Welcome! Forums General Woodworking Discussions Finishing Orange shellac on pine – very orange

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  • #311585
    Tom R
    Participant

    Hi everyone,

    Hoping someone here can provide some insight as I haven’t been able to find anything online.

    I’m finishing a pine tool cabinet and want to use shellac. After doing a test piece with orange/amber shellac, it came out in a very vibrant orange. I was hoping for some ‘ambering’, but this is really orange. I put on three coats, and it seems to get more orange with each coat. I want at least three coats for sufficient protection.

    Tonight I’m going to try some dewaxed blonde shellac to see if I like that better, but was wondering about mixing blonde and orange shellac so I can get enough coats but without the big colour change. Has anyone tried this and knows if it works? I’m also not sure if I should mix the blonde and orange together and then apply it, or apply two coats of blonde and then one of orange (or vice versa). (If it makes a difference to the mixing or order of application, the orange shellac I have access to is waxed, and the blonde is dewaxed.) Has anyone tried anything like this with or without success?

    I also plan on putting on paste wax after everything.

    Or if you have any ideas on getting a nice pine shellac finish I’d love to hear them!

    Thanks a lot for any help or ideas!
    Tom

    #311586
    Edmund
    Participant

    Hey Tom
    Done the same thing. Try the blonde, and let us know what you think after a few coats. If it’s not enough color, you can add a single coat of the orange.

    #311589
    David Perrott
    Participant

    Blonde shellac doesn’t have any color. You can alter the color of shellac by adding in an alcohol soluble dye. You could always use a colored wax over it too.

    #311590
    wtwegner
    Participant

    Hi Tom. I also tried amber shellac on pine and didn’t like the orange color it produced. Note that the denatured alcohol in the shellac breaks down all the previous layers you’ve already applied, so if you plan to add another coat of blonde shellac, you are effectively mixing the amber and blonde and may lighten it a little, but probably won’t be able to tell a big difference. My experience with shellac is that the blonde will still darken the wood a bit, and may be perfect for what you want your finished project to look like. I recommend taking a rag with straight denatured alcohol to the existing coats already on, stripping them off and allowing you to start with a clean slate. With a scrap piece of pine, you can apply a few coats of the blonde and see if the color is to your liking. If you want it a bit more amber color, you can add some amber shellac to the blonde, a little at a time until you get the color you want. Good luck with your project.

    #311601
    Tom R
    Participant

    Thanks, everyone. I tried 4 coats of blonde shellac, which did add some colour and depth to the wood, but not quite as much as I was looking for. I also tried 3 coats of blonde followed by 1 coat of orange, and also a test with 3 coats of a 5:1 mix of blonde-to-orange. Both of these last two options gave very similar results, with a slight ambering of the wood. I think I’ll go with one of these last options.
    Thanks again,
    Tom

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