Finishing wood with the future in mind
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Victor



Joined: 07 Aug 2010
Posts: 35
Location: Pacific North West

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 2:59 pm    Post subject: Finishing wood with the future in mind Reply with quote

I started working on my kitchen cabinets weeks back. One one smallish set of cabinets that are off on their own.

They are very well built from the 1960s, and with the right finish and hardware could look pretty chic.

At some point in the cabinets history, I believe they have been refinished at least twice. Most recently some really ugly latex paint, underneath that run of the mill varnish, and finally the factory finish which has and ugly orange tone to it.

Water based finish removers take easily take the paint and varnish off. But not even MEK seems to have much affect on the factory finish other than softening it a little bit. The plan was to strip, sand, stain, and alkyd varnish. But getting the wood ready for stain may not be possible. The cabinets are birch, so I'm not very keen on the natural birch look.

So what I've been wondering is, in the future from a practical standpoint, a durability standpoint, and ease of refinishing if necessary does it make sense to use an easily reversible finish such as shellac first to seal the wood, then something a little more durable on top such as varnish.

I'm asking this because if I end up buying new cabinet doors and drawers at some point, would a shellac sealer with a varnish top coat be durable enough for a kitchen?
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rncx



Joined: 21 Jun 2008
Posts: 660
Location: Little Rock, AR

PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would argue yes.

Shellac is a fantastic indoor sealer, firstly, it will stick to anything including teflon. But most importantly in your case it will prevent absorption below the surface.

BTW you might try some gel stains over shellac. You would be surprised at what you can accomplish with good gel stains over properly sealed 'poorly staining' woods.

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BenS



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 18
Location: Victoria, British Columbia

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Victor,

I am in the same position as you were with my kitchen cabinets. They are varnished with something and I intend on painting them but I would prefer to make this reversible, for any future home owner.

Did your shellac undercoat work well? Was it the commonly available Zinsser brand sealer or did you mix it from flakes?
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