Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Revelation

I just discovered SHELLAC.  Oh, my, gosh, where have you been all my life??  I put a coat on the cruddy Home Desperate paneling that hubby cut out for under the side windows, and it went on "like buttah."  (yeah, I had to get a Paula Deen reference in here somewhere!)

You may remember this photo - the panel that will be "shellacked" is the one on the left in the photo.  The terribly splotchy finish on the front curved section is the result of the PO trying to "fix it up."  Most of the wood in the camper is equally garbled. 

Here is the curbside panel with a single coat of shellac after sanding with 180 grit.  I brushed it on, trying not to get too many drips.  I was really amazed at how easy it was to lay on. 

TA DA!  Two coats.  Easy, peasy!  Seriously, this stuff is NOT hard to use.  I was intimidated at first, and did make some mistakes, but I was able to level everything out for the most part using the 2nd coat to dissolve any imperfections in the first coat.  *(see the amber-colored section on the old birch?  That was me.  I'll sand it out later so it blends better.)

And the streetside panel - 2 coats.  Done.  If these were "permanent" panels, or even if they were just good birch ply, I'd use another coat or two.  But, they're only temporary until we do a complete rebuild, and it's cruddy HD 1/4" plywood.

The streetside panel was much easier to do, since I was able to remove it and lay it on the floor to coat with shellac.  Note to self:  Apply finish BEFORE installing panel!!

While waiting for this stuff to dry between coats, I looked a little more closely at the finish on the rest of the interior.  I knew it was awful, but after comparing it to the shellac, I realized just how terrible it looks.   I really want to remove all the doors and drawers and sand them down so I can refinish them with a couple of coats of shellac now!!  

The PO's put a coat of polyurethane over EVERYTHING in the camper (including knobs and hinges).  The worst part is that they didn't even clean the surfaces first.  There are at least 6 or 7 big 6" splotched areas under the poly where someone threw what could only be rotten fruit at the walls and cabinets.  Yup.  I sanded a few of the areas, and there are SEEDS embedded in the finish.  Ick.  Talk about "preserves."  hahaha.  Overall, the finish has runs and drips, dirt and mold embedded under it.  It is a reddish-brown, not the pretty amber of the shellac.  I'll be glad when we can remove the walls and fix her right.

Hopefully tomorrow we can put down the lauan over the existing floor.  That's the goal, anyway.  And get started on the dinette benches.  Hubby has at least one day off, we'll see what we can get done.

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