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Shellac with wax

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Forum topic by Oldtool posted 09-21-2015 07:56 PM 597 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Oldtool

2373 posts in 1653 days


09-21-2015 07:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing shellac waxed dewaxed

I’ve read all the forms, instructions, and suggestions, as well as viewed the many YouTube videos about shellac, how to cut it, when to use dewaxed, how to brush – spray – pad it, what can & can not be used over which type of shellac, etc., but no where do I find the answer to a question I have, that being:
Why bother using waxed shellac at all, what advantages does it have?

Anybody know? Thanks for any enlightenment you may offer.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln


10 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile (online now)

chrisstef

15661 posts in 2468 days


#1 posted 09-21-2015 08:00 PM

From what i know waxed shellac is a bit more pliable than dewaxed. If im using shellac as a final finish I like the waxed button lac. Its pretty tough stuff.

Shellac.net has some pretty good info on it.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

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Oldtool

2373 posts in 1653 days


#2 posted 09-21-2015 08:05 PM

Pliable, is that an advantage?, needed for any reason?
Thanks

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

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chrisstef

15661 posts in 2468 days


#3 posted 09-21-2015 08:12 PM

I guess flexible would be a better word. Kind of like it being able to move a little bit with the expansion of wood. At least that’s my understanding.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

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Fred Hargis

3933 posts in 1955 days


#4 posted 09-21-2015 08:29 PM

I guess I see it the other way around. The only reason for dewaxed shellac is if it will be in contact with (shudder) polysomething, and some waterborne finishes. I don’t use urethane varnishes/finishes (except for some waterborne labels that call themself “poly”) so I don’t even worry too much about waxed vs. dewaxed. Dewaxing is an extra step (added cost), and while shellac isn’t the most moisture resistant finish, dewaxed isn’t as good as shellac with the wax left in. Remember, the wax is natural in shellac. I also think (but do not know for sure) that like Chris said, it is a little more flexible (I might have said less brittle). Anyway, to me…I ask what are the advantages of dewaxed shellac?, and in the stuff I do: not any.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

2658 posts in 2646 days


#5 posted 09-21-2015 08:41 PM

I like using dewaxed as a first coat to seal and stabilize wood before using an oil-based topcoat, so it’s all I keep in the shop. If I purely used shellac, I guess waxed would be fine.

-- Allen, Colorado

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recycle1943

1154 posts in 1084 days


#6 posted 09-21-2015 08:48 PM

I have never ever used shellac – probably never will
I removed some of the older stuff on old furniture for rebuild/refinish when I was doing that and promised myself I would not do that to anybody.
When I was “shooting” I used a Binks HVLP gun and shot lacquer sanding sealer and finish. Clean up was such a chore that I finally got away fron lacquer and am TOTALLY using water base polyeurathane on everything. It’s tough durable and ease touch up should tha accasion arise.

btw – I don’t do any custom work so what I use is my choice

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - Your imagination is your only holdup

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4853 posts in 2275 days


#7 posted 09-21-2015 09:42 PM

Regular Shellac = Waxed Shellac
Waxed shellac builds a finish quicker, and becomes smooth to the touch in fewer coats.
De-waxed would be preferred if used as a pre-stain conditioner, or as a preliminary topcoat that will receive another more durable layer such as lacquer.
Some folks use shellac to add warmth to the color of a piece (for example amber shellac). Other times it is used to seal out any potential contaminants that may cause fish eyes and finishing problems in subsequent coats.

Just like alcohol is the universal solvent, shellac is the universal sealer.

Avoid putting freshly shellac’d workpieces in direct sunlight, as the finish may wrinkle.

For most projects I prefer to spray two coats of pre-cat lacquer. It is a quick way to get a professional finish.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2152 days


#8 posted 09-22-2015 12:17 AM

I am a big fan of shellac and my take on your question is: dewaxed shellac is sold as a sealer whereas ‘regular shellac’ is used as a finish. The dewaxed is a lighter cut (1 pound) vs the regular shellac (2 pound cut).

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

2373 posts in 1653 days


#9 posted 09-22-2015 01:15 AM

OK guys, all the input and information is very much appreciated.

In case any of you are following this forum, here’s what I’ve found out: I’m currenlty finishing a cherry Shaker headboard project and I’m applying many coats of Zinnser Clear Shellac, advertised as a waxed 3 lb cut, which I’ve cut to a one (1) pound cut per Zinnser instructions.
If I don’t shake up the jar prior using, where the wax is visibly white sediment on the bottom of the glass jar, the application from dipping the brush tips only in the dewaxed portion, yields a much smoother finish – one without brush marks or “lap marks” (clear ridges from overlaping as I go back & forth) as some professionals refer to them.
Not a scientific study, just my results on one project, but for my money dewaxed and thin 1 lb cuts are the way to go.

Thanks all, happy woodworking.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

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ClammyBallz

309 posts in 598 days


#10 posted 09-22-2015 06:48 PM

The brush is good for cracks, corners and hard to reach spots. You should try wiping it on with a cotton pad filled with cheese cloth, it gives a much smoother finish.

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