Use Dyes and Sealers That Have Different Solvents
I stained a table with an alcohol-based dye, and then sealed it with shellac, which dissolved the dye and left it blotchy. Should I have used an oil-based sealer?
George Crowley, Enfield, CT
An oil-based sealer is a better choice over an alcohol-based dye. As you’ve experienced, when a dye and sealer have the same solvent, brushing or wiping on the sealer will pull up the dye, causing it to streak or blotch.
If you want to use a shellac sealer, which is alcohol based, switch to a water-based dye.