I'm getting close to finishing the Karl Caillouet-style coffee table I am
making. I've gotten the Rockler Sam Maloof poly-oil-wax finishes, and am
starting to do final sanding of the table top. I am going to go to 400
grit sandpaper as per the instructions.
Question: Do I seal the oak first with diluted shellac, or go straight to
On Wednesday, April 10, 2013 11:35:00 AM UTC-7, Han wrote:
A wash coat is usually only need when adding a color so you won't get a blo
tchy outcome. White Oak doesn't really blotch much anyway but you aren't ad
ding color so not really needed.
If you are going with natural color, you might try adding some color to the
grain. After your first coat or two of poly, rub on some black or dark bro
wn gel stain and wipe it off completely right away. You can leave it like t
hat, gel stain is just color poly. Or you can add more coats of clear. The
dark stain will get down in the oak grain and really make the grain pop. Re
ally a nice way to treat natural red or white oak. Test it in a scrap you m
ight really like it.
It depends upon what you want it to look like. The pores/grain of the oak
will wind up much darker than the rest of it if you don't first use a sealer
coat. However, that will also be true if you use shellac because the
darkness comes from increased absorption which "colors" the wood; think how
the wood would look with shellac and that's pretty much the way it is going
to look if you put poly on top of the shellac.. If you want a more uniform
overall color, seal with a waterborne material.
I don't usually use one but if I had need I'd use what I had on hand.
Currently - and for some time to come - that is waterborne poly. I have
that because I needed to finish something with minimal coloring.
On our Saltillo floors I used an acrylic, Seal-Krete by name, with oil poly
Take the advice of someone who has used this type of finish on dozens of
pieces. DO NOT use a sealer. This formulation is designed to penetrate into
the wood and maintain the look of the natural wood. To use a sealer defeats
the purpose of the finish.
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