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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Finishing enclosed areas

A question came up on the scroll saw forum about finishing the inside of a vase. While a nice finish inside and out sounds like a good idea, enclosed spaces tend to hold odors, especially when oil is used. Once the inside of a vase is sanded smooth it should look good enough so you won't feel embarrassed if someone decides to take a peek.

That said, if you really want to finish the inside, spray it with shellac before gluing it to the other section, being careful to tape the gluing edge with blue tape so you don't get spray on it. Then when it's done, just remove the tape and glue it up as usual. Shellac odor dissipates pretty quickly, and brings up the color and grain enough to give a more finished look than just leaving it plain. It's really a matter of preference.


  1. Hi Carole,
    As you know I simply love your book, thanks for these posts and your continued pursuit in this area. I would definitely recommend finishing the inside of a vase or any other vessel that will have exposure to moisture and temperature changes. As you know wood shrinks and swells as it releases and retains water. Not much will happen to an unsealed vessel in the beginning but I'm afraid over time the accumulative effect could create some issues. I believe it would be safer to seal it as you have described.

  2. Good idea, Kip. I try to use shellac as the first coat, even if I then move on to lacquer. I was thinking appearance rather than exposure to moisture, but you're absolutely right. Thanks!