Question About Using Shellac and Stain


Hammer5573

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I’m working on a project made of poplar and I’m planning to stain it (cherry). I would like to apply dewaxed shellac as a wood sealer, followed by a coat of stain, followed by additional coats of (waxed) shellac as a finish. Is it possible to apply wood stain over dewaxed shellac?

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I am not sure but I would think that the shellac would keep your stain from penetrating.  I would suggest trying  it out on a scrap piece of poplar.  You might also mixing you own shellac flacks and using it to get you color instead of the stain.

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A 'wash coat' of thinned shellac is fairly common practice to limit stain penetration on blotch-prone species. Just be aware that you may need to apply multiple coats of stain to achieve a dark color. And beware that the green tint often seen in poplar will offset the stain color. Maybe some of the more experienced finishers can suggest a tint to neutralize it so that the cherry stain looks more like cherry. I'm not that great with colors.

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On 2/5/2024 at 7:46 PM, wtnhighlander said:

A 'wash coat' of thinned shellac is fairly common practice to limit stain penetration on blotch-prone species. 

Will a wash coat of shellac eliminate any glue spots that I may have produced..?

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I doubt adding shellac is going to improve the glue smear situation, other than to prevent the glue spots from being quite so obvious after one coat of stain.

You might experiment with gel stains. They tend to leave more pigment right on the surface. Hides the boo-boos, but obscures the wood grain, too. Always a comprimise.

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On 2/6/2024 at 7:47 AM, Hammer5573 said:

Will a wash coat of shellac eliminate any glue spots that I may have produced..?

No. You've got to remove the glue. Sanding and/or scraping probably the best way.

For blotch prevention, a coat of thinned shellac is what I read about the most. However, I have had good results using a single application of danish oil. I apply jell stain after the danish oil cures about 8 hours. It works for me.

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