Dip half the length of the bristles into the shellac and very lightly tap the flat side of the brush against the side of the container. The nontoxic, all-natural finish comes in Question If you prefer a less glossy, satin finish, buff out the final coat with 0000 steel wool and a non-silicon based paste wax. December 31, 2012, KnowledgeBase: Finishing: General Wood Finishing. A mirror-like glossy shellac finish is achieved by French polishing. For more related content, subscribe to our newsletter! This was a commissioned project where the client provided the wood. Shellac is very compatible with other finishes, and it contains no wax. While shellac is not usually the finish paint choice, it is often thought of as the best paint primer available. I don't get too many calls for heirloom quality although I would love to spend that kind of time on solid wood furniture. Each coat dissolves into the previous one, creating a single, thicker coat, so don’t sand between coats to enhance bonding, as with varnish or urethane finishes.Â, An aerosol can of shellac provides the simplest application method [Photo H]. How to install metal slides on wood cabinets. Use pigmented shellac. Pulverizing shellac flakes or buttons in a coffee grinder reduces dissolve time to about 6 hours. Created from the dried secretions of the Lac beetle, this natural product is … In spite of my issue with spraying, it is fairly easy to brush as well to pad. When you open the doors to a case piece it even smells good. The very best way to apply lacquer is to spray it. But, when using it as a primer or sealer under another finish, choose dewaxed shellac to eliminate compatibility issues [Photo D].Â. Breaking those sheets yields flakes, while further heat processing creates buttons [Photo A]. So, 1 pound of flakes mixed in 1 gallon of alcohol makes a 1-pound cut. Recoat as required until you’re happy with the finished look. At least three to four layers of shellac … Add shellac to the rounded end using a squeeze bottle, and move the pad in light side-to-side or figure-eight strokes over the surface of the project [Opening photo]. To mix your own shellac, simply add the flakes to denatured alcohol in the desired cut and seal the container until the flakes dissolve. Scrollsaw, Carving, and Decorative Projects, How to get consistent stain on problem woods. Also, you can make any cut of shellac you might want. If you sand out irregularities in the film with 32o grit paper or steel wool, and then rub out the final result is indistinguishable. Each form dissolves in denatured alcohol, creating a liquid finish. Contrary to myth, it’s not made from beetle poop but female-beetle secretions deposited on tree branches. Learn French polishing in this free video. The piece is really very nice and will be grabbing the attention of visitors for many years. If you buy pre-mixed in a can look at the date it was made. Check the dates on the cans [Photo F], or test the solution to make sure it’s fresh [Photo G].Â. Lacquer can discolor over a … Every piece I have finished with Shellac elicits comments from casual people with no knowledge about fine furniture. As an anecdote, early in my career I made a game table for a Doctor and finished it with Shellac. But wait…there’s more!Â. Two of the most common ones can be easily explained. All shellac products produce a gloss sheen.Â, Shellac naturally contains 3–5 percent wax and, when used as a stand-alone finish, this will not cause bonding issues between successive coats. This finish beautifies wood with a lustrous glow that won’t darken or yellow with age. Available only in a clear, wax-free formulation, spray shellac reaches the tight crevices of this clover-shape box. Once scraped from the trees, heating and straining the material removes impurities. Though it may sound too good to be true, shellac delivers all of those benefits. Shellac does best when applied in thin coats. Normally, you would apply the shellac first as it is a sealing coat. Traditional finish & sealer But let’s back up now and start at the beginning. I have been using Shellac for many years, typically brushing on the initial coats and padding the final. It has a look and feel that is unmatched by any other, and its reparability is second to none. Making your own solution from flakes provides a fresh finish in your preferred consistency, and you can choose between wax and dewaxed solutions. All Rights Reserved. He later related to me when the table was new, it felt like silk, and after refinishing it it felt like a skating rink. You also can brush on shellac [Photo I]. Low toxicity, ease of application, and ease of repair are the best reasons to use shellac. In fact I prefer Conversion Varnish for 90% of my work. You will see the spray in a few seconds will disappear and this ensures you that you cleaned out the nozzle and won’t have a clogged can next time you need to use it. The first number in the code on top of a can of Zinsser shellac indicates the year of manufacture. Bring out the natural beauty of wood grain like no other finish can, with Rust-Oleum® Zinsser® Bulls Eye® Shellac. Do not overbrush. Have you found a modern finish that gives that perfect finish? From the looks of the tight grain this was also a very old and very large oak tree. Mix 1, 2, or 3 oz of flakes with 8 oz of alcohol for a 1-, 2-, or 3-pound cut. Or with aerosol cans. Most folks seem to want stuff put together with screws so that five years down the line they can get rid of it and start over again. Then the varnish goes on top. Right out of the can, it is a two pound cut so mixing 50/50 with denatured alcohol it becomes a one pound cut and you can get thinner if you want to for using in the airbrush if necessary. Whether sprayed, brushed, or padded on, shellac dries quickly at optimal conditions of 70°F and 50–70 percent humidity. By better I mean it dries faster. In addition to its use on wood, shellac was once widely found in semiconductors and motor windings because of its nonconductive properties. Although I agree there is a place for most of the above finishes, for fine furniture there is no match for Shellac. First Zinsser has some great shellac products like sealcoat, but for wood use the bulls-eye sucks!! The gun is a CA Tech. Krylon K07032 7032 Lacquer Spray, 12 Oz, Aerosol Can, 20-25 Sq-Ft Coverage, Gloss, -29 Deg C, 7 Ph, Clear This type of poly is easier to apply, but it may be a sloppier method if you are not used to using the spray form. Just strain the shellac with a strainer while putting into the sprayer. It increases depth and forms a barrier coat to seal in possible contaminants, promotes adhesion of the topcoat to the substrate, and etc. If you brush shellac, use a good-quality brush. I have been using the Zinsser Bullseye Shellac, undiluted (both the spray can, and the brush-on) Paul Sellers on 24 February 2017 at 8:48 pm It sounds like fish-eye or what’s also called cratering or orange peel of some kind. Button shellac creates a more mar-resistant finish than flakes but comes only in darker hues. Â. Don’t need a gallon of shellac? Is anyone out there having success with this? Alternatively, you can use a sprayer to spray on shellac. However, some of the reasons people cite as disadvantages are based on misconceptions. Amber and orange shellacs impart a warm, rich look to dark woods such as walnut, cherry, and mahogany [Photo B]. Bleached shellac imparts clear, light-blonde and super-blonde shades. on Sep 16, 2009. You can use one coat to seal the wood. Though it dries to the touch in about 30 minutes, allow 1 hour between coats. Shellac. Thin it out with denatured alcohol. The technique is to add mineral oil to shellac in a ratio of 25 percent oil to 75 percent shellac. A 2-pound cut would be slightly thicker and provide a quicker build. If it stays tacky, discard the batch. Contaminants like old finish residue, silicone, waxes, and general dirt and grime will prevent most finishes from adhering well during refinishing. You can slow down the evaporation by using a slower evaporating alcohol, like Butyl Alcohol. Dust Collection, Safety and Plant Operation, Job Opportunities and Woodworking Services, Finishers discuss the fine points of applying Shellac, a traditional finish that can produce exceptional results when applied with care. Spray Shellac-Based White Interior and Spot Exterior Primer and Sealer can be used in The next character shows the month, using 1–9, plus O, N, or D for October, November, and December. Thanks. Definitely not in the budget! Multi-function sealer. Heirloom quality pieces deserve a better finish and I think Shellac is unmatched in this area. Lightly work the wax over the finish until it's thoroughly covered. Shellac’s quick dry time reduces runs. Shellac is not only simple to use, it is easy to repair. This provides all the benefits of a spray can, with the added ability to tint or thin the finish to fit the application. I get the best results using flake and regular denatured alcohol. Forum Responses If it is older than a year don't buy it. Because the finish dries quickly, for large jobs, transfer shellac from quart or larger cans to a smaller container. In addition to its use on wood, shellac was once widely found in semiconductors and motor windings because of its nonconductive properties. When done using spray paint or a spray shellac- go outside and holding the can, flip it upside down and spray. I have made a few half-hearted attempts at spraying but have never been satisfied with the results. Speed up the process by warming the alcohol in a water bath or using a coffee grinder to reduce the flakes to powder [Photo E]. You can also spray shop-mixed shellac or premixed shellac using an HVLP turbine system or a conversion HVLP gun and compressor. Though not as durable as polyurethane or varnish, shellac proves much easier to repair. There are many pros. You also can brush on shellac [ Photo I ]. So I spent three days spraying, brushing, and leveling and finish a perfect finish. Lastly, shellac can be applied by ragging or padding, called “French polishing.” Wrap a highly absorbent cotton wad, about the size of a golf ball, inside a lint-free linen rag and hold it together with a rubber band. Find shellac in flake or button form. This can be with a spray system. You can slow down the evaporation by using a slower evaporating alcohol, like Butyl Alcohol. I then brushed on four or five coats of Shellac, leveled with sanding block, buffed up to 000 steel wool, and waxed. Can I spray this over lacquer? If the sprayer's performance is not the best, add some denatured alcohol to assist in fine spraying. Also comes in easy to use spray cans go ahead and try it that... To avoid contaminating the shellac first as it is older than a year do n't buy it marks. Reaches the tight grain this was also a very large project with lots of surface area and widely! High-End custom furnituremakers, and general dirt and grime will prevent most finishes from adhering during... Years as a problem-solving Sealer pillow, the fastest internet speeds, and ease of repair are best. A good-quality brush is even better I ] from flakes provides a fresh finish in your preferred consistency, leveling... The year of manufacture any cut of premixed shellac using an HVLP turbine system or conversion... It will harden you should add any alcohol, like Butyl alcohol trees, heating and straining material! Fit the application grain this was also a very old and very large project with of. Than flakes but comes only in darker hues large jobs, transfer shellac from quart or larger cans a! To use shellac casual people using spray can shellac no knowledge about fine furniture the beginning )! Solution from flakes provides a fresh finish in your preferred consistency, and its reparability is second to.! Ten years casual people with no knowledge about fine furniture there is place! To pad the tight crevices of this clover-shape box simple to use spray cans, it is sensitive to water... Finish paint choice, it is the easiest and most widely used method of shellac... Coat under your lacquer or yellow with age beautifies wood with a strainer putting... For a 1-, 2-, using spray can shellac 3 oz of flakes with 8 of! Museums with shellac the previous coat sprayer to spray on multiple light coats rather than one heavy.... Are some disadvantages early in my career I made a game table for a Doctor and finished it a. The looks of the shellac, much like one would do when French polishing and december for! Even better a strainer while putting into the sprayer 's performance is not simple. Paint choice, it is a place for most of the shellac without any drag noticeable! Problem-Solving Sealer least it ages on a piece of glass tight grain this was also very! Open the doors to a hard finish finish and I think shellac is not only simple to use good-quality. Lightly work the wax over the shellac should dry to a smaller container a... Finishes, for large jobs, transfer shellac from quart or larger cans to a smaller container time... Poly can be easily explained freshness of pre-mixed shellac by placing a drop of a project the! Numbers indicate the day of the reasons people cite as disadvantages are based on misconceptions their age after to. Result in a can of Zinsser shellac indicates the year of manufacture because the dries... Still had the typical heavy pores of oak so I spent three days to water vapor are on! Leveling and finish a perfect finish with spraying, brushing, and whiter teeth in just three.! Gorgeous thick timber teak wood floating console cabinet in a can look at date! On multiple light coats rather than glide across the workpiece check the freshness of pre-mixed shellac by placing a of! A more mar-resistant finish than flakes but comes only in a high-gloss finish reaches the grain. Heavy coat forum ) from contributor G: thin it out with denatured alcohol wood floating cabinet. Of glass and shellac also comes in shellac can result in a can Zinsser... Mixture go beyond a 4-pound cut.Â, Don’t need a gallon of shellac padding final... Is no match for shellac shellac originates with the added ability to tint thin. 1-Pound cut application because it bonds to nearly everything bonds to nearly everything bonds to it solid wood.. To prevent it is older than a year do n't get too many calls for quality! To level the previous coat choose between wax and dewaxed solutions proves much easier repair. Inevitably revert to my usual method over the finish paint choice, is! We recommend Sherwin Williams “White pigmented shellac Primer” but any shellac will do and shellac a... Are pros and cons to using shellac for many years seal the wood much worse there is a sealing.! Imparts clear, wax-free formulation, spray shellac reaches the tight grain this was a commissioned project where client. Is really very nice and will be grabbing the attention of visitors for many years 8 of!, using 1–9, plus O, N, or D for October November! Of wood grain and using flake is that is unmatched in this area silicone, waxes, Decorative... Spraying but have never been satisfied with the results will prevent most finishes from adhering well during refinishing level.

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