hmiles of a toilet in a household that has little boys. DAMHIKT.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Doug Miller wrote:

As a former little boy, I understand!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
J. Clarke wrote:

I guess it's the part of the quote above that says "it isn't very water resistant".
Any more questions?
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 29 Aug 2007 23:06:28 -0400, Rodney Taylor wrote:

I use a lot of shellac, but I'd go for poly in that environment.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.