How to Build a Fixed-shelf Bookcase

Finishing the Bookcase Step 1

Sand the entire unit smooth, using progressively finer grits to 220-grit.

Step 2

Remove sanding dust with a vacuum or tack rag, then seal with orange shellac diluted 50 percent with denatured alcohol.

Step 3

After the shellac thoroughly dries, sand the unit lightly with #0000 steel wool to smooth the seal coat.

Step 4

Wipe off or vacuum all sanding dust and apply a finish coat or two of polyurethane varnish to all surfaces.

Use a Sealer Coat on Pine

All pine tends to look blotchy when stained. That's why you should first give it a sealer coat of diluted shellac or wood conditioner. The sealer keeps the stain from penetrating too deeply and unevenly. Orange shellac gives pine the pumpkin color of aged wood. However, shellac offers little protection from spills and wear, so a final coat of varnish is recommended.


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