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Thread: Can I use oil-based finish over water based stain?

  1. #1
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    Can I use oil-based finish over water based stain?

    I needed a green stain for a job I'm doing, but as it happens, the only way I can get it is in water-based. I prefer the stuff that has petroleum distillates, and the woman at the borg told me I couldn't. Last year I returned a litre of water-based varnish because the finish was shyte, and just wouldn't shine.

    So, is the borg woman right, or can I put oil-base finish over water-based stain?
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

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  2. #2
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    That shouldn't be a problem, as long as your sure all the moisture in the water-based stain has evaporated. I'd give it at least 3 or 4 days to dry before putting the clear finish over it. And if you're using a wipe-on finish, there's a chance the finish will pull some of the stain off the wood, so you need to be cautious not to wipe too hard or else you can get smearing. A light coat of dewaxed shellac sprayed over the dried stain will prevent that. (Zinsser Bullseye spray-can shellac is dewaxed.)
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  3. #3
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    Thanks very much, Bones. I plan to use a spray on varnish. I'll check my spray lacquer to see if it says 'dewaxed' on it. too.
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Tulk View Post
    ...I'll check my spray lacquer to see if it says 'dewaxed' on it. too.
    Not sure if you're joking, but shellac is the only finish with the waxed/dewaxed thing going on. Spray varnish or lacquer should be fine over the stain...remember a lot of light coats are generally better than a few heavy coats.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  5. #5
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    Sorry, Vaughn, I meant to say spray-on shellac.
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  6. #6
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    Regular solvent based varnish or lacquer can go over any shellac. Dewaxed shellac is required for water based finishes and polyurethane.

    Zinser Shellac (regular and dewaxed) is a great barrier coat. I have had great luck with Target water based finishes, but their water based shellac is not a good barrier coat - it is fine as a shellac finish, but you need the solvent shellac as a barrier coat.

    Target has a Canadian distributor - www.woodessence.com
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Plesums View Post
    Regular solvent based varnish or lacquer can go over any shellac. Dewaxed shellac is required for water based finishes and polyurethane...
    Thanks for the clarification, Charlie. I've gotten so much into the "dewaxed shellac is the miracle barrier coat" mindset that I'd forgotten that point.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  8. #8
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    this is a nervous question: is all Zinsser shellac dewaxed? The yellow cans at HD don't say 'dewaxed.' And how is shellac as a fihish coat over stain on such object as Christmas ornaments and small toys? The last time I used shellac until recently may have been for finishing popsicle stick bowls in grade 4.
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  9. #9
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    shellac is great for what you mentioned, its used to coat medication pills as well..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Tulk View Post
    this is a nervous question: is all Zinsser shellac dewaxed? The yellow cans at HD don't say 'dewaxed.' And how is shellac as a fihish coat over stain on such object as Christmas ornaments and small toys?...
    Only the SealcoatŪ is de-waxed. The clear and amber have some wax in their emulsion.

    Shellac is excellent for use on ornaments and toys. They even use food grade shellac (made with 'drinkable' ethanol) on candies (like M&Ms) and on pills.
    Jim D.
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