How to finish my pine beadboard

matt_mAugust 6, 2010

Hello. I built an addition on my home, including a family room. I have installed knotty pine bead board 40" up from the floor, capped it with chair rail, and put a nice, high baseboard on the bottom. I have also trimmed out the windows and doorways with knotty pine. The floor is Golden Oak laminate, wide plank.

I would like to maintain the natural look of the pine, but I know I need to seal it somehow. What should I use? I have some floor sealer (used it on the oak steps on the stairway leading to the room), and I also have some shellac. Would it be better to use a stain on it? I want it to have a country/rustic/comfortable feel and look to it, and I want to try and avoid having to strip it down and re-coat it 5 or 6 years from now. Thanks for any suggestions!

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Pick a grade to give the desired color.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 1:00PM
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Shellac is what you want, I would not stain it as pine blotches, even when sealed. Shellac comes in many colors: blonde, garnet, amber, white.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 10:57PM
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Thank you for the advice. I read up on shellac after reading your responses, and it sounds like it can be both easy and difficult to apply. Would you recommend brushing it on, or rubbing it on? The shellac I have is Zinsser Bulls Eye Shellac, Clear, made 10/12/2009 (one article said that if the shellac is over 6 months old, throw it away and get some more). I have read differing opinions on what kind to use, from 1 lb cut dry flakes to 2 lb cut dry flakes, and some articles discourage the use of ready mixed shellac. Am I reading way too much into this, and over-complicating the process? Should I get a brush and some sandpaper, and start putting this dang stuff on?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 11:28PM
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I never purchase pre-made shellac.

The flakes are not that expensive, come in more types, and are easily dissolved in denatured alcohol.

The cut depends on the finish you are trying to achieve, but 1-2 pounds is a little light for paneling.

If you purchase flakes you can dissolve some at 4-6 pound cut (just scale the amount to make about 2 cups) and then you can try it on a sample of the wood.
If you want a lighter cut just add more alcohol.

If you keep track of what you dissolve and add you can then make up a larger batch when you are satisfied with the results.

A small postal or kitchen scale is good for the initial tries to determine the final cut.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 12:08PM
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Another vote for shellac. Besides making pine look great, it's the finish you need to seal in the resins in the knots.

I use a gallon of SealCoat every 6-9 months, so it's generally fresh for me. If you use it all, it's more economical than buying ingredients.

The disadvantages of pre-mixed are
- it only comes in one color, amber
- it only comes in one cut, 2#
- if you don't use it up quickly, it's false economy,. It's easier to make a small batch of fresh up for each job if you have infrequent small jobs. Properly stored, flakes have a long shelf life until dissolved in alcohol.
- You need to find a place that turns over inventory so you don't end up with an old batch. The cans are stamped with a manufactured date.

Advantages are:
- Premixed, ready to go
- Longer shelf life than mixed from flakes due to proprietary solvent blend
- 100% dewaxed (not a concern if shellac is the only finish, but of concern if you plan to apply another finish over the top.)

Here is a link that might be useful: article on shellac

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 1:10PM
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