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Thread: Shellac over India ink

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Houston
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    147

    Shellac over India ink

    I am trying to finish a "floating" torsion box shelf with India ink (speedball brand) and shellac. I didn't think to raise the grain on the plywood top and bottom skin before applying the ink. But I sprayed two light coats of shellac over the ink and it looks great but is slightly rough to the touch. Was going to scuff sand with 320 stearate festool granat and then wipe on a coat or two of bullseye clear shellac slightly diluted with DNA and maybe try my hand at rubbing the finish a little. But it looks great now, and I really don't want to mess it up.
    Any thoughts. Leave as is. Scuff sand and spray on another coat? Or go for it and do the bullseye with a pad.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    WNY
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    I wouldn't sand it after only two light coats of shellac; you risk cutting through it and the India ink to raw wood. I would try burnishing it with a soft wooden block to press the raised grain back down.

    John

  3. #3
    You might have some success going over the surface with a grey synthetic pad or steel wool. Neither should cut through, but I would still exercise caution at the edges and corners. The ultra fine flexible sanding pads that 3M makes (or an equivalent) might be an option also. Then apply your finish coat(s) of shellac.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Houston
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    147
    Thanks guys. SWMBO said she liked it as is and wouldn't let me try to improve on it. In retrospect, maybe the ink solvent didn't raise the grain but the shellac felt rough. Here is how it turned out.
    IMG_0693.jpg
    IMG_0694.jpg
    If she leaves town I might try burninshing or the synthetic, and I would see the difference but she would never know.

  5. #5
    Looks very good to me. That's not the type of project where anyone will be touching it much. Maybe SWMBO is right and you can consider it done.

    If you do go the extra mile, I really think a coat of paste wax applied with steel wool will smooth it out to your satisfaction. Nice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    NE Missouri
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    Todd,
    Did you mix the India ink in the shellac?

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    India ink is water based so you can't mix it into shellac (alcohol based).

    John

  8. #8
    Fold up a piece of brown paper bag, burnishes finishes very well

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Albano View Post
    Fold up a piece of brown paper bag, burnishes finishes very well
    I agree. Fold up the bag, dip it in Johnson's Paste Wax and polish it in. Best to go with the grain. Let the wax dry and polish with a soft cloth.

    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

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