Poly over shellac?


DTharp

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I'm in the midst of refinishing a chest that my daughter will use as a toy box. I am using a (Minwax) oil based stain and will put a few coats of (also Minwax) fast-dry poly over that. Sanding off the original finish has given me some concerns about the blotching/absorption of stain on different boards on the chest. I revisited the 'staining blotchy wood' episode and have a few questions -

1) Would poly be an acceptable finish if I started with a 1 lb cut of shellac and then applied my stain

2) Would multiple coats of stain help with getting the desired color.

2a) Would multiple coats of stain lessen or remove the benefits of conditioning the piece with the shellac.

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1) If the shellac is dewaxed, you are certainly fine. There is debate as to whether you'll be okay if the shellac has wax.

2) I assumed you are using the shellac because you were going to stain. The reason for using shellac first is to create a seal-coat, which helps even out how much further coats absorb into the wood - preventing sploching

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Ben - I'm nearly certain it is pine.

Torch - Yes, I am using the shellac solely to seal the wood before the stain is applied. I'm assuming the 'waxed' vs de-waxed debate stems from the wax creating a softer, more flexible surface under the more ridged poly?

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Being pine, there is a pretty decent chance it might splotch. I thin coat of de-waxed shellac should take care of that. I may be wrong about this....but I understand the reasoning behind using de-waxed is the wax. Kinda like trying to paint a waxed surface, it won't stick. Now, this may all be urban myth. But, with de-waxed readliy available, no sense is tempting fate. ;)

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2) Would multiple coats of stain help with getting the desired color.

You won't get much extra darkness from additional coats of stain on top of one another. You will get some, though; worth a shot, as that's the easiest way.

If you did a wash coat - a thin coat of finish - after the stain, then stained again, I'm thinking that would let you get substantially darker, but would also start to obscure the grain on the piece.

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I can definitely vouch for the Charles Neil blotch control product. In fact I was just in the shop tonight conditioning several pieces of maple that I will by dying later. Easier to apply than a shellac sealer coat, and is a better blotch control (even a wash coat of shellac can make your stain act more like a glaze than a real stain). Here's a link to an experiment I did with the blotch control (this was on cherry rather than pine, but you get the idea).

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