Please help, frustrated.
Using Shellac on a little stool, looking for a glossy smooth surface.
So far I have stripped this jewel about 12 times.at least half of
those times back to the wood behind the stain.
Using bullseye ?? sealer usually cut in half.
USING a stain brown mahogany water based allowing a 24hr cure.
Tried a dye but realized too late it was water based. (mixed it with
Had it pretty much finished once but left in on the floor of my Jeep
on a hot day and tiny bubbles appeared in the middle of the seat. My
wife about went to tears over it. To her it was just fine.
What i am getting is brush marks from one end to the other. Little
ridges that have to be sanded, looks fine and smooth when sanded but I
cannot get gloss without the "lines".
Tried the French polish method and ended up with a good portion of the
stain rubbing off too.
Talked to some guys about finishing and they said they never do it
without a sprayer. Bought HVLP inexpensive sprayer. Used the Bullseye
Finish shellac, light blond, no wax, got the orange peel look. Went to
the 2# sealer it runs fairly easily if vertical, if flat it just lays
out fine, but with the orange peel look. Tried putting on quick
multiple coats, looked like crap.
Oh yeah the temp to day was 80 deg F in the shade.
What is really the best way to do this? I have seldom if ever had
spray problems in the past but that was poly on metal, wood, paint and
enamel. But this on is killing me.
Hard to tell. First when I want a gloss finish, I use a heavier final
coat. Less cut on the finish when brushing. That lets it flow out (very
quickly dries, so not much time). Alcohol thins it and burns into the
next coat, so; to get that final flow out and nice gloss look, you'll
have to use much less alc.
A water based stain should not be affected by shellac. So I don't know
what is going on there.
You could just use scotch brite pads and work up to get the polished
look. When I want to get the nibs off, and get a nice smooth coat, I go
through the colors until I am white.
I then will sometimes put a coat of wax over it, depending on the use.
Shellac is one of the easiest to work finishes. Don't overthink it.
It dries real quick, so you can't go over it more than once or twice.
Otherwise you'll start pulling it, especially with more alc. I have
thinned to 2x and 3x so 1 time is not so bad, but when brushing it can
be due to the quick flash time.
I'm hoping tomorrow will be a little cooler, I'll sand back and or use
4 aught steel, I' going to try a 1.0 mm needle, the smallest one I
have and try it out on a test board.
I think when rubbing in the shellac I may have to lighten up on the
alcohol. I tried a French polish on a piece of natural Black Walnut
and it worked out great,
Thanks for the insights I'll give them all a try.
I don't know how much you know about french polishing, but when french
polishing you use very little shellac, and you add mineral spirits to
the rubber to prevent it from sticking. French polishing is about going
over it and over it. But with an oil on there. I haven't done one in a
few years. It was labor intensive, and it came out great. if you are
looking for simple, try less alc on your final coats if brushing. If
spraying there really should not be too much of a problem, If you get
orange peel you probably don't have enough atomization, either turn up
the pressure or thin more. My tendency is to go heavier for gloss on
the final coats.
Hmmm, are you saying that Shellac and mineral spirits are compatible?
If so then it would certainly seem to help with the stickiness issue.
I'm retired so for the exercise alone it would be worth the effort
with French polishing, especially on an old guitar that could use a
face lift and tone adjustment.
I'm going to suggest you find an article on french polishing.
French polishing is not merely rubbing the shellac onto the furniture.
It's using a lubricant to allow you to rub it, you are buffing it in
Jeff, thank you for this. Not sure how I missed that fact. It is sure
vital. I will get a book as you suggested. maybe some of the videos I
looked at were actually painting with a "rubber" since they were not
rubbing in a circular motion but going with the grain. I am going to
revisit so of the videos.
Meanwhile my stool sits as recommended. :)
Aye, and it is a step stool. I have two other stools, one with a
swivel seat waiting to be done, but I needed something to learn on,
hence the step stool. One thing I was concerned about was getting it
so good that someone in stocking feet might have an oopsie, but it
seems my wife just would like it to match some other furniture and use
it for grand kids to sit on.
Anyhow, I felt all the time spent is worth it if I can learn enough to
make the other objects in my life easier to do. Strangely it brings
back memories of wood shop in Jr. High, when we still had shops for
On Thursday, September 3, 2015 at 9:04:58 PM UTC-5, woodchucker wrote:
He mentions brushing and spraying. So, which app technique is he using?
The temp may not be the problem, but where is he working, indoors or out.
If he's finishing the stool outdoors, in direct sunlight, this may be cont
ributing to the problem. If the stool is sitting in the sun, prior to fin
ishing, it may be getting too hot, prior to the finish application. Also,
the application, itself, may be affected by the direct sunlight.
Jeep scenario: If the shellac skinned over too fast, then maybe some alcoh
ol was trapped under neath the skin, hence, the heating, inside the jeep (o
n the seat), would amount to being in an oven, if the jeep's windows (and/o
r canvas top?) are not open.
*A somewhat similar issue: Naugahyde (fabric) covered furniture/seats can
affect some nitro cellulose finishes, when in long term (hours) direct cont
act. I don't know if certain fabrics will affect shellac finishes. Heat
ed conditions may make a difference, as to affects.
I do all of my finishing outdoors. I am always aware of the affects & eff
ects of direct sunlight and too hot of conditions, as per direct sunlight.
These conditions are first on my mind, when finishing. He mentions temp
in the shade, so it makes me think he's working in direct sunlight. Also
, his finishing symptoms seem to be heat and/or sunlight related, to a/some
It has been in the shade the whole time, near the entrance to my
garage. The stool is ambient temp. I used brush for the most part,
then rubbed, then sprayed. Sprayed one day only.
Hmm, that makes sense, based on what Lew said about allowing weeks
The stool in the jeep was out of the sunlight, but I'd bet the temp
was over 95 in the parking lot. I normally work solely in the garage,
in part because even on overcast days the infrared rays still heat up
the surfaces of whatever is exposed to the sky.
On Thursday, September 3, 2015 at 9:04:58 PM UTC-5, woodchucker wrote:
I have gotten to where I always spray my shellac (HF HVLP gun), unless its on on turned piece, and have none of the problems you described. So, check the following
Wood completely dry.
Out of direct sunlight (I spray outside, but out of direct sunlight)
Shellac fresh (best to do your own and the Shellac Shack is an excellent source and make sure you use 100% denatured alcohol)
Shellac has set long enough to cure (two to three weeks if you are going to get aggressive with it)
On Sun, 6 Sep 2015 04:46:40 -0700 (PDT), "Dr. Deb"
Thanks for the support info.
Hum Hi (El Nino, beach max 2 mi away in all directions but one)
Done in the shade.
Last couple days spent removing shellac on the seat where I tried a
heavy coat, I sand until I can see that it is still "wet". I can sure
understand now why the two week wait between major functions.
I'm using 99% Alcohol de natured.
I feel a lot more confident now with all the help I received plus the
bad experiences. And I am really looking forward to continuing on.
Patience is a virtue.
Try cutting to 1/2-3/4 lb cut.
Keep brush wet.
Allow to cure for at least 2-3 weeks before attempting anything else.
3M fine pads would be my choice, BUT only after waiting.
I have noticed the difference in hardness of the finish on even a two
day wait. A 2-3 week wait is better for a surface bond rather than a
deep bond? If so I can see a lot of reasons for that.
When you say keep brush wet, do you mean solely with the cut you
specified, and not prewetting the brush with Alcohol?
I have been thinking about shellac for finishing, sealing, etc. along
with Hide glue for furniture pieces because of their long range repair
possibilities. I have some dining chairs, maple, that need repairing
on the back spindles. Would I be wasting my time doing the old school
stuff on some pieces in your opinion.
Thank you Lew, the info is now in my notes.
Let the 1/2 lb cut do it's job. All you are trying to do is keep the
wet and the easiest way to do that is to flood the surfaces with of
The wetted surfaces tend to level out if you don't futz with them.
I wouldn't even think of looking for a 3M pad until at least 7-8
coats have been applied.
You can recoat every 2-3 days before starting sanding.
After that, switch to the 7-8 routine.
I'm an epoxy guy, Do it once and forget it. You definitely would not
me working on your strad. <G>
You know, this reminds me of when I retired, I wish like crazy I could
do a brain dump of everything related to my trade to someone who would
actually use it and enhance it. The info you guys have here on WW is
awesome. I appreciate your clear instructions greatly.
When I get it done, properly, I'll try and post a pic for you all to
see just how much you all helped.
I have a magazine rack I think I'll be starting so that I can keep
busy while being patient. <VBG>
This also is going in my files.
I'd be crying big tears, LOL,
I shudder thinking about pulling out spindles to rework or reglue
while half of then are still tight.
Cases, though, are a far different animal to me.
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