- 26 April 2017 at 2:50 pm #311431
I wanted to add color to the white-oak rocking chair. Stain and dye on test pieces turned the pores almost black, which is not what I wanted. Garnet shellac gave good color but it ran and created uneven color. A friend thought my brush could be the problem, so I bought a Hake brush, which Paul recommended, but it looks nothing like Paul’s; and there seem to be different brands of Hake brush. Thoughts or Suggestions?26 April 2017 at 3:14 pm #311432
I think you need to fill the pores of the grain, hence the pores turning black, and unevenness in color. Oak is a large pored wood.26 April 2017 at 4:16 pm #311434EdmundParticipant
Agree with David — oak is an open-pored wood, so if a very uniform color is desired, you first need to fill those pores.
When you say your shellac “ran” — what does that mean? Maybe pictures will explain it best. Uneven color… probably same as above — pores might need to be filled, but was the application even?
And you didn’t say, so did you take any steps to prepare the wood surface before finishing? Might there have been dirt or sawdust or planing tracks or etc?26 April 2017 at 9:08 pm #311441
Ed, Thanks for responding. I didn’t want to hide the grain so I was reluctant to fill the pores. Do you have any thoughts about a good brush for shellac? This project has a lot of edges and small surfaces and it was hard to get a uniform coat. I sanded to 220 grit and vacuumed the piece. I will send a picture when I get home.26 April 2017 at 9:20 pm #311442
Filling the grain wont hide it. Try a test board with grain filled vs unfilled. I like the look of filled. It wouldn’t be fun to finish it then realize it looks better filled. There are many different ways to fill it and that’s a whole different discussion. Everyone has a favorite style of brush. You can use the hake brush, cloth pads, taklon brushes. The shellac is probably more of an issue then the brush. Experiment with the shellac. Paul did a video on it. If your shellac ran more maybe its a thinner cut. I think a thinner cut is easier to use than a thick. So in my opinion just practice!26 April 2017 at 10:36 pm #311446EdmundParticipant
For the most part, I agree with David again. Filling the grain does have an effect on the appearance, but it might not be what you expect (it certainly wasn’t what I expected), and test pieces are always a good idea, at least from my perspective as a beginner. Early on, I feared filling the grain as well, but after trying it, I saw that my fears were unjustified.
As for brushes, I’ve found shellac to be amenable to just about anything. Maybe it’s the shellac I’m using, but I haven’t found a brush (or cloth, or..) that doesn’t work great. I think it’s more down to personal preference on how the brush feels to you than how the brush actually interacts with the shellac, so I won’t spend on a more expensive brush for shellac. Just look at Paul — he’s using a brush that costs a pound or two, although his skill level and experience often distort reality for us mortals; he makes lesser tools look like premium ones, so one does need to moderate expectations because of how easy he makes many things appear.
Since you mentioned you have a lot of small surfaces and edges, I might suggest you have a look at the taklons; I think they are very good for that sort of work, but having said that, in my ignorant opinion, it’s unlikely the brush is to blame here.27 April 2017 at 1:28 am #311452David BParticipant
Out of curiosity, how does one fill the pores?27 April 2017 at 3:57 am #311454
I have used pumice and a pad with alcohol, like you would do in the early stages of french polishing. I have also put a coat of shellac and sanded it back and done that a few times. I can buy or make a grain filler but I have never tried that.2 May 2017 at 2:24 pm #311599
I cleaned up some of the un-evenness in the finish with old 220 grit sandpaper and a dull card scraper. And then I broke out my new Hake brush. Such a difference a small brush with fine hair makes! It actually was a pleasure to put on several more coats of shellac, and I am happy with the result. Thanks for your suggestions.
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