We have eight pine interior doors and jambs we need to finish.
Would Amber Shellac be a good choice for interior doors?
I've applied a single coat to a door scrap, and we like the look, but I've
heard that shellac doesn't wear well?
Also, the pine ends up looking rather "yellow" when the amber shellac is
applied. Would additional coats darken or minimize the yellow appearance?
Should I sand between coats of shellac?
Can I apply an oil based polyurethane over the shellac to improve it's
Any advice for finishing the interior doors would be appreciated.
Pine ends up looking yellow when I put almost anything on it. Or when I
don't put anything on it.
Waterbased poly. Oil based poly. Shellac. Almost anything. Amber
shellac will intensify that, because the color is part of the finish.
You can get very pale shellac, and it won't build the color quite so much.
Several sources: www.hockfinishes.com, from the same fine folks who sell
blades for planes, etc., and www.shellac.net, which, I believe, is now part
of Liberon. And there are many good treatises on shellac application to be
found by Googling the wReck.
I would not hesitate to use shellac for my interior doors, but then, I
paint woodwork in my house every three to five years, regardless. Just to
change the look. Shellac repairs SO easily, where poly doesn't.
A little wax. A little soapy water on a rag now and then. Live.
Only if dewaxed shellac is used. I would not attempt to apply any water based
finish over shellac containing wax.
BTW Tony, dewaxed shellac provides a harder, more durable finish than shellac
containing wax. Dewaxed shellac is what I would recommend.
Buffalo, NY - USA
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Relative to varnish or laquer, no; but it is still plenty tough for a
Pine is yellow, you will have to stain it or bleach it to minimize the
Shellac and laquer will both 'melt' the previous layer and bond with it,
whereas varnish requires that you sand between coats to provide 'tooth'
for the new varnish to grip.
No, not really... you can apply the poly but it's double the work for
zero gain, it is still sitting on top of the shellac. In some situations
people apply one thin coat of shellac before applying varnish or laquer
but I don't think you will gain anything by doing that in this
situation. How much wear & tear do your doors receive? I use shellac on
my end tables and it has held up extremely well (2 kids & a cat); on a
dining room table or desk I use varnish.
Amber shellac looks GREAT on pine in my eyes. As the pine yellows,
the end result is a very warm, country look. No stain is necessary.
I'm not even a big fan of pine, but when I see it in the right setting
with a nice coat of amber shellac, I always seem to like the look.
If you are worried about the darkening of the amber shellac, do the doors in
blond or super blond. You are right the doors will darken, more from the
pine's reaction to light than anything else.
As for wear, shellac wears well and the nice thing is that it is probably
the easiest finish to touch up. That is because as you add each coat it
builds thickness rather than adding separate layers, as urethanes do.
For a nice soft gloss finish, try buffing the piece after you have the
thickness of shellac you want with 0000 steel wool and Briwax (or any good
Amber (orange) shellac is a terrific finish for pine. No need for a
varnish top coat. Each succeding coat makes it darker. Shellac wears
very well. The only drawbacks to shellac would be on a table or other
surface that may see an alcholic drink. Shellac was used for floors
for many years, attesting to it's durability.You may want to use a 1
lb cut if you are brushing, less likely to leave brush marks.Spraying
a 1 1/2 to 2 lb cut is my choice. No need to sand between coats unless
dust settled on the door as it dried.Then just sand the nibs off.
Amber is fine, but my personal favorite on pine is garnet shellac.
Because of the decor in our house, I do a lot of work with pine, and
garnet gives you an "instant aging" effect. It also doesn't give you
that yellowish tint.
Just be sure and apply a couple of coats of blonde on top, so that
any wear doesn't immediately affect the tinting coats.
You shouldn't have to sand as shellac melts into the previous coat.
And that's the same reason why shellac is so great, even in reasonably
high wear situations (as long as alcohol isn't involved). If it does
get dinged, it's a breeze to touch up, as the repaired area blends right
in with the surrounding shellac.
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