Wood turners often use a piece of brown paper bag as a final fine
abbrassive before a final finish is applied.
I'm mentoring a newbie furniture maker who is doing a 30" wide by
20" deep by 95" tall linen cabinet with raised panel doors and side
panels as well - out of BORG poplar. The intent is to use TransTint
"reddish brown" dye - in alcohol and probably wipe on poly as the
Now the key to avoid Splotchies is to seal the end grain coming up
out of the face of parts with something, in this case shellac I've
mixed up from flakes (there's something about the ritual of grinding
shellac flakes adding them to the alcohol and stirring - waiting -
stirring and waiting - then the filtering of the wonderful elixir).
Though alcohol doesn't raise the grain as much as water, it does
raise the grain some.
That means - shellac - wait - sand - apply another coat of sealer
- wait - sand finer, . . . The height of the grain which will stand up
when the alcohol dissolved dye is added won't be much - but even
some will mean more coats of finish later. So there's been a LOT
Now one of the problems with dyes is that sanding it isn't a good
idea - especially if it's on an open grain wood. While poplar is not
as open grained as oak or mahogany, it ain't maple.
So I'm wondering if a going over the dyed surfaces with brown
paper bag paper will avoid getting fine sawdust in the grain that's
tough to get out and cut down on the need for more coats of
Anyone tried it for this application?