Shellac: blonde vs. orange vs. garnet

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Charlie Schultz
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Shellac: blonde vs. orange vs. garnet

Post by Charlie Schultz »

I usually use blonde or super blonde shellac but recently got some orange and garnet shellac and made up some (approx) 2 pound cuts. Here are the results on some mahogany. I really expected the orange and garnet to darken the mahogany quite a bit more than it did.
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Mario Proulx
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Re: Shellac: blonde vs. orange vs. garnet

Post by Mario Proulx »

It's the subsequent following coats/sessions that will further deepen the colors, but as you see, just a thin coating doesn't change the color a whole lot, though the garnet is my favorite of the three samples...!

Nathan Dodd
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Re: Shellac: blonde vs. orange vs. garnet

Post by Nathan Dodd »

Button polish is not as dark as garnet shellac and that gives a much more pronounced deep red than what you have achieved there - the mahogany should take on reds reminiscent of finished Madagascan rosewood. shellac colours take multiple coats to build though, how many coats do you have there?

You can also get white shellac which is completely clear. Conversely, what is known as transparent shellac has that amber hew as per your blonde

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Charlie Schultz
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Re: Shellac: blonde vs. orange vs. garnet

Post by Charlie Schultz »

Mario-
The samples have 4-5 coats on (but then sanded down). You're saying it will continue to darken with more coats? Will try that.

Nathan-
Thanks, I'll try and get some of that and give it a go.

Steve Senseney
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Re: Shellac: blonde vs. orange vs. garnet

Post by Steve Senseney »

I used garnet on the edges of a blonde shellac finish to give a burst effect. It took quite a few coats to get the added color.

I don't think the shellac will change color with time, but I think the wood underneath may change a little with time. Either lightening or darkening with exposure to light. I have seen both effects. We have an ash floor with a catalyzed water based lacquer finish. When it is covered with a rug, it remains light colored. When it has light exposure, it darkens. Osage will stay light yellowish color if kept away from light. Light will darken it quite a bit with time.

Nathan Dodd
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Re: Shellac: blonde vs. orange vs. garnet

Post by Nathan Dodd »

Here's a Humidor I made with a Santos Rosewood Veneer, The first image is prior to french polishing and the second is with sanding sealer alone and the third with multiple coats of 50/50 button polish and mentholated spirit as instructed by my furniture finishing tutor:

You can see how much redness it imparts on the walnut binding along with the lighter parts of the rosewood:
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Craig Bumgarner
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Re: Shellac: blonde vs. orange vs. garnet

Post by Craig Bumgarner »

It will darken up more as you put on more coats. You may actually want to back off before you get to the end and go back to blond. Also, be careful to apply evenly and don't say the darker shellacs or you'll get splotches. I tried darker shellacs but went back to blond for this reason. If I want a little tint, I do it in the first couple sessions after the grain is filled and then cover with blond. Of course, it may just be my lousy technique.

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Mark Swanson
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Re: Shellac: blonde vs. orange vs. garnet

Post by Mark Swanson »

The last time I finished a box like that, I brushed on coats of a shellac called "ruddy brown", and it was quite dark and with brushing it went on quite a bit thicker than the wiping or french polishing. I got the good color I wanted from brushing it on, and then after I let it dry well for a few days went ahead and did french polish with a lighter shellac to finish it off.
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Nathan Dodd
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Re: Shellac: blonde vs. orange vs. garnet

Post by Nathan Dodd »

With modern sand papers and careful applications there are now many ways to achieve a good result without applying multiple thin passes of shellac, and many people buff with a glaze at the end of the French polishing but pure bread technique is to build you're coats with those little swirls over and over on a very well prepared surface and to achieve a lovely high gloss finish from spiriting off at the end, the goal being to end up with a very very thin finish. but if you get the result you want then what difference does the method really make :)

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