Can I Apply Shellac Over Tung Oil?
Issue: Issue 328
Posted Date: 6/18/2013
I made a jewelry box out of cherry. I finished it with Minwax® Tung Oil Finish; however, I cannot get the gloss that I want. Can I topcoat it with shellac over the tung oil? If so, are there any steps that I should take to prepare the tung oil for the shellac? - Earl Purcell
Rob Johnstone: The good news is that you can indeed apply shellac over a tung oil finish. But the warning is that you will need to wait until the tung oil finish is completely cured. That will take at least a week or so to be sure. Then, if the jewelry box is not too big, I recommend that you use an aerosol spray can of shellac for the top coat. It is a fast, easy and convenient method that can give great results.
Chris Marshall: And just to add to what Rob suggests, you can use shellac to seal in any other wood finish as well, plus wood stains, odors and naturally occurring oils or resins in the wood that might bleed. Shellac is a wonder finish, in terms of compatibility. I suggest you try Zinsser's SealCoat™, which is pre-mixed and can be brushed onto your project right from the can. You can buy it by the quart or the gallon. Most home centers and hardware stores carry it. Or, once the tung oil is completely cured, you could topcoat with oil-based gloss varnish instead of shellac. That will work, too.