These products should not be used on shellac finished furniture and should be used with caution around these pieces. But here we return to the central question: Why not use polyurethane itself as the sealer? Perhaps the best brush for applying shellac is a fitch brush. A third issue is shelf life. The first reason is the confused naming. Non-poly varnish will adhere to any shellac. Product was successfully added to your shopping cart. A. Some grades of shellac are de-waxed. To test shellac that you suspect has exceeded its shelf-life—simply dissolve the flakes in alcohol. Further, the material has been used for almost 100 years by the pharmaceutical industry. Working Days/HoursMon - Fri / 9:00AM - 5:00PM Pacific Time. Shellac also blocks the resin from pine knots and very oily exotic woods, which can slow the drying of lacquer and varnish significantly. Shellac is made from combining a solvent with the secretion of the female lac beetle, which looks a bit like reddish tree sap. In the pharmaceutical industry, shellac is used as a tablet coating and for other uses. It gums up sandpaper unless applied very thin. Shellac has wonderful blocking properties, better than any other finish. A second issue is the way solids content is measured. We do not recommend using methanol as a solvent because it is very toxic. Shellac is most often used in artwork as a sealing finish on wood or other porous substrates that will later be painted over. With only a few exceptions, there’s no reason for anyone to use shellac under another finish. Use it on toys, models and wreaths to seal and protect painted and natural finishes. To clean your brush, you do not need to use alcohol. Once they are dried, collected, and processed, you can dissolve them in a solvent such as alcohol. But you need to be a pro for that IMO. I have an MDF countertop that has about 30 coats of shellac on it that I sprayed ten years ago. For example, if a piece of furniture is near a window or mirror, care should be taken when using cleaners in spray bottles above the piece as spray can drift and mar the finish. Shelf life is not a problem if you dissolve your own from flakes (an extra step) because you know when you did this. In the 1920s shellac was replaced in factories by lacquer for two primary reasons: shellac resin (from bug secretions) is a commodity product that was going up in price as demand increased, while lacquer was going down in price; and lacquer thinner (a blend of … Pour a small amount onto a piece of glass. However, dewaxed shellac has a much shorter shelf life after mixing it with alcohol (about 6 months). Once shellac is dissolved in alcohol, it begins deteriorating (more rapidly in hot temperatures). It is equal in quality to weasel (red sable) hair. Brush once and quickly come back to even out the film if it appears uneven. Shellac is used in various concentrations, or “cuts,” that are mixed with denatured alcohol to determine the thickness of each coat. Low toxicity, ease of application, and ease of repair are the best reasons to use shellac. Allow the shellac to dry (one hour for the first coat, overnight for subsequent coats), then sand and polish with steel wool. Shellac is a resin secreted by the female lac bug, Kerria lacca (Order Hemiptera, Family Coccidae) on trees in the forests of India and Thailand. In fact, it held one of the top spots, replacing wax or oil finishes. Applying multiple, thin layers of shellac produce significantly better results than one or two thick layers. outdated or obsolete when compared to most other modern finishes The closest we come to furniture finish is floor wax and shoe polish. You can use one coat to seal the wood. Dewaxed shellac has better transparency and moisture resistance. Shellac is still used for … TINTING B-I-N Shellac-Base Primer may be tinted with up to 2 ounces of universal colorant per gallon. This problem can be avoided by using freshly dissolved shellac flakes. Since a gallon is a large amount for most tasks, you can calculate the ratio to best suit your needs. The spray format is perfect for crafts and small projects. Before brushing, dip the brush all the way to the ferrule (the metal part between the handle and the hair) into alcohol and then press it out. For those reasons, I spray shellac, but I know that there are still those out there who won’t take a dip in the spray finishing pool. I like shellac a lot. However, in the 1920s and 1930s, nitrocellulose lacquer experienced a rise in popularity and gradually replaced it. Since shellac dries quickly, be careful to avoid drips or blotchy areas when applying because unlike other finishes, you will likely not have time to over-brush to eliminate the blemish. It is processed and sold as dry flakes and dissolved in alcohol to make liquid shellac, which is used as a brush-on colorant, food glaze and wood finish.Shellac functions as a tough natural primer, sanding sealant, tannin-blocker, odour-blocker, stain, and high-gloss varnish. The alcohol should be anhydrous, that is it should not contain water, because water will cause the shellac solution to become cloudy or milky in appearance. Genuine fitch and sable brushes are more expensive than imitation varieties. The wax in shellac reduces the clarity of the finish and the molecular weight of the shellac resin, making it less resistant to water. Before you even get started, you have to learn the different types of shellac. It was always a pretty easy finish to spray. It can be used with a 5 cfm compressor. There’s also dewaxed shellac, which is more expensive. Working the other direction or when you apply other topcoats over shellac, it is often noted that you should not apply polyurethane over shellac. All you need to do is rub it on liberally and then wipe the surface to seal it. If used correctly, clear spray-on lacquer or varnishes can be used to seal jewelry materials, including metal, patinas, wood, and resin. Use a two or three-pound cut of shellac and apply generously with long, smooth strokes. History. Shellac can be applied by brushing, rubbing and spraying. It can also be used as an isolating film between layers of paint, both oil and water-based. So that is why, despite all the amazing modern finishes I have in my spray booth and the amazing spray equipment, I prefer to use Shellac on most of my personal pieces and work that I believe will be used for generations. While the terms varnish, polyurethane, lacquer and shellac are commonly used to reference a final finish in general, these products are not the same, nor are they recommended to be used interchangeably. Another solution may be this technique shared with me during a seminar in New Jersey this past weekend. This would be wrong. Through the years, polyurethane became the most popular wiped and brushed finish for everything. cut for brushing. As a furniture maker I have sprayed different finishes on some production lines starting out in the 1970s when everyone used the conventional cup gun hooked up to any standard air compressor. Use a one-pound cut (one pound of shellac flakes in one gallon of alcohol), which can be sprayed through any spray gun that will spray lacquer; Filter the dissolved mixture to remove the undissolved solids/leftover crud; Spray thin, even coats Spray shellac is commonly used to apply a fast, beautiful finish to louver doors, wicker, cane, bamboo and other hard-to-finish materials. Shellac nails are a form of nail polish—there are more than 100 shades you can choose from at verified salons—developed and patented by nail guru Jan Arnold of Creative Nail Design (CND). Shellac continued to be used by painters and floor finishers working inside buildings and by amateurs until the 1960s. Indian Head Gasket shellac is a dark brown, viscous liquid with a characteristic alcoholic odor. As for spraying shellac, it's done all the time, with either an airless sprayer, an HVLP sprayer, or a compressor/cap spray gun. Oil-based polyurethane became available. 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