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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. quick question. Made a desk top from white oak. I've done cerusing on some earlier pieces with great results. So I wanted to do it on this desk top I'm replacing. Only instead of doing ebony, I wanted to do more of a dark gray. So last night I stained the top with Varathane Weathered Oak and Ebony, mixed. I made numerous test pieces of all different combos and stains. The ebony alone actually looked more like a espresso or kona color instead of black. (My previous piece I cerused I used a black aniline dye). Anyway, I got the tone of gray that I wanted by doing a bit of layering after applying the first mixed coat. I went over it on a second coat with a little of the straight ebony to darken it. Looked fine. So today was the shellac part. Cut it in half with alcohol and brushed it on. Looked fine. Waited a few hours and took a 600 grit wet sand to it. I swear I was light. But I ended up with streaks where the stain was lifted in spots. Did I sand through one of those layers??? Got so pissed I just took rags in alcohol and wiped down the whole damn mess. There's no way I could fix those light streaky parts, right? So wiped down the shellac and wanted to sand it again to rough it up and prepare to re-stain. Noticed my paper is all gunky. Looked at my can of shellac, which is probably too old, and THOUGHT I had the non-waxed kind. Guess I don't. So how to I remove this stuff and just start all over??? So pissed right now:censored:
 

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Hey guys. quick question.

Made a desk top from white oak. I've done cerusing on some earlier pieces with great results. So I wanted to do it on this desk top I'm replacing. Only instead of doing ebony, I wanted to do more of a dark gray.

So last night I stained the top with Varathane Weathered Oak and Ebony, mixed. I made numerous test pieces of all different combos and stains. The ebony alone actually looked more like a espresso or kona color instead of black. (My previous piece I cerused I used a black aniline dye). Anyway, I got the tone of gray that I wanted by doing a bit of layering after applying the first mixed coat. I went over it on a second coat with a little of the straight ebony to darken it. Looked fine.

So today was the shellac part. Cut it in half with alcohol and brushed it on. Looked fine. Waited a few hours and took a 600 grit wet sand to it. I swear I was light. But I ended up with streaks where the stain was lifted in spots. Did I sand through one of those layers???

Got so pissed I just took rags in alcohol and wiped down the whole damn mess. There's no way I could fix those light streaky parts, right? So wiped down the shellac and wanted to sand it again to rough it up and prepare to re-stain. Noticed my paper is all gunky. Looked at my can of shellac, which is probably too old, and THOUGHT I had the non-waxed kind. Guess I don't.

So how to I remove this stuff and just start all over??? So pissed right now:censored:
Broke up the very long paragraph for you so others can read.

George
 

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Thinning shellac 50% you should never have sanded it, not even a little so it would stand to reason you sanded through it. From where you are I would thoroughly wash off what you have applied with alcohol frequently changing rags and try the stain again. If it won't take the stain your probably going to have to sand back to new wood.

If shellac is a finish you like to work with I would recommend you get the means of spraying it. It can get pretty frustrating brushing it because the alcohol in the shellac you are applying is trying to dissolve previous coat. If you don't move fast with it you end up removing about as much as you are putting on. Also in the case where you might have a little stain on the surface the brush can pick up the stain making streaks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry for the long paragraph.
Thank you Steve. I did end up wiping it all off, light sanding and it did take the new stain. The reason I chose shellac for this is because of the cerusing I'm going to do on it. I don't know of what else to use for this particular technique. Would any wood sealer, i.e., sanding sealer, work?
 

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Yes, sanding sealer will work. Actually will be better than shellac in my opinion.

Sanding sealer is best in my opinion. You can take a high build sanding sealer, reduce it 1:1 with thinner and spray apply, as Steve suggested, over the color you have applied on it right now. Scuff sand lightly with 320 when dry, brush of the sanding dust, then apply your glaze. When dry, apply another coat of full strenght sealer, scuff sand with 240, then apply your topcoat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would rather not spray. It's a small desk top. I'll try wiping it or brushing. Thinner? is that lacquer thinner (which I don't have because it's calif) or paint thinner? Are they the same? I don't work with lacquers or oils so excuse my ignorance.
 

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Sorry for the long paragraph.
Thank you Steve. I did end up wiping it all off, light sanding and it did take the new stain. The reason I chose shellac for this is because of the cerusing I'm going to do on it. I don't know of what else to use for this particular technique. Would any wood sealer, i.e., sanding sealer, work?
For what you are doing I would prefer to use pre-catalyzed lacquer however it needs to be sprayed too. Using shellac if you put too much on unless you use the super blonde will screw with the color. Shellac has a yellow tint to it. The same is true with oil based polyurethane only poly will yellow more and more as it ages. You could use a water based polyurethane or any finish that is an acrylic. Most water base finishes are clear and will remain clear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Steve, I'm going to ceruse this. The way I've done it before is to stain, shellac, apply the white (I used liming wax the last few times, however this time I'm going with a white wash because obviously I can't use a top coat over the liming wax) and then a top coat. I'll probably just use a GF Urethane. I don't do lacquer.
Anyway, the issue is being able to get the white to adhere in the grooves and then wipe away, without whitewashing the entire surface. Ergo, the shellac. There isn't a lot out there on cerusing. I've only done it on two other pieces and it worked great. The only difference this time is I'm using a weathered gray stain instead of the aniline ebony. Would cat allow me to do the cerusing or totally seal up everything?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
well I posted one whether you wanted to see it or not :laughing:

This was the dye, shellac 1:1 w/alcohol, liming wax and then just regular wax. Since I'll be using a whitewash this time I want to be able to get adherence in the grooves but still be able to wipe off the residue. Yes I did a test piece with the shellac stuff, not anything else.
 

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well I posted one whether you wanted to see it or not :laughing:

This was the dye, shellac 1:1 w/alcohol, liming wax and then just regular wax. Since I'll be using a whitewash this time I want to be able to get adherence in the grooves but still be able to wipe off the residue. Yes I did a test piece with the shellac stuff, not anything else.
Next time try wire brushing the grain before applying your stain. This will open up the grain pores and allow whatever your using for ceruse to hang in the grain more heavily and really stand out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Thanks Randy. I do do that. And I make sure not to sand too
smooth. I've re-read the answer to the question I asked about this process a few years ago. One of the other guys gave me another process to try out. I've never done lacquer before, so that will be something I'm going to have to take up!
 
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