Sealing Up a Bleeding Finish
From contributor C:
Most likely an oil soluble synthetic dye was used, notorious for bleeding through solvent base coatings, especially lacquers.
A shellac product will seal in the offending bleeder, but I would first advise you to wipe down the entire cabinet with den-alcohol to remove the surface bleed. Once no more orange is coming off on the rags, the shellac can be applied and be more affective. Again, if you need to apply further coatings over the shellac to adjust sheens, only use Zinsser sealcoat as the shellac.
Don't sand the shellac! If you abrade the surface it will not work and continue to bleed anymore orange out through the surface.
If by chance this is a painted piece or pigmented finish, then use Zinsser shellac based Bin primer instead of the sealcoat. This will give the same barrier/isolation protection, but is better than clear shellac by far.
Note: The reason this is taking place is because the oil soluble dyes rise to the surface of the coating when a liquid solvent coating is applied over them. This is called bleeding, and why you need something to isolate the dye bleed. Shellac is the one thing that will not allow the dye to bleed through the surface and why if you sand it, it will no longer act as a bleed barrier and thwart your efforts.
Also if there is a need to re-coat with solvent clears - apply the first coat or two very lightly, so they do not aggressively soften the shellac finish, which could allow the dye to strike through even the shellac, then proceed with a normal coat of finish.
As always, test the entire process out on a sample first.
Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?
Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?