The first coat will dry rough to the touch, even if the surface below has been thoroughly sanded. To even out the shellac, sand the shellac well, using a sanding block and an open-coated 4/0 or 5/0 sandpaper. The open-coated paper is necessary because shellac clogs the paper rapidly as you sand. As a result, even if you use open-coated paper, you should have a good supply on hand when you start sanding, for you will use it quickly. Sand until the surface feels smooth. You need not worry about sanding through the surface, because the next coat will fill in and bond to it. As long as you do not disturb the stain underneath, you will have no problem.
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