Saturday, September 3, 2016

Starting Over Is Not an Option

With one sealer coat only
So today I'm tackling the shellac job on the inside face of my front door.

I hoped to be able to do it with the door hanging and not risk scratching the new finish on the exterior as I heave it on and off the sawhorses.  But I couldn't keep the sealer coat from dripping as I brushed it on, no matter how careful I tried to be. About the fastest way to ruin a tinted shellac job is to let it get dripped on at any stage, and I had to give in and demount the door again.

And wasn't that the way I did the back door four years ago?  Of course, that meant I had to sit down for a half hour or more reading 2012 entries in this blog to see if that was so.  And if it was, how did I manage not to do any damage to the shellac job on the exterior?  I distinctly remember having the door laid out on the sawhorses on the back porch, sanding the first coat of wine-red paint off the interior face because it didn't flow out.  I'm pretty sure I had the outside done before that . . . or did I?  Never found a post that told me what I wanted to know.  But I sure managed to eat up a good chunk of time I could have been working on this project now.

Old towels and painter's tape
A little after 6:00 I faced the inevitable and gave the sawhorses some extra padding.  I think I managed to manoeuvre the door onto them without destroying my previous work; I'll have to check in the daylight.  But finally, I was getting something done.

. . . The nice thing about shellac is that for the first coats at least, you only have to wait fifteen minutes to a half hour for it to dry.  But here it is nearly midnight, and I'm nowhere near the six or seven coats I hoped to lay down today.  No, I'm sitting writing this entry while waiting for the fourth coat of shellac to harden up, and the cold night air (59̊ F) is wafting in through the open windows and the screen door and freezing me out.  It would have been really nice if I'd gotten this door face done for good and all, but I'm falling asleep over the laptop and I don't see it happening.

I should probably wait for daylight to continue, anyway.  I put way too much mahogany dye in too-thin a mixture of the Kusmi #1 button lac I dissolved yesterday, and this fresh batch of dye is stronger than what I used on the outside of the door.  So with only two coats of tinted shellac and two of clear, the inside of the door is already darker than I planned it to be.  (It took nine coats on the exterior to get the same tone.)

This is what happens when
your shellac is too dark
and too thin
And the topmost panel is all blotchy, and I can't depend on more coats of tinted shellac to even it out.  Carp, carp, carp.

Not sure what I'm going to do to solve it.  Starting over is not an option.

ADDENDUM:  Around 12:30 AM I gave in to reality and rehung the door and called it a night.  I'll look at it tomorrow after church and if that panel is still as ugly as I think it is now, I may have at it with the orbital sander and try again.  But that panel only.  I don't have the shellac on hand for a complete redo.

But I'm wondering what it would have looked like had I not tinted the shellac at all.  Too late now.

1 comment:

Sharon @ Laurelhurst Craftsman said...

I feel for your desire for perfection. I bet most people won't notice if the wood darkness isn't an exact match.