Refinishing shellac finish pine window trim

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Forum topic by Dougl posted 01-22-2016 06:31 PM 830 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 576 days

01-22-2016 06:31 PM

I’ve have a client who wants all of her interior windows, sliding doors, refinished. The house built in 60’s, pine wood with shellac finish. The lower parts of windows, sliding doors have taken a beating from sun and some condensation, leaving some dark water marks. The little finishing I’ve done, I’ve used spar urethane for it’s UV protection. My research says not to do that, now i’m leaning towards using Zinsser Bullseye clear or amber shellac, which either one matches the original wood tone. I’ve also read about Zinsser Bullseye sealcoat, using that to seal old shellac and wood after sanding, then i could apply the spar urethane. Really confused which direction to go! Maybe I should use sealcoat and shellac because I think that will match the original wood color better. Any input appreciated!

9 replies so far

View ClammyBallz's profile


419 posts in 857 days

#1 posted 01-22-2016 06:52 PM

Sealcoat is a 2lb cut of dewaxed shellac. The clear & amber shellac cans are a 3lb cut of waxed shellac and shouldn’t be used with any other topcoat.
Shellac will not do well with condensation, it must be top coated. You may consider getting garnet shellac flakes to make own dewaxed amber shellac which will tone the pine, then top coat.
Do you plan on spraying or brushing on the finish?

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4 posts in 576 days

#2 posted 01-23-2016 04:46 AM

More than likely applying with brush. You say that shellac won’t do well with condensation, thats what the whole house is finished with. It’s done pretty well except with a few spots for 50 plus years. I’ve never used shellac, so when you say it must be top coated, what do you mean, with what?

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955 posts in 872 days

#3 posted 01-23-2016 07:02 AM

Shellac does no do well with water, use the UV Poly over the Shellac. I sure hope you are charging enough for your time.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

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16651 posts in 2727 days

#4 posted 01-23-2016 11:44 AM

Button lac is a pretty durable finish in my opinion.

-- Something, something, something.

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4 posts in 576 days

#5 posted 01-23-2016 02:21 PM

So I should sand then seal the shellac with Zinsser sealcoat and apply UV Poly or Spar Urethane?

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1051 posts in 1519 days

#6 posted 01-23-2016 04:06 PM

Why use sealcoat ,it’s probably not what was used 50+ years ago.Chrisstef has it right button lac is very durable and hard.Much harder than dewaxed shellac buy some real stuff and mix up your own.Heres were I buy my flakes and buttons.

-- Aj

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4 posts in 576 days

#7 posted 01-23-2016 04:21 PM

Here’s a couple of images.

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16651 posts in 2727 days

#8 posted 01-23-2016 05:03 PM

Sealing it with dewaxed to only put waxy on top is redundent to me. Multiple coats of button lac would be my choice. If the windows have been getting water there isnt much thats going to hold up over time. I cant really say much about UV protection, i dont feel like im versed enough.

Id def practice brushing any type of shellac before doing the windows if youre not used to using shellac. Minimal if any back brushing. A 1.5 – 2 pound cut would make it easier to apply.

-- Something, something, something.

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115927 posts in 3298 days

#9 posted 01-23-2016 05:18 PM

Cleaning with naphtha and adding another coat of dewaxed shellac before applying poly is a good idea to eliminate adhesion problems due to wax or other contaminates that might be present.

-- Custom furniture

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