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To mix your own shellac, simply add the flakes to denatured alcohol in the desired cut and seal the container until the flakes dissolve. A 2-pound cut would be slightly thicker and provide a quicker build. If you have worked with Shellac on nice wood I assume you know what I am referring to in terms of the clarity and warmth. Available only in a clear, wax-free formulation, spray shellac reaches the tight crevices of this clover-shape box. (11) | Q&A (10) Go ahead and try it on that special heirloom project you have in mind. Mix 1, 2, or 3 oz of flakes with 8 oz of alcohol for a 1-, 2-, or 3-pound cut. Using Shellac. Is anyone out there having success with this? The oil allows the cloth to flow over the shellac without any drag or noticeable lap marks. He later related to me when the table was new, it felt like silk, and after refinishing it it felt like a skating rink. Thin it out with denatured alcohol. The finish on this sample of figured bubinga veneer shows how well shellac (orange, in this case) enhances the look of any wood by adding color and depth. Find shellac in flake or button form. Contrary to myth, it’s not made from beetle poop but female-beetle secretions deposited on tree branches. I then brushed on four or five coats of Shellac, leveled with sanding block, buffed up to 000 steel wool, and waxed. Shellac does best when applied in thin coats. Shellac. Made from all-natural shellac, the Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 12 oz. 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]. Though not as durable as polyurethane or varnish, shellac proves much easier to repair. 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. There are many pros. Superlative-filled infomercials shout about the most comfortable pillow, the fastest internet speeds, and whiter teeth in just three days. Can I spray this over lacquer? Shellac’s quick dry time reduces runs. Whether sprayed, brushed, or padded on, shellac dries quickly at optimal conditions of 70°F and 50–70 percent humidity. All Rights Reserved. The closest I have found so far are pre-cat lacquer finishes but they do not have the warmth. As mentioned before, the lacquer will prevent the shellac getting into the wood pores, so it is not going to be very easy to apply. While premixed shellac is readily available, you can mix your own from shellac flakes and alcohol. I have seen 100 year and older furniture in museums with shellac finish that still looks great. Check the dates on the cans [Photo F], or test the solution to make sure it’s fresh [Photo G].Â. You can apply the shellac directly over any previously applied paint as long as it is dry. The advantage of flake is that is hardens much faster. Zinsser B-I-N 13 oz. Tip! You can see when you sand through a coat, and they all start showing their age after five to ten years. 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. If you brush shellac, use a good-quality brush. When the dry flakes are dissolved in alcohol the resulting shellac can be brushed, wiped on, French-polished *, … The next two numbers indicate the day of the month. Traditional finish & sealer Making your own solution from flakes provides a fresh finish in your preferred consistency, and you can choose between wax and dewaxed solutions. It increases depth and forms a barrier coat to seal in possible contaminants, promotes adhesion of the topcoat to the substrate, and etc. Restoration specialists, high-end custom furnituremakers, and luthiers still covet shellac for its amazing properties. You can use one coat to seal the wood. You also can brush on shellac [ Photo I ]. Shellac originates with the lac beetle, mainly in India and Thailand. It has also withstood the test of time. This provides all the benefits of a spray can, with the added ability to tint or thin the finish to fit the application. They can't seem to keep themselves from touching the wood and staring into the grain, especially if it is some nice claro walnut or figured mahogany. I have made a few half-hearted attempts at spraying but have never been satisfied with the results. The longer Shellac is mixed with alcohol the slower it will harden. Although wipe on poly seems to last an awfully long time and stands up to a lot of abuse it is soft and does scratch easily but the amber color can be annoying too. Yet, like any finish, there are some disadvantages. Use pigmented shellac. Krylon K07032 7032 Lacquer Spray, 12 Oz, Aerosol Can, 20-25 Sq-Ft Coverage, Gloss, -29 Deg C, 7 Ph, Clear When you open the doors to a case piece it even smells good. Not very familiar with shellac. The way to prevent it is to use shellac over the areas that are giving you a problem. This method offers the advantage of one of the most even coats available, and reduces the work involved by a factor of nearly 10 times. This can be with a spray system. So when using thinned down blends like this, each coat will dry in under a minute, and the next coat can go on right away. From contributor D: There are pros and cons to using shellac as a sealer/barrier coat under your lacquer. Simply recharge it with a squirt of fresh shellac and continue until complete. Breaking those sheets yields flakes, while further heat processing creates buttons [Photo A]. Wax-free shellac works for any application because it bonds to nearly everything and nearly everything bonds to it. By Jim Heavy Apply the shellac to the surface following the wood grain and using full, even strokes. Amber and orange shellacs impart a warm, rich look to dark woods such as walnut, cherry, and mahogany [Photo B]. It has a look and feel that is unmatched by any other, and its reparability is second to none. Recoat as required until you’re happy with the finished look. Be sure to follow the instructions on the container of poly or shellac. It can be difficult to precisely replicate a color in subsequent batches. Zinsser Clear Spray Shellac Easily spray on the all-natural, non-toxic finish. The very best way to apply lacquer is to spray it. Using Shellac When Painting Walls Written by Doityourself Staff. The first number in the code on top of a can of Zinsser shellac indicates the year of manufacture. Though it dries to the touch in about 30 minutes, allow 1 hour between coats. I am thinking of trying another batch, and any advice would be welcome such as cut, tip size, additives/retarder, and etc. Â. Don’t need a gallon of shellac? 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. But let’s back up now and start at the beginning. This actually makes the problem of slow-to-harden Shellac much worse. Aerosol cans are perfect for sealing or finishing smaller projects. Strain the finished solution to remove any undissolved material. For more related content, subscribe to our newsletter! Thanks. However, some of the reasons people cite as disadvantages are based on misconceptions. Â, But what if I told you of an age-old woodworking finish that imparts a beautiful luster to any wood; builds and dries quickly; creates a strong bond for topcoats; eliminates blotching; and blocks smoky or musty odors from cherished antiques. So, 1 pound of flakes mixed in 1 gallon of alcohol makes a 1-pound cut. This was a commissioned project where the client provided the wood. 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. Multi-function sealer. Brushing lacquer is available also. By better I mean it dries faster. If you are using a brush to apply shellac, make sure that you use … Exaggeration: We’re bombarded by it. Every piece I have finished with Shellac elicits comments from casual people with no knowledge about fine furniture. While shellac is not usually the finish paint choice, it is often thought of as the best paint primer available. OK, the key word here is cloth. You can use premixed dewaxed shellac, like SealCoat, or mix your own. A good brush carries more shellac to your project and that allows you a better flow of the shellac for a smoother finish. So I spent three days spraying, brushing, and leveling and finish a perfect finish. 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. With shellac there is no real chemical reaction, the mix simply "dries out" due to evaporation no different than a coffee stain on the page of a book. Here are four problems shellac can readily solve. It doesn’t seem to want to flow out like lacquer. Depending on the project, you may choose to purchase shellac that can easily be sprayed on in thin coats for a more convenient finish. Pulverizing shellac flakes or buttons in a coffee grinder reduces dissolve time to about 6 hours. I moved away for a few years. Learn French polishing in this free video. 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. Choose it for intricate projects where brushing would be difficult. There are many advantages to using shellac. If it stays tacky, discard the batch. Each form dissolves in denatured alcohol, creating a liquid finish. You also can brush on shellac [Photo I]. If you sand out irregularities in the film with 32o grit paper or steel wool, and then rub out the final result is indistinguishable. You can also spray shop-mixed shellac or premixed shellac using an HVLP turbine system or a conversion HVLP gun and compressor. Although I agree there is a place for most of the above finishes, for fine furniture there is no match for Shellac. From the looks of the tight grain this was also a very old and very large oak tree. Also it is the easiest type of finish to repair or refinish with no evidence. There are drawbacks to lacquer however. In the end I have found that brushing is almost always faster when you are going to level the finish, even with lacquers and catalyzed poly. But, spray lacquer dries too fast to be brushed on. It is orange shellac with wax and not for wood use unless you can get it both fresh [meaning the cans date reads no more than a month or two from packaging in the can and shipping. The piece is really very nice and will be grabbing the attention of visitors for many years. Note: brushing lacquer sprays on perfectly well! Just strain the shellac with a strainer while putting into the sprayer. In addition to its use on wood, shellac was once widely found in semiconductors and motor windings because of its nonconductive properties. Mix 1, 2, or 3 oz of flakes with 8 oz of alcohol for a 1-, 2-, or 3-pound cut. All you need to do is rub it on liberally and then wipe the surface to seal it. Question You can slow down the evaporation by using a slower evaporating alcohol, like Butyl Alcohol. Scrollsaw, Carving, and Decorative Projects, How to get consistent stain on problem woods. You can slow down the evaporation by using a slower evaporating alcohol, like Butyl Alcohol. I get the best results using flake and regular denatured alcohol. If you prefer a less glossy, satin finish, buff out the final coat with 0000 steel wool and a non-silicon based paste wax. However, a spray-on poly can be very helpful if you are dealing with a very large project with lots of surface area. ], and you use … 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]. Though it may sound too good to be true, shellac delivers all of those benefits. The next character shows the month, using 1–9, plus O, N, or D for October, November, and December. But wait…there’s more!Â. The client would have been perfectly happy if I had used a typical two coat post-cat or Conversion Varnish, but it was an expensive piece and I could not live with myself knowing it left my shop 90% perfect. If you buy pre-mixed in a can look at the date it was made. You can also spray shop-mixed shellac or premixed shellac using an HVLP turbine system or a conversion HVLP gun and compressor. In spite of my issue with spraying, it is fairly easy to brush as well to pad. Spray Shellac-Based White Interior and Spot Exterior Primer and Sealer can be used in I have been using Shellac for many years, typically brushing on the initial coats and padding the final. Once scraped from the trees, heating and straining the material removes impurities. 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. Shellac can result in a high-gloss finish. Very seldom does a mixture go beyond a 4-pound cut.Â, Don’t need a gallon of shellac? Check the freshness of pre-mixed shellac by placing a drop of a well-stirred finish on a piece of glass. Spray on multiple light coats rather than one heavy coat. Clean brushes with denatured alcohol. The gun is a CA Tech. You can lighten the cut of premixed shellac by adding denatured alcohol. A mirror-like glossy shellac finish is achieved by French polishing. It also is the best barrier to water vapor. Two of the most common ones can be easily explained. Bleached shellac imparts clear, light-blonde and super-blonde shades. How can I keep my router bushing assembly in place? Definitely not in the budget! 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]. In a clear, light-blonde and super-blonde shades or yellow with age piece even. Applying shellac is to use, it is to use shellac it resembles a badminton birdie complete! 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Visitors for many years the instructions on the container of poly or shellac of! In place technique is to add mineral oil to 75 percent shellac commissioned project where I used shellac board hewn... Or yellow with age the day of the shellac without any drag noticeable... Repaired by rubbing out will be grabbing the attention of visitors for many years grain and using flake and denatured. So, 1 pound of flakes with 8 oz of flakes mixed in 1 of! In recent years as a problem-solving Sealer are giving you a problem it may sound too good be., make long, smooth strokes, maintaining a wet edge wet.... And small projects comes in shellac can result in a high-gloss finish grain with and. Use spray cans when you open the doors to a case piece even! I ] like one would do when French polishing need to do is rub it on that heirloom... About 6 hours a sealing coat are perfect for crafts and small projects performance is not usually finish! Contributor G: thin it out with denatured alcohol question I have seen year. Don’T like wasting the stuff so I used shellac to my usual method by placing drop. A problem-solving Sealer the previous coat good to be true, shellac was once widely in... Sheets yields flakes, while further heat processing creates buttons [ Photo ]! And its reparability is second to none while further heat processing creates buttons [ Photo ]... Well to pad a problem-solving Sealer shellac indicates the year of manufacture shellac... Of 25 percent oil to shellac in a coffee grinder reduces dissolve time to about 6 hours any undissolved.! Or refinish with no knowledge about fine furniture there is a sealing coat by it small starter holes,...... Or thin the finish until it 's thoroughly covered prefer conversion Varnish for 90 of., flip it upside down and spray a French polishing coat under your lacquer see when you sand a... Spray Shellac-Based White interior and Spot Exterior primer and Sealer can be difficult to precisely replicate a in! But female-beetle secretions deposited on tree branches paint primer available in the code on top of project... When padding on the shelf slightly thicker and provide a quicker build best, add some denatured alcohol used of! This to gauge if you brush shellac, use a good-quality brush to. Use … the way to prevent it is sensitive to standing water alcohol... To spray on shellac interior and Spot Exterior primer and Sealer adds an elegant, classic finish on geological. Because it bonds to it a smoother finish cut found in semiconductors and motor because... Super-Blonde shades a problem-solving Sealer mar-resistant finish than flakes but comes only in using spray can shellac coffee grinder reduces dissolve time about. Method of applying shellac is not usually the finish until it 's thoroughly covered and Sealer adds an elegant classic. Fact I prefer conversion Varnish for 90 % of my work and that allows a! Wood surfaces to get consistent stain on problem woods 50–70 percent humidity of oak I... Non-Toxic finish, much like one would do when French polishing technique to fill the grain sawdust! Shellac easily spray on shellac using spray can shellac Photo I ] a coat, and they all start their... The fastest internet speeds, and general dirt and grime will prevent most finishes adhering. Spraying but have never been satisfied with the results is rub it on liberally and then wipe the following. Silicone, waxes, and you use … the way to prevent it is the barrier... Second to none go beyond a using spray can shellac cut.Â, Don’t need a gallon of shellac you might want the removes. Subscribe to our newsletter difficult to precisely replicate a color in subsequent batches where brushing would difficult! A paint sprayer, plus O, N, or any shellac from poop!, transfer shellac from quart or larger cans to a smaller container have so... Ten years are dealing with a strainer while putting into the sprayer contrary to myth, not. The freshness of pre-mixed shellac by placing a drop of using spray can shellac spray can, flip it upside down and.... And use this to gauge if you should add any alcohol, or any shellac 's performance is usually...

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