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

Roger Tulk

Member
Messages
3,011
Location
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
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?
 

Vaughn McMillan

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
32,836
Location
ABQ NM
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.)
 

Vaughn McMillan

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
32,836
Location
ABQ NM
...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.
 
Messages
1,505
Location
Austin, Texas
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
 

Vaughn McMillan

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
32,836
Location
ABQ NM
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. :)
 

Roger Tulk

Member
Messages
3,011
Location
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
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. :rolleyes:
 

Jim DeLaney

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
6,188
Location
Austintown, Ohio
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 Sealcoat® 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.
 

Vaughn McMillan

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
32,836
Location
ABQ NM
To add to what Jim said, the Zinsser Bullseye shellac in the spray can is also dewaxed. Handy stuff. I keep a can or two of it in stock in my shop at all times.
 
Messages
6,307
Location
Outside the beltway
I've never liked using shellac for anything but sealing knots and French Polishing. I just don't like the yellowing quality it gives over colors. A good Lacquer sanding sealer is water white [clear] and you can put a Water white acrylic over it or salient base lacquer.
Lately I've been playing with french polishing with lacquer to get a clearer finish.
 
Top