Varnish vs Shelac


  #1  
Old 01-03-07, 10:24 PM
B
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Question Varnish vs Shelac

Part of the top of a desk was stained, but I was able to get the stain out by light sanding. I originally thought that I would have to restain the whole top, but after sanding the whole top the stain is in good shape. My question is which type of finish should I use - varnish or shelac??
Thanks for any help.

Bob Hut
 
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Old 01-04-07, 03:42 AM
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Not sure I understand what you want, stain or a new finish?? Varnish(polyurethane is the usual substitute) and shellac are quite different. Poly protects against nearly all types of stains and is more durable, where shellac is not much on protection, but gives a beautiful hand rubbed finish. Water will make shellac turn white, and alcohol will dissolve it.
 
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Old 01-04-07, 05:40 AM
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I'd use varnish/poly, it's more durable than shellac. IMO shellac should only be used when restoring certain antiques.
 
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Old 01-04-07, 07:18 AM
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Oil based polyurethane will give you the most durable finish. Three coats is the usual amount.
 
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Old 02-07-07, 07:08 PM
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Between coats of poly, do you hand sand or can you use a palm sander?
 
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Old 02-08-07, 06:23 AM
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Power sanding generally removes too much material, so unless you really messed up applying the poly, a light hand sanding with 180-220 grit sandpaper should be sufficent. Don't forget to wipe up the sanding dust before applying the next coat.
 
 

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