I'm planning on putting three coats of blonde shellac on a Huntboard
table. How many coats are needed for the inside areas of the
table (cabinet and drawers) areas? Is one coat enough for the
insides and bottom of the table top?
It would actually depend on how thick you apply the material. And
since everyone is a little different in their application style and
methods (thinned, unthinned, sprayed, brushed, padded, etc.) I would
just apply until it was well sealed. Drawers are incredibly hard to
get cleaned out for refinishing after they have been used for a while.
If you are happy with shellac, good. It is a really underrated
finish. But I would caution you that on wear surfaces such as the
inside of drawers you may not find it to be satisfactory because if
its low abrasion resistance.
Personally, I would seal with the shellac as planned, but on the
inside of the drawers I would top coat with a couple of coats of a
On Mon, 5 May 2008 10:30:11 -0700 (PDT), " firstname.lastname@example.org"
I was planning to use only furniture wax on the insides and external
sides of the drawers; only shellacing the front of the drawers. I'm
also planning to use the furniture wax on the rails and bottom edges
of the drawers.
I'm using a 2lb cut of shellac with a brush.
I'm interested in the number of coats needed for the insides of the
tables carcass. Does't the bottom of the top and table insides
need the same amount of shellac as the table top and external
Appreciate the insight,
My preference is 2 coats of 1-lb cut inside an out for the drawers. That's
enough for a good seal with almost no "build". Wax applied with fine steel
wool after that will leave you with a very silky feel.
I agree with the others, thinned coats go in much fewer flaws
I prefer a small scrap of cotton cloth; IMO, brushes are for paint.
It should be the same all around.... as many coats as it takes to get the
build that looks right to you.
Practice (test) on scrap that has been subjected to the same snading
schedule as the real thing.
Personally, I love to use shellac as a sealer but not as a top coat. The
fact that it dries so fast and sands well is great for a sealer. But, since
it dries to fast I find it diffcult to avoid any lap marks that show up in a
final coat. (yeah , I hear you.... leave a wet edge....for me that's
apparently easier said than done.) I find a wipable varnish like Waterlox to
be much easier/forgiving/self-leveling.
I started out using 2 lb cut with a brush but quickly found that it
was a PITA and 1/2 lb cut was my friend.
Quick to apply with minimum regard to technique.
Quick recoat cycle which makes life simple.
Used 3-4 coats to seal EVERY surface inside on a chest of drawers.
No need to sand interior, it was for sealing purposes
6-8 coats on exterior with 24 hours between coats.
Quick wipe with a ScotchBrite between exterior coats, nothing fussy.
Allowed to cure 30 days followed by 400 grit, 0000 wool and hand
rubbed wax job.
Worked for me, but I'm not all that fussy.
On shellac, I just use the old cabinetmaker's trick of brown paper (cut up
grocery bags) between coats, and as a final buff after a few weeks of curing
(and before waxing, if I wax at all).
... epitome of "less fussy". :)
On Tue, 06 May 2008 08:06:21 -0400, StephenM wrote:
Steve, I had the same problem with shellac until I started padding on very
thin coats. The problem went away. I don't even sand between coats, just
the final coat after a week or two tobe sure it's really dry.
Shellac dries (not really, but you know what I mean) so fast I can put on
the first 2-4 coats, depending on the wood species, without any wait in
between. Eight coats in a day is easy and I usually only put on 5 or 6.
I've made some small boxes and put several coates of orange shellac on them.
When the shellac didn't harden as quickly as I wanted, I put the boxes
outside in the bright sun on a table for a few hours. The sun hardened up
the shellac really well.
Reported to be a big orange ball in the sky during part of the day.
Here in L/A we haven't seen it in a week because of the "Marine
Layer", a massive cloud bank the sun simply can not burn thru in one
Here in North Carolina it's either very sunny or very rainy with almost no
in-between. They're very serious about their weather here. Yesterday there
were a few clouds, but a lot of sun. Last night we had very heavy
thunderstorms and some tornados (but fortunately not where I am) with almost
an inch of rain. Today it's back to just a few clouds and a lot of sun. I
expect by this afternoon there won't be any clouds, just clear blue sky and
a bright hot sun with a high in the 80's. A great day for drying shellac or
Nailshooter is right, but also consider the film you build will depend also
on the "cut" of the shellac. Reallizing the number of coats determines the
amount of tint you get, anything after a good film is a matter of choice.
If I were going to use shellac on this piece I would finish with enough
shellac to build a nice film, inside and out. Then "lightly" buff with a
good 0000 steel wool and apply a couple of coats of good wax (Briwax is my
wax of choice). The wax will reduce the wear by reducing the friction and
is easily repairable, as is the shellac under it.
Three is quickest. Three well-cut coats will do for the inside and
will take less time overall (assuming moderately warm weather) than
trying to get an even finish in just one and thus having to use a
Tight well-sanded timber might get away with two, but let it dry well
afterwards then look and feel to make sure you're happy with it.
Finishes are quick to apply, slow to apply _carefully_. For shellac a
thinner cut is so much quicker to work with that you save time overall.
One thing we have not addressed, and it just dawned on me that you were
asking it, is "Don't you need the same number of coats on both sides of the
wood?" With shellac, no. It is not like a varnish of an oil that soaks
into the wood and then can shrink over time and cause you problems. It
does soak into the wood, but it forms a film. In fact, it really does not
matter how many coats you put on, you will only have one layer of film. It
will be thicker or thinner, depending on the number of coats, but it will
be only one layer. The reason is that each coat disolves the one under it,
just a bit, and the two fuse into one layer.
As for wear, you are going to wear away any finish you put on the wear
surfaces of your drawers. Sealing them with shellac and then using a good
wax, will, in the long run, serve as well as any other and is easily
renewable with a coat of fresh wax.
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