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Shellac as a sealer?

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  • #16
    Great carving, I also tried it on Cottonwood, Really made it pop.
    . . .JoeB

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    • #17
      Thanks Arthur, I'll be posting the finished piece on the Caricature Forum shortly.
      http://oneofakindwoodcarvings.blogspot.com

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      • #18
        I use shellac every day. The best virtue of shellac is that it it adheres to just about anything, and anything will adhere to it. It makes a great sealer. As a sealer, water based topcoats don’t really effect it. The only time you really have to worry about shellac bloom is when it’s a built up top coat. Paint will adhere a little better when you give it a bit of tooth, but it’s not generally necessary.

        Also, shellac has a shelf life, and I generally discard anything that I haven’t used within maybe two or three months. It will take on moisture and start to go on gummy, and it won’t dry as hard. At the height of this past summer, the air was so humid that the shellac took on moisture and immediately went white upon drying. I just mixed a new batch and I was good to go. For this reason, I’d suggest buying it in flakes and mixing it yourself with denatured alcohol. Just mix it, let it dissolve for a day or two, and strain it. You’ll get better results when it’s fresh. You can get more varieties of shellac in flake form, and it allows you to play around with different concentrations.

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        • #19
          Thank you for the info, I so dumb when it comes to finishes.
          . . .JoeB

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          • #20
            I now have the spray shellac suggested but have another question.

            Do you wash the piece with dish soap before applying the shellac or just spray it? If washed, does the piece need to be dried before the shellac application?

            Thanks and slowly I'm getting educated to a new approach.
            Bill
            Living among knives and fire.

            http://www.westernwoodartist.com

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            • #21
              I found something kind o amazing to me the other day, Sometimes, when I'm finished with a carving, I'll give it a good scrubbing with Dawn and water. I usually set them to dry overnight, but I was in a hurry the other day so I set the carving in the microwave for 30 sec. When I pulled it out it was covered with soap subs! So, I put it in for another 30 secs. and still had some soap suds. I had to do this 5 times before there were no suds. & I had rinsed it off good. This has happened every time since when I was with Soap.

              Has anyone else had this happen to them?

              Maybe a person just needs to put the wood in the microwave before using shellac. . . . .any thoughts on this would be of interest.
              Thanks
              . . .JoeB

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              • #22
                Originally posted by woodburner807 View Post
                I now have the spray shellac suggested but have another question.

                Do you wash the piece with dish soap before applying the shellac or just spray it? If washed, does the piece need to be dried before the shellac application?

                Thanks and slowly I'm getting educated to a new approach.
                I never wash the carving before shellacing, have never had a problem. I've always been leery of soap absorbing into the wood and preventing good adherence of the finish coat. Even when I use amber shellac as the finish coat in lieu of stain, I don't wash, considering final sanding before application of the sanding sealer coat sufficient to remove any surface dirt.

                I think we sometimes make our procedures more complicated and involved than necessary. But, we all do what we find effective, the "More than one way to skin a cat" principle.
                Arthur

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                • #23
                  Thanks a lot, Arthur. I felt the same way about soap but it seems that is popular so I followed what worked for others. Always glad to hear of "simpler" approaches, and will give simplicity a try...along with the shellac.

                  When I was a kid my Dad would make shellac from flakes and I'd use it to finish some jigsaw work I did. That was back in the early 1950s and thought maybe there was a better more modern technique. Sometimes older is better.

                  Thanks again...
                  Bill
                  Living among knives and fire.

                  http://www.westernwoodartist.com

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                  • #24
                    To seal I would use Crystal Clear - Matte or not. Matte gives more grip for paint. It is acrylic like our paints.

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