Shellac undercoat and now stain didn't dry

I tried a suggestion I read to put a coat of clear shellac on pine before staining to avoid blotching, and while the stain does look a little more consistent, it took about a week to dry (it was very humid here in Austin as of late). It's still a little oily feeling.
I was searching Google and found this quote from someone named Baron:

Since I've never stained over shellac, I guess I didn't wipe good enough (guess I was afraid I'd wipe it off the shellac coat) and/or I've relied on the wood being more absorbent. The above quote makes it sound like I need to wipe really well.
It still feels a little oily. Can I just wipe down really hard and keep going? Or do I need to strip it and start over? Can I wipe "too hard" when going over shellac?
Thanks for any help or hints, Gary
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
hopefully you used a Dewaxed shellac and not the regular shellac you see in the yellow can. Dewaxed shellac (like the zinsser seal coat) is a good pre stain conditioner. Regular shellac will not allow stain to penetrate into the wood
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 19 Jun 2004 19:46:34 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Mzone719) wrote:

"Regular" Zinnser Clear Shellac in a yellow spray can is dewaxed, in brushable form it's got wax. I found this out when looking for Seal Coat in a spray can for small jobs.
Barry
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A lot depends on how you interpreted "coat of shellac"
The sealer coat of shellac should be a very thin coat 1 LB cut of dewaxed shellac with no surface build up.
You want that shellac to be taken into the cells of the wood and partially sealing them not building up on the surface of the wood.
There are three flavors of stain. Dye, pigment, and a mixture of both. Dye needs to be able to soak into the wood cells to color them. Seal the cells too much and it just sits on the surface with nowhere to go. Pigment stains need some roughage for the pigments to get stuck in to provide color. Make the too slick and same thing. Wipe your finger across it and the pigments will just grab onto you and leave a streak on the wood.
In other words you do not want any shellac building up on the surface of the wood which, considering you say you were afraid you would wipe off all the shellac I'd have to guess that is what you did do and is the cause of your problem.
If that were the case and the piece was given to me to fix I'd get myself a gallon of alcohol and lots of rags and start wiping the whole mess off. You'd most likely end up with some color left on the wood but that can be evened out once you are back to square one.
--
Mike G.
Heirloom Woods
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Using the alcohol to dissolve and wipe off the surface shellac is also going to thin down and let the wood absorb some of what is on the surface.
By the time you have all the stain and shellac wiped off of the wood you may luck out and find that there is enough shellac left in the wood that the wood may take an even stain.
Shellac, properly thinned and applied, does a good job but Min Wax also has a "wood conditioner", not sanding sealer, that is meant to do the same job of evening out stain on problem woods.
I'm not saying one or the other is better, just letting you know it is out there.
Good luck.
-- Mike G. Heirloom Woods snipped-for-privacy@heirloom-woods.net www.heirloom-woods.net

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 19 Jun 2004 21:41:09 -0400, "Mike G"

I greatly prefer Minwax "Natural" stain over "Wood Conditioner" on problem woods. The first coat of Natural stain seems to provide the best results I've seen when using that brand of stains.
Then again, I greatly prefer other brands over anything Minwax. <G>
Barry
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It's basically a "Danish oil." Makes a great final finish, as with the 50 year old tables in my mom's house. Used to wool it off every five years or so and thin coat to renew.
Difference, as in this situation, is that it's solvent-compatible with oil stains, where shellac isn't.
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 20 Jun 2004 11:29:58 GMT, B a r r y

on this, but it works OK, IMO. I used it on some window casing. Polyshades is combined stain and poly.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Gary wrote:>I tried a suggestion I read to put a coat of clear shellac on pine before

that's necessary. Then a light roughing with a synthetic abrasive like a scotchbright pad, then the stain. Tom Work at your leisure!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Now that you mention this, why can't I seem to remember sanding the shellac coat? I honestly can't remember, if I skipped it, I guess that would explain a lot too.
Looks like I'm going to be sanding and wiping a lot this weekend.
Thanks, Gary
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Gary, I don't think the sanding had anything to do with it. While you may have put on too heavy a coat of shellac, I suspect the stain is also too heavy. A thick coat of oil mixwax in high humidity will take (from experience) about 3-5 days to sorta dry, and even longer is better. While agreeing with all that Mike G. said, the first thing I'd try is some thinner (mineral spirits) and a rag. That'll take off any uncured oil finish but not the shellac. Then take a look and see if it's workable. If not, then go ahead and strip.
For a pigment stain, and also depending upon the particular wood, sanding can modify the intensity. Take two scraps and sand one (by steps) to 220 grit. Sand the other at 80 grit, then apply and wipe off the stain. Now, 80 grit is extreme, but it'll give you an idea of the difference. When using a shellac washcoat to control stain penetration (and blotching), I would not normally sand after the shellac.
Finally, if you're going to strip and any of the stain is cured, the alcohol alone may not cut it, as it only dissolves shellac. Don't remember if minwax uses a varnish or urethane, but I suspect the latter, so you may end up sanding at some point.
Gerry
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for the help, it was appreciated.
I just spend the last few days stripping and sanding. I've always dreaded that I might have to do that, and while it wasn't fun, it wasn't that bad, really. I'm still pretty new at this, and this was my first finishing screw-up. Well, maybe I can relax more, now that I have that hurdle over with.
I re-stained with MinWax Stain, not "Wood Finish". I know many don't seem to like MinWax, but I've never had bad luck with the simple stain products. I'm not too sure about their combo products, now. However, the local Home Depot has about 95% Wood Finish, and way off over in the corner are the "real" stains.
Thanks, Gary

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Nothing wrong with MinWax stains, when you want a combined pigment/dye stain. They will also give you much more control than the "wood finish". I've used both their oil and water base stains. In some cases, I've used it as a base and modified the color. You can also reduce the pigment by letting it settle and decanting or filtering. Just note, though, if you've bought the oil or water base stain, for compatibility with any top coat (except shellac, of course, which works with both). GerryG
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 19 Jun 2004 18:17:21 GMT, "Gary Milliorn"

You can.

You can wipe with mineral spirits, which will not affect the shellac. Mineral spirits are typically used as a sanding lubricant with shellac, as it dosen't redissolve the shellac.

Some folks can wipe anything too hard. "Too hard" is a subjective phrase. <G> Shellac's pretty tough. You're early in the finishing process, so I wouldn't get too worried.
FWIW, home center variety stains like Minwax have given me better results when I prestain with same brand's "Natural" stain. The coat of Natural penetrates but dosen't change the color, making the darker colored second staining come out more even. In this case, I'll only use shellac, usually full strength Seal Coat or 2lb dewaxed, between the last stain coat and the first clear coat, to keep the solvents from moving the stain pigments around. Don't use shellac before the Natural stain.
Home center stains often use weaker solvents than "pro" stains, so they take forever dry over shellac, just as you've found.
I usually use a shellac washcoat under better quality stains, such as Behlen's or Mohawk, and I use a different application method, that goes like this:
Sand to 120 before starting, and *lightly* scuff w/ 320 after 2nd barrier coat, and with each clear coat. Do TWO clear coats between scuffs if you're using spray bombs.
1. (optional)Wipe on dye, like Solar Lux, let dry. 2. Washcoat w/ 1- 1 1/2 LB shellac, let dry 1-2 hours or so, depending on conditions. 3. Wipe on pigment stain with rag 4. Dry brush stain in direction of the grain with good brush, evening out the coverage, let dry an hour or so. (DON'T WIPE) 5. Washcoat again, let dry. 6. Continue @ step 3 and repeat as needed if additional pigments are required, or start clear coats.
Make some 12x12 test boards and jam away! Write all of your finishing steps on the back, so you'll be able to either troubleshoot the process or duplicate success. Finishing is easy with practice.
Barry
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.