Hi Terry
Did you get along to Makers Central last weekend? The show was certainly smaller than in the past, and visitor numbers seemed to be reduced, but most people seemed to have a good time, including us.
Talking of shows, I’ll be in Sweden when this arrives in your inbox, getting ready to chat to visitors to our customer’s show. I’m looking forward to it, I’ll let you know how I get on.
With being at a show last weekend and the week being shortened both ends by a Bank Holiday and another show, it’s been hard to find time to prepare this week’s Newsletter. But a question came in recently asking for a rundown on all the different sealers we supply. (This was also a common question last weekend). I covered this several years ago, but I thought this would be a good time to repeat the information…
First, let’s just cover the point and purpose of a sealer…

  • It seals the surface of the wood meaning you need less of the next coating to get a finish – always a good thing as the less you use the less likely it is to be damaged. It’s good for the pocket too!
  • The sealer binds the loose fibres of the timber together giving you a better foundation for the next coat and a more resilient finish
  • The sealer also contains a sanding agent which lubricates the abrasive to make the sanding process easier.
We have three types of sanding sealer:
Cellulose Sanding Sealer.
Still our most popular sanding sealer, for many reasons.
  • It’s very quick drying (about thirty seconds)
  • Very multi-purpose, can be used in many ways, very popular on turnings especially but a little harder to apply on larger areas.
  • It’s easy to use (apply with cloth, brush or spray)
  • It’s pretty much universal (you can use it with any of our products that benefit from the use of a sealer – which is all of them apart from the oils).
Cellulose Sanding Sealer is based on nitrocellulose, so it’s a bit smelly and highly flammable, so you need to exercise a bit of common sense when using and storing it. It’s a simple product that does exactly what it’s supposed to, and works best when applied undiluted or diluted 20% at most. Always use our Cellulose Thinners for diluting.
Apply one coat only before following with a wax, lacquer or polish.
Cellulose Sanding Sealer is also available as an aerosol, it’s pretty much the same product and should be used in much the same way. The only difference is that we increase the solids content to compensate for it being thinned to deliver through a spray nozzle.
Shellac Sanding Sealer
A more traditional sealer, based on bleached shellac and meths.
  • Fast drying (about 20 minutes)
  • Apply by brush, cloth or spray
  • Great for turning and also larger items such as furniture and architectural projects
  • Use as a base for waxes and polishes.
Shellac Sanding Sealer is probably the original form of sanding sealer, and being based on meths it’s still a little smelly and flammable. Always use it undiluted and as with all sealers allow it to dry completely before sanding and applying the next coat. This one isn’t available in an aerosol as it would be liable to clog up the nozzle in not time at all!
Acrylic Sanding Sealer
A more modern type of sealer, completely water based.
  • Touch dry in five minutes, can be sanded after 20 minutes but should be left for two hours if applying Acrylic Lacquer over it.
  • Use as a base for Acrylic Lacquer, Waxes and Polishes
  • The clearest of the sealers in our range
  • Can be used on a wide variety of items
If you’re looking for a product with virtually no smell and absolutely no flammability then Acrylic Sanding Sealer is the one for you.
Supplied ready for use it can be thinned up to 10% with water if absolutely necessary but avoid this if you can. Don’t stock up on this product, it has a limited shelf life; bottles have a ‘best before’ date on them, you should get an extra six months past that though. All the time it’s a liquid you can use it.
Acrylic Sanding Sealer is also available as an aerosol, it’s slightly different to the brushing version and is hard dry in 20 minutes. This is the one to use with our aerosols – apart from the Melamine. If in doubt, check the Compatibility Chart!
Anyone who’s endured one of my demos knows I’m passionate about sealers, I think they’re often misunderstood and mis-used and I think it’s worth spending a little time explaining about them.
Thanks if you came by and saw us, or our guests demonstrating on our associated stands at Makers Central. Special thanks to Andy, Bee, Ben, Dan and Nathanael for their brilliant work, all of whom can also be seen at our Weekender later this year. Finally, thanks also to all of our Showcase participants as well, some of whom will also be at the Weekender.
I think that, like clubs, it might be a while before shows return to their pre-pandemic level. Please support both if you can (although I’m not expecting you to come over to Sweden!), because if they go, they won’t come back.
Jag kommer tillbaka nästa vecka
(That’s ‘I’ll be back next week’ in Swedish!)