dye and shellac problems

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dye and shellac problems

Post by robertwilson » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:13 pm

I have been testing out shellac on a scrap piece and not geting the results i want. The dye i am using needs the wood sanded to no finer than 180 grit, sanding with 180 grit leaves many fine but quite visible scratch marks and when I apply shellac on the wood sanded to 180 grit I am not able to get any shine at all

I am also grain filling with shellac and pumice, I have not yet decided if i want to grain fill then apply the dye or dye first then grain fill - i am still in the process of testing this. I have found out that if i dye the wood first then grain fill that the pumice adds a whitish/grey colour to the wood so propably I am better of dying the wood after grain filling, or maybe dye first - grain fill, then dye again?

but how do i deal with the sanding problem, should i maybe try to apply shellac then sand the wood with finer and finer sandpaper? from what ive read a shellac finish looks the best if the wood is sanded with very fine sandpaper (up to a 1000 grit). If I sand up to a 1000 grit on the bare dyed wood i will cause the dye to look uneven and blotched.

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Re: dye and shellac problems

Post by mark270981 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:09 am


It seems like you are overcomplicating this process.

180 grit is fine enough, if you finish with a sanding block by hand with all the strokes following the grain, although the highest we go to is 240.

Dye immediately after sanding, then build the layers of shellac up, de nib between coats with 320 grit sandpaper.

No need for grain filler.

Whilst it’s a longer process, it will give a far superior finish.

Mark - Sutton Coldfield

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Re: dye and shellac problems

Post by thatsnotafestool » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:10 pm

Be careful applying shellac if your dye is also soluble in meths otherwise you can find yourself dragging out the dye. I happen to have a small compressor (had it for years) and I bought a touch-up spray gun...very cheap... and use it to spray a mist coat of shellac over the dyed surface. Once dry you can then continue to apply more coats of shellac.
The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.
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