Walnut finishing problem


After numerous light coats of shellac on walnut, I'm unable to remove the light residue from the pores from either: dry sanding with 1000, wet sanding 1000, gray or white pads. The shellac leaves residue in the pores that I can't wipe out with a wet rag or by vacuuming. To remove them I have to recoat. The problem is the sheen isn't PERFECT, so I still need to buff the final coat. I tried wet pumice (dark gray) but the sheen isn't what I want.
solution?
Dave
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What is it? Might depend on how it will be used. Try a final coat a wax.
Steve

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The wax will leave it too glossy, Steve. I want a satin sheen, or slightly duller.
Dave
Steve Peterson wrote:

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One other idea I've had is to keep thinning the shellac until I can get a final coat that goes on perfectly. I've only got to get about a 1/2 square foot of it (the top) perfect... I'm using around a 1 lb cut (guessing) now.
Dave
Steve Peterson wrote:

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David wrote:

French polish it...
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I tried. I can't do it properly. The oil/pad buffing worked.
Dave
dadiOH wrote:

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After your final coat - finish with wax using 0000 steel wool as the applicator. Then rub out to a satin sheen.
Vic
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I'd also suggest wax. I have fixed this exact problem this way. I'd use a dark wax, applied with 0000 steel wool. It is your option how much sheen you want. The more you steel wool it the more you will knock down the sheen. Then just buff it to the sheen you want witha cloth. Of course a little wax goes a long way so don't use much or the surface will keep finger prints way to easy.
Test these before trying on real work::: Another thought is to try washing it with mineral spirits or some other solvent that won't disolve the shellac. I'm not actually sure that MS won't dissolve it but I'm sure there is some solvent that would work.
Another idea is to very lightly wet a cloth with alcohol and quickly wipe/buff the piece.
Another idea is something like Murphy's oil soap.
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Can you elaborate on the murphys oil? I've got some, somewhere...
I like the idea of the dark wax. Would the wax, if applied before any buffing, seal the pores so that the white dust of the shellac can't get embedded in the pores? I've tried the "final buffing" now about 4 times, just moments ago I tried a super thinned coat. Still not right; too glossy and uneven.
Any idea if HD carries a dark wax?
Dave
SonomaProducts.com wrote:

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SonomaProducts.com says...

You can use mineral spirits or naphtha to wash shellac. Either works fine, but I prefer naphtha because it evaporates so fast.
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I kept trying things until I hit the right combo: mineral oil applied FIRST to the walnut and rubbed with either a gray and then white pad, OR rubbed out with rottenstone. The pads are less messy. No more white shellac residue in the pores! Yeah! Any day I can't learn something new is a wasted day. Morale of the story for me is to NOT use water; use oil (or wax--I tried that too-it worked fine).
Dave
David wrote:

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Glad to hear you found a "solution" (pun intended).
For reference: I use Briwax typically. It comes in several colors. I usually have a can of neutral and a can of black on hand. The black won't darken things much other than what gets embedded in grain pores. I use it on unstained Red Oak and it helps pop-the grain but seems to buff claer mostly. Not sure if HD would have it. I get it from Woodcraft and I think the Wood Finishing Supply folks have it too.
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It's available in a lot of places. My local independent hardware store has a pretty complete range.
The Liberon waxes are a little softer, and somewhat darker, for equivalent 'color names', if that counts for anything.
Patriarch
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I'd be inclined to use W/D paper or steel wool with a non-drying oil such as mineral oil as lubricant, then clean up with mineral spirits, turpentine, etc.
Someone else mentioned a cloth lightly dampened in alcohol. But that will just probably return the sheen you have removed in sanding, since the alc will redissolve a little of the shellac.
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Here is my suggestion , sand out the shellac coat with whatever grade paper you desire clean off with a clean rag and mineral spirits .now apply a coat of thinned asphaltum which will darken anything left in the pores then wipe off with a clean rag ,pulling the asphalum off the surface but leaving it in the pores.
Shoot with a a couple of coats of good quality laquer. let dry overnight and rub out with wool wax and 4 zeros steel wool using water as a lubricant .
by the way if you are going to continue using shellac then try using a 3 lb cut,a 1 lb cut is too thin....mjh
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David says...

Hmm. I only have that problem after sanding, not with steel wool, and my current project is very porous coffeetree. You could try brushing or padding on some pure or nearly pure alcohol. That should melt the residue in the pores. I use naphtha to wipe off sanding dust and sometimes a toothbrush along with it. I don't wet sand shellac. I just use the beige colored lubricated 320 that you can get anywhere. Of course, if you keep going long enough, you will fill the pores and your problem will be solved.
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