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In the middle of a major remodel on an old (by CA standards) approx 1870 house. Last significant remodel on the place we put at about 1936. New kitchen, up and down baths & laundry. New cabinets in the baths and laundry are knotty Alder. Kitchen is Cherry. Shaker style doors.

I was told by the fabricator to do a Catalyzed Shellac on the Cherry. I know shellac but am in the dark on the catalyzed shellac. What is it and what is the best way to apply it. Thanks.
 

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I think the rest of the world is in the dark with the catalyzed shellac also. I think what he meant is catalyzed lacquer. It is a good finish for cabinets. It's something that needs to be sprayed. Assuming you are going to stain the wood, I would use a wood conditioner first and then stain it to the desired color and let dry overnight. Then seal the wood with a vinyl sanding sealer sanding it between coats until you get the finish smooth to your liking and then topcoat with the catalyzed lacquer. If you are doing a satin finish, the first coat of lacquer I would use gloss and then use the satin on the last. The more satin you use clouds the finish so it wouldn't be good to use multiple coats of satin. There are two different kinds of catalyzed lacquer, a pre-catalyzed lacquer that has a shelf life of aprox six months depending on brand. Then there is a fully catalyzed lacquer which is a two part finish you mix the catalyst by the batch. Once mixed you only have a few hours to use it or it will go bad. The fully catalyzed lacquer is a better more durable finish but since you have to mix it by the batch is more trouble to use. Both lacquers thin with lacquer thinner.
 
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