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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2014, 07:06 AM Thread Starter
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Default A shellack question

I just built a bed, from pine. My daughter was not sure if she wanted to paint it, or not, so I decided to shellack it.
I am having a heck of a time brushing this stuff on. It tacks out while I brush it on. Leaves a rather rough finish. I am using a brand new can of minwax, if I remember correctly.
Any ideas? The can said not to thin, but I'm about ready to cut in half and spray.
So much for a quick 'n easy finish
Thanks,
Mark
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2014, 07:43 AM
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As far as I know Minwax doesn't make shellac.
Zinnser Bulls Eye is the premixed brand normally available. It comes in a 3 lb. cut which is too thick for brushing on, as you have found.
It should be thinned with denatured alcohol. I never brush shellac, I wipe on or spray, thinning to a 1-1.5 lb. cut.


Reduction Directions
Desired cut Mix in a separate container r
3-lb. to 2-lb. 2 parts alcohol + 5 parts shellac
3-lb. to 1-lb. 3 parts alcohol + 2 parts shellac
2-lb. to 1-lb. 1 part alcohol + 1 part shellac

Application Methods
Brush: For best results use a natural bristle or high quality synthetic bristle brush. Apply a full brush load of shellac to the
surface following the wood grain and using full, even strokes. Shellac begins to dry very quickly so do not over-brush.
Wait until shellac dries before touching up areas that may have been missed. Subsequent coats will blend any touch-ups
into the overall finish.
Wiping: Use a lint-free cloth, folded to form a pad. Pour a small quantity of shellac onto the cloth and wipe smoothly into
the wood. Stop wiping when surface is evenly coated and begins to feel tacky.
Sprayer: May be spray applied using conventional, HVLP, or airless systems. Use a .011 to .013 tip and 80 to 100 psi for airless spray application. Follow equipment manufacturer’s instructions.

http://www.rustoleumibg.com/images/t...h%20Sealer.pdf
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2014, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenM View Post
As far as I know Minwax doesn't make shellac.
Zinnser Bulls Eye is the premixed brand normally available. It comes in a 3 lb. cut which is too thick for brushing on, as you have found.
It should be thinned with denatured alcohol. I never brush shellac, I wipe on or spray, thinning to a 1-1.5 lb. cut.


Reduction Directions
Desired cut Mix in a separate container r
3-lb. to 2-lb. 2 parts alcohol + 5 parts shellac
3-lb. to 1-lb. 3 parts alcohol + 2 parts shellac
2-lb. to 1-lb. 1 part alcohol + 1 part shellac

Application Methods
Brush: For best results use a natural bristle or high quality synthetic bristle brush. Apply a full brush load of shellac to the
surface following the wood grain and using full, even strokes. Shellac begins to dry very quickly so do not over-brush.
Wait until shellac dries before touching up areas that may have been missed. Subsequent coats will blend any touch-ups
into the overall finish.
Wiping: Use a lint-free cloth, folded to form a pad. Pour a small quantity of shellac onto the cloth and wipe smoothly into
the wood. Stop wiping when surface is evenly coated and begins to feel tacky.
Sprayer: May be spray applied using conventional, HVLP, or airless systems. Use a .011 to .013 tip and 80 to 100 psi for airless spray application. Follow equipment manufacturer’s instructions.

http://www.rustoleumibg.com/images/t...h%20Sealer.pdf
I have been a long time user of shellac as above for a primer over wall paper and anything else that does not like water. However, I recently had situation where I used General Polyurethane with a foam brush and spray on another piece and it was every-bit the equal or better than shellac. What is even better is it goes a long way and can be tinted with Trans-tint if a unique color is desired. I still waterproof MDF and finish restorations with shellac but it is nice to have a back-up of equal quality.

Good Luck Baker
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-16-2014, 12:47 AM
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A problem here in Australia is a brand new can of shellac can be 2 years old. Don't but anything manufactured more than 5 months old and use in a month. Better still buy flakes and mix your own. Cheaper and always fresh. I use a 1lb. cut and wipe it on, applying other coats every 4 hours.

Jeff
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-17-2014, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwbaker View Post
I have been a long time user of shellac as above for a primer over wall paper and anything else that does not like water. However, I recently had situation where I used General Polyurethane with a foam brush and spray on another piece and it was every-bit the equal or better than shellac. What is even better is it goes a long way and can be tinted with Trans-tint if a unique color is desired. I still waterproof MDF and finish restorations with shellac but it is nice to have a back-up of equal quality.

Good Luck Baker
I used to use a lot of shellac's... I still have flakes here... But like you, I now use more polyurethanes. It just goes on so much easier.

In fact, I used to spray a lot of finishes, but now I'm thinking of trying out some spray on rattle can finishes. Maybe it's that getting older thing.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-17-2014, 05:52 PM
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I've had great success with the rattle can products...actually kind of surprising at first.. after a while, I got to expecting it.
Prefer the lacquers for dry time.. but the poly's are pretty good as well.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-26-2014, 05:26 PM
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I know this is an older Post but thought I would revive it rather than start a new for a question or 3 about shellac................

1) Does shellac have a strong odor when applied?
I love the quick dry time and finish that rattle can lacquers give but the vapors are strong, last a day or 2 and are deadly when inhaled. I've been using a half mask and spraying outside or in the back shop but looking to avoid the vapors and smell.

Are there clear shellacs or do all have some degree of tint?

What is the dry time where you can touch up and or re-coat?

Thanks for the input

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-26-2014, 09:19 PM
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Shellac comes ultra blond to a dark reddish brown. The solvent for shellac is denatured alcohol which is why it dries so fast. The fumes aren't good for you but they aren't the worst you can breathe.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-27-2014, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAFoElffen View Post
I used to use a lot of shellac's... I still have flakes here... But like you, I now use more polyurethanes. It just goes on so much easier.

In fact, I used to spray a lot of finishes, but now I'm thinking of trying out some spray on rattle can finishes. Maybe it's that getting older thing.
I did try a rattle can. Smell was horrible, almost made me sick. Now I only brush it on, the few times I use, and now most of my finishes are 50/50 water/Titebond II, brushed on. Only takes a few minutes to dry enough for another coat. It winds up a nice amberish color. If you want clear I think one of the white wood glues will work, not tried that yet.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-27-2014, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco View Post
I know this is an older Post but thought I would revive it rather than start a new for a question or 3 about shellac................
Quote:
1) Does shellac have a strong odor when applied?
I love the quick dry time and finish that rattle can lacquers give but the vapors are strong, last a day or 2 and are deadly when inhaled. I've been using a half mask and spraying outside or in the back shop but looking to avoid the vapors and smell.
Just my thoughts here. The oder isn't all that bad. I find it kinda musky. Not over powering and I don't think that it lingers all that long. I like the stuff. Zinzer's Bullseye De'waxed shellac is my go to shellac. I don't have the capability to use spray equipment, so I rely on rattle can products. There is a big difference between brands when it comes to oders!! I've tried Rust-Oleum, MinWax, Watco, Cabot and Behlen... of the bunch, I found the Minwax to be the least offense. Like you, I'll spray outside when I can or when the project is big enough to warrant taking it outside. Smaller items like boxes/frames, I'll do in the shop (basement)

Quote:
Are there clear shellacs or do all have some degree of tint?
Zinzers "Bullseye" DeWaxed clear shellac is pretty good stuff. It will however
change the appearance of the wood slightly. But what finish doesn't? I've never gotten around to experimenting with shellac flakes too much. I do understand however that there is a "Platinum Blonde" or "Platina Blonde" shellac available that is about as clear as your going to get with shellacs..

http://www.shellacshack.com/purchase...ac-flakes.html

http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/d...ellac-1lb.aspx

Quote:
What is the dry time where you can touch up and or re-coat?
The amount of alcohol used directly impacts the dry time you experience. The rattle can stuff dries pretty darn quickly. Mixed cuts will dry quickly as well, just not as quickly as the rattle can product. Dry times will vary with temp. and humidity.

[quote\Thanks for the input[/QUOTE]

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Last edited by TwoSkies57; 12-27-2014 at 09:40 AM.
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