I'm making some drawers out finger-jointed 3/4 pine (with birch ply
bottoms). The face will be polyurethaned to match the rest of the
entertainment center, but if I were to poly the drawer innards, it
would add two days to my project. Since the drawer innards aren't too
visible, but ought to be able to be cleaned up if the kids grab a
video with dirty fingers, or if the one year old pukes in it or
something, I want to finish it with something that goes on quickly and
easily (post-assembly, preferably).
Can you recommend something quick and easy for the inside (I think
poly is 8 hrs between coats, or something, and for pine, I need at
least 2 coats). I have only used poly before (except for the Penofin
on the hammock stand), so I don't have any experience with other
finishes. If the suggested alternative can be bought at the Borg, that
would be great.
Also, the plywood I got for the bottom might be too thin. What's the
thickness you'd recommend for a 20x30 drawer?
Lastly, what are furniture drawers innards usually finished with? I
seem to recollect that they seem to be unfinished... at least they
don't have film finishes IIRC. (I'm at work now, and there's no wood
furniture to look at.)
[Full choir, in unison] Shellac! If you buy it at the BORG, get a quart,
as well as a couple of quarts of denatured alcohol (sometimes marked SLX
there). Get some latex or nitrile gloves, a couple of old lint free cotton
rags (old tshirts or cloth diapers work well here). Mix 1 part canned
shellac to 2 parts denatured alcohol in a jar, and then wipe it on the
drawer parts that don't show on the outside. Dries in about 15 minutes,
most days. Do it again 4 or 5 times. Sand it lightly with 320 grit or
higher of you must, to level the surface or clean up drips, but you don't
really NEED to. If you sand, wipe another coat on, then leave it alone.
Quick. Easy. Cheap. Throw the rag away when it dries out. Put a lid on
the jar, and use it again another time. Maybe rub some paste wax on it.
Heck, you might even want to do the outside this way, too!
The other thing is, shellac doesn't smell like (oil-based) poly can, when
closed up in a drawer.
There are buried treasures in Google's wReck archives. Search on shellac +
Paddy + wiping instructions. The wisdom of the ages remains available to
all who search.
Water-based poly dries quickly, too, (couple of hours) but isn't QUITE as
easy to get right, for a new user, with minimal tools. My neighbor sprays
his, and it looks pretty good,
3/8". Smaller drawers, 1/4" Finn birch. But what do I know? For some
stuff, 1/2" might not be too much. A lot depends on construction types,
intended use, and whether you expect your kiddies to use the drawers for
adventure games, etc.
Either leave them natural, or use some of that shellac you just put away.
Anything oil-based is likely to leave an odor.
But seriously, do that Google search. Paddy tells the story so much
better. So did Paully Rad...
still learning the craft, one project at a time...
If you get shellac at the box store look for Zinsser Seal Coat as
oit's dewaxed and can be used under other finishes. Other canned
stuff isn't dewaxed based on what's been reported here. Seal Coat has
a 3 year shelf life.
On Wed, 09 Jun 2004 19:15:53 -0400, Jamie Jackson
On Thu, 10 Jun 2004 08:22:23 -0400, " firstname.lastname@example.org"
I already bought the Zinsser shellac (not seal coat). Since I don't
plan to top it off with anything but a few more coats of shellac, I
should be alright.
Good to know about the other stuff in the future, though.
Forgot to mention their spray cans of shellac are also dewaxed as wax
would clog the nozzle. While we're here it does have a shelf life and
to test put a drop on glass and if it isn't dry and hard in a little
while pitch it as it wont harden.
On Thu, 10 Jun 2004 14:43:48 -0400, Jamie Jackson
jim email@example.com (Mike) wrote in
wrote in message
[There's always one guy wants to sing a different tune...]
Well, OK. As long as I have the right spray equipment, the proper
respirator, and some training. And some practice. Oh, and a calm day, or
a place to put up a booth...
The OP, IIRC, was more in the brushing/wiping, doing this at home, learning
as I go phase. Rattle can DEFT could be just the thing for drawer innards.
Brushing the stuff, when I did an entertainment center 6 months ago, was
one of the less enjoyable finishing experiences I've had recently.
But in the hands of an experienced, well-equipped spray tech, lacquer works
who believes that shellac is just too easy to ignore, for the the right
You can use a spit coat of shellac to finish the drawer interior. Or
you could use a spray lacquer for a super fast dry. Many drawers are
left unfinished. Drawers are typically made of 1/2" sides and back,
3/4" fronts, and 1/4" bottoms. Thicker materials will make a drawer
feel heavy (although I have used thicker material for shop drawers to
hold power tools.) A large drawer of 20x30 should have a divider or
muntin to provide strength to the bottom.
If you must finish the inside of the drawer the for a quick dry and easy to
apply use a flat water-based poly spray. If the piece is real important then
shellac is in order. (1 part shellac to 2-3 parts denatured alcohol) Wipe
on, let dry, repeat twice or until satisfied.
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For an entertainment center, where smell is already poly, use a thinned
poly. It'll give you some extra dirt rejection capability and still go on
I wouldn't recommend an unsupported 20x30 drawer bottom, unless you're going
to limit the interior weight to next to nothing. Note that interior
dividers can help keep the ply from bowing and disengaging. I've been
using that birch-faced 5-ply stuff lately. Nominal 1/4" and sandable to
almost any standard.
For most drawers I build, and all that are to contain clothes, I just
wipe on a coat or 2 of shellac. About a 1 or 1 1/2 lb cut can be wiped
on with a rag and dries in 20 minutes or less.
I learned the hard way, don't use an oil finish inside a drawer that
will contain clothes.
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