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Thread: crib finish

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Michigan, Usa
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    crib finish

    I just finished building a crib for my daughter. I wasnt certain what i shoud use for a finish. I decided to use a clear shelac because my understanding is it is non-toxic after drying. My question is do you guys have any tips for using the shellac i haven't used it before and it seems to dry quickly so i was trying hard to pick up any runs quickly. I am also wondering if i miss any runs how can i fix that after its dry. Any tips would be really appreciated this is really my first large project and so far it has come out very well but i don't want to ruin the it with the finish. i can post some photos when finished.

  2. #2
    Although there are some 'dyed in the wood' guys that will try to reach through the screen and Delete my sorry self, for saying this..... but IMHO the best method to dealing with shellac is to screw the lid on tightly and reach for Wipe-on Poly. You will have longe time to apply and the results will be far better and above all, it is non toxic when cured. Tough enough to resist teething marks, won't be effected you night time leakage, or cleaning with strong disinfectant. Several coats of Gloss Poly will make a very attractive and enduring project.

    Shellac should be reserved for perio reproductions and fancy prjects where wear is not an issue, but as the child gets older it will soon try to put everything in its mouth, including the bed. Poly will withstand the slobbering and gnawing, etc.
    Last edited by Bill Simpson; 07-16-2009 at 08:41 PM.

  3. #3
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    I'll second Bill's recommendation. The poly would be much more durable than the shellac, and just as non-toxic as the shellac when cured.

    But to answer your original question, runs in shellac can be sanded out, or if you've got the touch (I don't) they can be worked out with a rag and some denatured alcohol.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
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    Feb 2009
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    Thanks for the advice. I think I will give the wipe on poly a try however i did try the shellac on one of the crib gates. Would it be fine to just lightly sand the piece and give the poly a try or should i do something other than that before I get started with poly?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    keith, the poly can go right over the shellac, no problem

    i used poly on my son's crib, although not wipe on, it has been a great finish.

    i have used the wipe on for other projects and loved it.

    good luck
    chris

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
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    I also use a a product made by Old Masters. It's a Gel Varnish. It goes on like a past wax, Just spread it on following the grain, let it set a little bit then wipe off the excess. It can be applied a little heavier then the wipe on poly so you can use fewer applications. It is also child safe when it cures.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
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    Shellac is even edible... it is what keeps M&M from melting in your hands. I use it as a primer... it goes over just about anything, and anything goes over it... except poly over regular shellac (The regular shellac has some natural wax in it, which messes up poly, but the shellac sealer is de-waxed.)

    If you are unsure, shellac is a great finish, since each coat burns into the previous coats (the alcohol solvent dissolves the underlying coat enough that the layers merge). This makes it extremely easy to repair, including memoving drools by dissolving them in alcohol, and spreading the drool around. It is softer than many finishes, and is soluable in alcohol (no adult beverages for the kid), but a kid's teeth will go through just about any finish including poly.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  8. #8
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    Thanks again for all the advice I cleaned up the shellac i had started with, with alcohol. That worked out well, it took a little time but i wiped it with alcohol and lightly sanded, then wiped the dust down witha rag dampened in mineral spirits. after all that dried i got back out there this morning and started the first coat of wipe on poly. I sure appreciate the advice because the poly went on very nice it looks great already with just one coat so I can't wait to get a few more coats on and get this thing finished. We will be moving in a couple weeks and I will be settting the crib up in the baby's new bedroom I can't wait to see this thing get used. I started the darn thing before she was born and due to quite a few delays. Some of which were do to my inexperience and lack of a couple tools. But anyway she is now 9 months old and I want her to use the crib at least a little while before she is big enough to climb out of it. I think we may have to have another kid just to make this thing worth all the time and effort i have into it. Thanks again for all your input it has been very helpful I dont really have anyone close to me thats interested in this stuff so all I really have are some books and the internet for tips or ideas.

  9. #9
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    glad it's working out kevin, seeing her sleepin in that crib will make you forget all the obstacles you went through to get it done.

    my son is 2 and he still sleeps in his, did you make the crib to where the matress could be lowered as she grows?

    chris

  10. #10
    Kevin,
    In the event that you should use shellac on some future project for either a barrier coat or finish coat, the runs you might get can easilly be cleaned up with a single edge razor blade. The runs can be shaved off to remove the heavy part of the run and can ten be quickly cleaned up with some light sanding to smooth the blemish.

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