I thought I'd share a serious mistake I made this week.. Feel free to
I built a birch built-in bookcase for a friend. This particular piece
is birch ply with solid birch trim, nice flutes, etc... It really
came out nice! The wife of the recipient wants a color similar to
really old, dark cherry, with a just a touch of an extra tint towards
red. She was thrilled with my sample boards, finished with Mohawk
We all know how birch is a bear in regard to blotching, so I carefully
spit coated the bookcase with 50/50 Seal Coat. The first treatment of
pigment stain came out HORRIBLE, GROSS, not suitable for a trailer
park! All kinds of blotching and generally UGLY! The thing looked
like a really bad, Dark Walnut, pineywood, polyshaded mess!
I retested my finishing schedule using scraps from the ugly piece, and
my new samples came out just like the original samples, beautiful!
What happened? My spit coat container and my spit coat brush cleaning
containers got switched. I spit coated with shellac colored alcohol!
I spent all today building another. <G>
I'm now trying to find a home for a painted version of the same piece.
No laughs from me. I'm terrible about labeling jars. I grabbed the wrong one
a couple of times but so far have not made a "fatal" error. If I don't wise
up, it will happen.
Bet it brushed on easy though ;)
A "spit coat" is a dilute mixture of clear dewaxed shellac usually in
a 1 to 1.5 lb. cut. A 1 lb. cut being one pound of shellac dissolved
in one gallon of alcohol.
Buffalo, NY - USA
(Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
AKA a wash coat.
It's a thin pre-coat of shellac, or sometimes sanding sealer, used to
prevent stain from over penetrating certain woods, and to prevent one
layer of finish with interacting with the next.
Dewaxed shellac is a universal barrier. Spit coating can often even
allow you to reverse a finishing step, if necessary.
Birch, cherry, and pine are popular woods that take stain terribly if
nothing is used to control the penetration. Some use Turpentine,
Pre-stain Conditioner, or other commercial products. I prefer a
simple thin shellac coat between each color coat.
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