Just Finishing

dewaxed shcllac, available from Mohawk Finishing Supplies, (800) 545-0047.

Water-based dye stains often "bleed* into waterborne coatings, and some non-grain-raising dye stains bleed into lacquer top coats, distorting their color. Some waterborne coatings will not adhere well over oil-based stains. A thin coat of 2-lb.-cut, dewaxed shcllac will seal in the stain and provide a base that both solvent-based and waterborne coatings will stick to.

Most liquid shellac sold in cans contains wax, and top-coat finishes do not stick well to wax. To be safe, buy dewaxed shellac flakes and mix your own by adding the flakes to denatured alcohol. (For more on mixing and using shcllac, sec "Just Finishing," AW #60.)

Problem #3: Disastrous finishing results with rosewood, goncalo alves, and other oily woods.

Sealer solution: Vinyl sealer, available from paint dealers. Rosewood is notorious for preventing varnish from curing, and its color often bleeds into lacquer.

discoloring adjacent light woods. Some oily woods let finishes cure, only to have the film peel oft'after it is dry.

Vinyl sealer adheres well to oily woods. If your top coat is lacquer, spray on a coat of vinyl scaler and follow with the first coai of lacquer no more than 45 minutes later—before the vinyl is completely dry. Lacqucr adheres poorly to fully cured vinyl.

If varnish is the top coal, let the vinyl dry overnight, but scuff it with an abrasive pad before you apply the varnish.

Problem #4: lacquer is hard to sand. It takes a lot of effort to level out the first couple of coats.

Scaler solution: Lacquer sanding sealer, available at paint dealers. Lacqucr is meant to resist scratches, and that goes for sandpaper scratchcs too. To make easier work of smoothing the first couple of coats, try lacqucr sanding scaler. It is simply lacqucr with soft, casy-to-sand zinc stcarate mixed in. But while the stearate makes sanding easier, too much of it will cloud the finish. Use only one or two coats of sanding scaler, sand the wood smooth, then switch to gloss lacquer. (Varnish sanding sealer is available to use under oil-based varnish.)

Problem #5: Waterborne finishes raise the wood grain and sometimes allow "fishcycs" to show.

Sealer solution: Dewaxed shcllac. Waterborne coatings tend to raise the grain. They can also form "fisheyes"— spots caused by oil, wax, grease, or other contamination on the wood. Seal the wood with a coat of dewaxed shellac to limit grain raising, lock in contaminants, and make the waterborne top coat behave as it should. ▲

Join Michael Dresdner live on America Online Sunday nights from 9:30 pm to 10:30 pm eastern time tor answers to your finishing questions. Keyword "wood" takes you to American Woodworker Online. Click the "Shop Talk" icon to enter the chat room.

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