I usually start by answering a few questions about my project before making a decision, and maybe this will help you too:
Once I answered those questions for this hexagonal wine rack project, I landed on sealer coat of dewaxed shellac followed up with 3 coats of aerosol satin lacquer.
Why did I choose that? Have a seat, let’s discuss.
First, I tested several finishes on a some sample boards. Tung oil, polyurethane, water based urethane, lacquer, and shellac.
You know what I found?
Hardly. Any. Difference. At. All.
The appearance of the dark, earthy-red granadillo tones looked nearly identical with any finish. That took care of that.
Second, I’ve grown accustomed to using a light coat of dewaxed shellac as the first layer of finish before applying a lacquer or urethane. In the video I make the point that a light coat of dewaxed shellac dries super fast and sands smooth within seconds – I like that, I’ve used it a lot, I’m a creature of habit, so I continue to choose that as my first coat of finish.
It’s as simple as that, no secret knowledge or magic. It’s just a choice.
Third, aerosol lacquer seemed like a fine choice to answer the 4 questions above. Applying a finish to the hexagon wine rack by spraying made the most sense because it has a lot of tight spaces and a details – spray application makes quick work of it.
Likewise, a coat of lacquer dries within 30 minutes, so building up 3 coats only takes a couple hours. So, arguably it’s a handy finish to use when you’re in a hurry.
Fourth, I like a satin sheen – especially on these graceful, dark woods with an epicurean bent.
There you go, folks. That’s the rhyme, that’s the reason.
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Mark oversees the company and creates tutorials on wood finishing and woodworking tips for hardwood lumber.
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