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Best shellac brush?

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Forum topic by Grantman posted 11-09-2010 11:03 PM 5895 views 3 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Grantman

109 posts in 3493 days


11-09-2010 11:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing

I have two small table tops (12” x 36” x 7/8”) to finish. I have an initial coating of Watco natural on it but I want to get a shinier surface and have been reading about shellac recently. As French Polishing will take too long (don’t know if my shoulder and elbow can take all the effort) I thought about brushing it on but have read in magazines that particular brushes are important.

Can anyone share their experiences with me on which brush to use? Natural? Synthetic? And which type in each category.

Thanks.


13 replies so far

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chrisstef

15678 posts in 2474 days


#1 posted 11-09-2010 11:28 PM

im also interested in this … ill be watching.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

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hObOmOnk

1381 posts in 3595 days


#2 posted 11-10-2010 12:10 AM

I use a natural China Bristle brush for most of my shellac work.
Look for the softest bristle brush (premium) you can find.
Fitch brushes are even better when you want a super smooth finish.

-- 温故知新

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NBeener

4808 posts in 2642 days


#3 posted 11-10-2010 12:15 AM

From http://antiquerestorers.com/Articles/jeff/shellac.htm

”The best brushes for shellac are those that hold a lot of finish which allows you to flow it out on the board rather than brushing it.

The brush that performs the best for flowing on finish is a fitch brush.

Fitch brushes used to be pure skunk hair, but some have soft badger hair on the outside to produce a smooth finish and a center of skunk hair to give the brush body. Most sold nowadays are very fine, soft china bristle dyed to resemble badger-hair. If you’ve never used an expensive brush before, you’ll quickly realize that it’s worth the price.

My second choice for a shellac brush would be pure white china bristle. ”

-- -- Neil

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RalphBarker

80 posts in 2237 days


#4 posted 11-10-2010 01:34 AM

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NBeener

4808 posts in 2642 days


#5 posted 11-10-2010 01:37 AM

Excellent resource, Ralph. Thank you !

-- -- Neil

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NBeener

4808 posts in 2642 days


#6 posted 11-10-2010 02:15 AM

Another good, clear, concise link—on shellac and French polish

Gotta’ try me some of that ;-)

Thanks, too, Barry: I wonder if there’s a rule-of-thumb that tells you—in essence—you can put French Polish or paste wax over ANY finish (except, ......)?

-- -- Neil

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Grantman

109 posts in 3493 days


#7 posted 11-10-2010 04:09 PM

Thanks, gents. I appreciate the replies. I never even heard of a fitch brush. Ya learn something new every day, eh? Wow! $30+ for a brush. Gulp!

So, if I brush on a couple of coats of shellac and then French Polish the final coat or two, theoretically I should have a very, very smooth surface, right? No problem in going over the Watco?

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miserybob

88 posts in 2512 days


#8 posted 11-10-2010 05:09 PM

I really like the Golden Taklon brushes like those in Ralph’s link to Homestead finishing. VERY smooth, loads up well – provides an excellent brushed on finish.

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TopamaxSurvivor

17677 posts in 3144 days


#9 posted 11-10-2010 08:30 PM

Why shellac over the oil, why not just use oil and rub it out?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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Grantman

109 posts in 3493 days


#10 posted 11-11-2010 03:04 AM

Topamax – I guess because I want a smooth as a baby’s butt surface that has more sheen than the oil finish. I’ve never been able to get a gloss, or even satin, finish with an oil, but I like the internal protection that the oil provides plus the extra bit of warmth in color.

The tops are made of Canary wood and the golden color is very, very rich.

They’re also small enough for me to try my hand with this material.

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TopamaxSurvivor

17677 posts in 3144 days


#11 posted 11-11-2010 10:56 AM

Interesting, I have a lot to learn about when and why to combine finishes :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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Grantman

109 posts in 3493 days


#12 posted 11-11-2010 02:43 PM

Me, too. That’s why I’m trying it. Haha! What’s the worst that can happen? I’ll have to refinish them?

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Steven H

1117 posts in 2528 days


#13 posted 01-18-2011 03:10 AM

A high quality white china bristle is the best brush for shellacs

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