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BLO question - Woodtourer - 03-14-2019

How long after applying BLO do you wait before applying dewaxed shellac?

RE: BLO question - fredhargis - 03-15-2019

I once read an article by Jeff Jewitt about his version of a "down and dirty" french polish. In it he used a thinned coat of BLO, followed by a coat of shellac (almost immediately), and then some paste wax and steel wool. Point being, you probably don't have to wait as long as you think. I still let it sit overnight...but would almost bet it could be less with no problems. But there's no reason to take a chance, overnight is also good for oil based varnishes.

RE: BLO question - jklingel - 03-16-2019

I am glad you brought this up, as I just created a mess w/ BLO and shellac. I put two coats of BLO on some plywood 2-3 weeks ago, and all was fine. Then, rummaging through my finishes I came across some shellac from years ago; no idea how many years, at least 5 or 6. Having never used shellac and not wanting to just toss it, I applied it to the BLO'd plywood, hoping to get a bit of a tougher coating on it. The next morning, I had sticky mess on the plywood, similar to a urethane finish about 90% dry. Now, after a good week, the plywood is mostly dry. The shellac was "spoiled", perhaps, as chunks of white stuff were floating in it; wax? So, what went wrong? Bad shellac? Bad idea? Thanks for any info.

RE: BLO question - clovishound - 03-16-2019

Old shellac doesn't dry properly IRRC.

Premixed shellac definitely has a shelf life.

RE: BLO question - fredhargis - 03-16-2019

It's what clovis said...the shellac was way past it's shelf life. Fresh mixed flakes can last a year and still be usable, although I think the normal life is suggested to be 6 months or so. The Zinnser stuff has some magic in it and somewhere I read they claim a life of 3 years, but it can often be different than that (less). Besides, the can may not make it 3 years anyway, they sometimes develop a leak. Best thing to do is test it by putting a drop on a non porous surface and see if it dries.