Recipe for Sanding Sealer?

Article - November 10, 2008

This week’s question comes from a viewer who writes: “I’ve really enjoyed your podcasts, they are all very informative. I recently found myself more exited about woodworking. Though I’ve had an interest since childhood, I never really had the resources, till now (my wife also supports my dream). Anyway, I was watching one of your podcasts and you mentioned a recipe for making your own sanding sealer. Would you mind repeating that on an e-mail, or even easier, remind me what episode I’ll find it. Thank you so much for the added inspiration, though I’m starting later in life than you (36, I know this is going to be a lifelong passion. Once again thanx Marc keep it up!!”

And this was my response:
“You just can’t underestimate the importance of spousal support in something like this. I know far too many people who have to work against the grain just to get a new tool. That doesn’t seem like much fun, lol.”

“As for a sanding sealer, I usually just use shellac. Typically a 1 lb cut. There are two ways to do this. I either buy pre-mixed shellac (Bullseye SealCoat), and dilute it from 2lb cut to 1lb cut. Or I simply but dry shellac flakes and mix my own using denatured alcohol. So its not a true sanding sealer by definition, but it accomplishes the same thing. Oh and just a word about true sanding sealers. In general, they contain material that can interfere with finish adhesion to a small extent. The stuff that makes it easy to sand is the same stuff that can weaken the bond of the finish to the surface. So in general, I stay away from commercial sanding sealers. Shellac on the other hand, provides a great base for just about any finish. Hope that helps.”