Finish question

MontyJ
227 posts and 10 followers
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I am nearly ready to finish the sewing box I have been working on. I’ll update the blog on it tomorrow. Before I assemble the completed boxes with the cantilever hinges and install the handle, I want to apply the finish. I want something that will make the grain of the wood stand out. The wife wants it to keep the natural wood look, without staining it. I have no idea what to use. Little help here?

Where are the band-aids?---Pro Libertate!

Rattlecan lacquer.

Monty, you can try super blonde shellac to pop the grain then top coat that with a super clear finish such as Target’s EM9000. I am certain there are other super clear water based top coatings, but this is the one with which I am familiar. Water bornes are the only option IMO because any oil based product will cause the wood to darken somewhat whereas WB products won’t. As always, test your entire finishing schedule on scrap before attacking the completed project. HTH

http://targetcoatings.com/products/interior-top-coats/em9000-super-clear-interior-polyurethane.html

-- Art

I agree with the shellac, although I must be honest and admit I haven’t used shellac yet. I’ve read a lot about it and it seems like a great way to make the wood really stand out.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

I also use shellac on many of my scroll saw projects. I love the soft sheen it gives the wood and I feel that it has a much ‘warmer’ finish than polyurethane.

Shellac may be enough on it’s own, it’s underrated (IMHO) as a final finish and much better than many give it credit for. It’s colorfast and easily repaired if it is damaged, so give it some though. If you do choose to top coat it with a water borne (or poly-anything that’s oil based) be sure to use dewaxed shellac.

"I long for the day when coke was a cola and a joint was a bad place to be" Merle Haggartd

Great advice: Use a product that the responder admits to never having used before!

This site is LJs all over again: the halt and the blind.

CWS:

Please go back to Lumberjocks – the members here do not need your ‘helpful’ comments and commentary.
MJCD

I found this site. We both like finish #1 basic stained ash (using the maple stain). If I were to go that route, would I still use shellac, and would I use it before or after staining?

Where are the band-aids?---Pro Libertate!

That kind of depends on the balance of what you intend to do. If you intend to top coat with a waterborne, it won’t hurt to use a coat of shellac between it and the stain. You may see a little color shift with the shellac (or anything else that follows). If you go with spray lacquer, I would put it on the stain without shellac.

To CWS: I don’t see that the OP mentioned he hadn’t used shellac, though some of the replies mention it. I’d say you are out of line with that comment, regardless of who it’s targeted at.

"I long for the day when coke was a cola and a joint was a bad place to be" Merle Haggartd

Fred, read Light1776’s response.