I put BLO on a butternut table. For some reason it came out looking "dry",
even after a second application. So, I decided to varnish it. The varnish
came out a bit clumpy, so I sanded it before putting on a third coat. I
sanded a bit too much in one area and wound up going past the BLO. I didn't
think it would matter, but it did; the varnished area where the BLO was
sanded off is much lighter than the rest.
Obviously I should have sanded it all down and started over, but I didn't.
Instead I put a glaze over the light spot. It is a really good color match;
I doubt anyone but me could tell the difference, but I see a difference in
the gloss between the glazed and unglazed areas.
I was thinking of putting another coat of varnish over it all, but was
afraid the varnish would dissolve the glaze. So maybe a coat of shellac?
Whatcha think? I mean other than starting over...
I have never had problems like this before; the whole project has been one
foul up after another. Okay, they are all my fault, but still. But its
just about done now!
I guess the first question would be, why did you put BLO on the table
to begin with? If you are coating the table to enhance the grain
before sealing, there are much better choices.
My guess would be that the BLO was dry to the touch, but not cured.
BLO by itself can takes days and days to completely cure. But even
cured, when applied by itself, it may not withstand a brushing of a
"hot varnish". There you would need to look at your particular varnish
and ask high VOCs from the can? Did you thin it to make it more
I would suspect the solvent in the varnish over uncured BLO if it was
clumpy, and for one reason or another you were pulling the BLO off the
project. Certainly application technique has something to do with it
Depending on the glaze you used, you would probably just dig youself in
deeper since you put the glaze on over a film finish if you put more
varnish on it with a brush. I can tell you from my personal experience
that solvent finishes over a the top of a glaze that is placed on a
non-bondable substrate is disaster. You would probably have the
feeling that you are brushing off the glaze rather than putting on
At this point, I think I would leave it alone. And no more plain BLO.
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