Learning about Finishes

danmart77

Dan
Corporate Member
So I have never applied any finishes other than paint and have been trying to learn about stains and such for my shelving. I read several blog posts, including the one here: "Wood Finishes Explained" along with watching lots of videos. I read about using 1# cut shellac as a base coat on pine to prevent blotchiness. I researched gel stains, oil stains, etc.

Having done all that, I decided to start experimenting - below are my results on some scrap pieces of 2x4's that I sanded down with 80, then 120 grit. The wood was not very smooth to start with, even after sanding they were a bit rough. These pieces were some poor quality to start with and I think that may have played into the less than stellar results.


Zinsser Seal Coat (100% wax-free shellac)
The left side of the board is just bare wood; while the right side has 2 coats
I did hit the 2nd coat with some 0000 steel wool - most of that section was incredibly smooth.
I liked the "color" of this clear coat, but don't think it fits what I am planning.

View attachment 200061
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Minwax's Espresso Oil Stain over 1# Cut Shellac
I applied 1 coat of this stain over the wax free shellac because of what I read about blotchy wood
The bad results may be due to my poor application technique.
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Here is the same section with a second coat of stain
This was ok, but still looked blotchy, even though I had put down the shellac.
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Minwax's Espresso Oil Stain over Bare Wood
Here is the same stain after 1 coat on bare wood.
As expected much better color than the piece with the seal coat
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After a second coat of the Espresso stain
I did not like this one, looked very dark and very blotchy.
I believe with this dark of a stain, I should have stopped with 1 coat.
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Minwax's Walnut Oil based Gel Stain over 1# Cut Shellac
This was after the first coat.
I think the piece got some decent color.
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Here is the piece after the second gel coat
This has a decent color to me, a bit richer than after the first coat.
It seems to have a bit of a semi-gloss finish.
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Minwax's Walnut Oil based Gel Stain over Bare Wood
Here is the Gel Stain on the bare pine after 1 coat
This picked up a good bit of color and had a matte finish
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Here is the same piece after the second coat.
The light areas picked up a lot more color with this coat.
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My least favorite finish is the 2 coats of Minwax Espresso Oil Stain over Bare Wood. It was very dark and looked smeared. I think if I used a lighter stain and stopped at 1 coat, it would have been better.

My favorite look is the 2 coats of Minwax Walnut Oil based Gel Stain over Bare Wood. It looked very even and "natural" and seems to have a matte finish. I am going to apply this on one of my vertical pieces to see how it looks on a larger piece. My next favorite look was the 2# cut of shellac on the bare wood. I think that finish would be great in another application and on a better species of wood.

I must admit, I was a bit surprised at how much waste there was with the gel; although, I guess I could have applied it wrong.
Let me help a little. Get rid of the premixed shellac and order some fresh shellac flakes. The photo of the desk was done with a brush.


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zapdafish

Steve
Senior User
I took this 1 day class and really learned alot. He has a 5 day class as well but I wasn't that interested, lol.

 

danmart77

Dan
Corporate Member
[Here is a small table and a large desk finished in garnettlac. The garnett is darker than the orange shellac. This is what is possible with a little practice with thin shellac. No not the stuff from a can that can be old and impossible to work.

It the guy above does one on one in his shop, it would not be tough to do one here in NC. I have given a coloring and finish class in the past at Phil Soper's shop and most of the students in the class were members of NCWW
 

Attachments

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
[Here is a small table and a large desk finished in garnettlac. The garnett is darker than the orange shellac. This is what is possible with a little practice with thin shellac. No not the stuff from a can that can be old and impossible to work.

It the guy above does one on one in his shop, it would not be tough to do one here in NC. I have given a coloring and finish class in the past at Phil Soper's shop and most of the students in the class were members of NCWW
Dan,
We the shellac brushed on, or "padded" or ???
 

ralitaco

Jim
Senior User
[Here is a small table and a large desk finished in garnettlac. The garnett is darker than the orange shellac. This is what is possible with a little practice with thin shellac. No not the stuff from a can that can be old and impossible to work.

It the guy above does one on one in his shop, it would not be tough to do one here in NC. I have given a coloring and finish class in the past at Phil Soper's shop and most of the students in the class were members of NCWW
WOW DAN!!!! Those are fantastic. Mine look horrible in comparison. I have tons of drips and runs, etc. Fortunately, I am just building shelves. I figured out I was putting too much shellac on the wood thereby causing the runs. You can see I tried sanding the excess shellac off, but it was taking off the finish.

2021-03-29 - Shellac Runs (2).jpg 2021-03-29 - Shellac Runs (1).jpg

I am thinking I need to take one of those classes.
 

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