Wax over shellac (and padding)

I am nearing the end of my project and have spent a large amount of time trying my hand at "padding" on shellac. Wow, it's sure harder than it looks. Overall, I used a combination of boiled linseed oil, shellac flakes, denatured alcohol, and dye. I also had on hand a green scrub pad soaking in the denatured alcohol and a brush. It was pretty easy to do the sides of the cabinet and I'm happy with the way it was turning out... until... ;) The insides have a lot of corners and it was really difficult to not get a lot of buildup in the corners where the pad couldn't completely reach. I tried to feather it out using the brush, but the application is just so different that it's a bit off. Overall, it's not terrible, but it's not the satiny smooth deep finish that I was looking for. I learned some things so I might try it again, but only not on a piece with lots of corners. ;) Anyway, I was planning on putting wax as a topcoat. I believe I'm supposed to use mineral spirits because it will dissolve the wax and make it easier to apply. Correct? I was wondering if I could use the denatured alcohol along with the wax and the 0000 steel wool (plastic scrub pad) to smooth out the finish a bit more? I don't want to start completely over with the finish so I'm looking for ways to blend it a bit more. Brushes don't seem to work well, so I thought that perhaps the squared cornered scrub pad would do the trick. I'm open to any tips. I'm running out of time to get this done as well since it's a Christmas gift that needs to get out of here this week. Heh. Nothing like waiting until the last minute to get it done. ;) Maybe I'll post a pic when I'm done. Thanks for any help!
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Unless the wax (assuming you are talking about a paste wax) is dried out there is no reason to add anything to it. Just put in inside of a fabric rubber, squeeze a little through and apply light coats.
There also isn't any reason to complicate your life further with steel wood, alcohol, etc. If the finish needs some refinement hie yourself out to your nearest automotive supply store and get some rubbing and polishing compound and use those to clean things up. I prefer 3M Perfect-It and Finesse-it but Dupont rubbing and polishing compounds work well and comes in smaller containers so it is less pricey.
--
Mike G.
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Can I just use a automotive wax for this? Is any brand better than another?

I'm not sure what you mean about this. I'm looking for something that will help me to even out the color of the finish. That is the reason I was thinking of using denatured alcohol with the wax. I figured the alcohol would help dissolve a bit of the shellac/dye mixture already on the cabinet and allow it to blend a bit. I mention it because I read that before applying wax that you can spray the surface with mineral spirits. I figured that maybe the alcohol would be a viable solution with the wax as well.
Thanks for the ideas!
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On 15 Dec 2003 16:23:58 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (werlax) wrote:

I tried that twice in one application-- the first time and the last time. ;> I do stupid things when I'm in a hurry, and this was one of them.
<"Hey! No silicone and high Carnuba content! Carnuba's good and stuff, right???">
All the microscopic particles of wax that were microscopically embedded in the microscopic pits of the wood's surface...
... turned white.
Didn't need a microscope to see them. When there are BILLIONS of them they kinda get yer attention.
Michael "Johnson's for me!" Baglio
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Michael Baglio wrote:

No clue, but carnauba is good stuff. ;)

Bleah. Reminds me of the time Dad tried to wax his pitted, weather-beaten '83 Honda Civic. It still had white smears on it years and years later.
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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I prefer a regular paste wax, Min Wax finishing wax, Butcher's wax, etc. for application to wood finishes.
Frankly I'm not at all sure what a wax/alcohol application is going to do to your finish. At the point you are now at you should have already cleared up the color problem and should only be concerned with finessing the surface of the finish rather then being forced into unknown territory where you have to do something that may cause you even more problems.
This whole thing of having dye in every coat of shellac applied is not one I would have taken. A glaze coat maybe, but not every coat.
I can't see what you have now so I can only guess at what can and can't be done to fix whatever you have a problem with. Frankly all I can do is suggest that either you not consider the job as in it's final stages and work on getting the color even then applying some clear finishing coats that can be rubbed out or write it off as a lesson learned and just go ahead and rub out what you now have, and, of course, wish you good luck.
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Mike G.
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with 20 /20 hindsight here are a few hints. padding shellac on is called french polishing, a very fragile finish as far as damage due to water or alcohol goes . The materials are simply shellac and denatured [or methol alcohol] .In some cases various gums are used . As you mentioned the trick to polishing is all in the application ,the way the rubber is manipulated, if done correctly one can get into the corners but it must be done keeping the rubber moving at all times. If the rubber stops polish ends up being removed and ugly spots generated which are difficult to correct.
Basically the idea is to stain the bare wood first and get the color right then apply the top coats [french polish]. The only satisfactory way to correct the color of the piece is to color the top coat of polish .
If you want to rub out the top coat just use a good colored paste wax on a pad of 0000 steel wool nothing else certianly not alcohol as you will end up stripping the piece. Finish with a clean lint free duster to buff it out. If some open grain remains prior to waxing the finish out do not use a clear wax otherwise it will show in the pores . "Briwax" comes in various colors ,I use the dark brown for Walnut and darker Oak pieces and dark mahogany for Mahogany pieces . If you have used a light wax already then try and wash it out using mineral spirits, brushes and rags. This combination will not harm the finish then rewax with a brush immediatly [before the pores completely dry out ] whith one of the dark waxes...
-- mike hide

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wrote:

Only if you're also rubbing it down in specific ways. Otherwise it's just brushing shellac on with a clarty stick.
-- Smert' spamionam
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