I've been Shellacked

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Forum topic by spunwood posted 11-10-2011 02:16 PM 1351 views 1 time favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1202 posts in 2859 days

11-10-2011 02:16 PM

I have a large walnut frame I have been trying to finish. The shelac finish keeps turning out poorly and I have tried rubbing it with alcohol to smooth it out. It has lots of streaks and and sags. I have tried diluting it with alcohol and using a foam brush, and getting a fresh can.

I am thinking I will just sand it down and use poly….any thoughts? I would appriciate the help.


-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

4 replies so far

View JimDaddyO's profile


548 posts in 3102 days

#1 posted 11-10-2011 02:46 PM

try this, You will have to level what you have already, use a bit of oil for lubricant (I use olive oil) and wet sand with 400 grt.

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View therightside's profile


16 posts in 2557 days

#2 posted 11-10-2011 03:36 PM

Poly is #1 on my list when it comes to wood.

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 2498 days

#3 posted 11-10-2011 04:53 PM

Shellac is no different than any other finishing choice. weather you are doing french polishing or spraying it, the best results are obtain when you sand between coats. The advantage of French polishing is that you can build the coats little by little and obtain almost a mirror finish, but you still have to sand at some point and even out the surface.

It sounds to me that you did not prepare your surface properly prior to using the shellac, or you have not diluted the shellac properly for the type of application you are using. If you spray a 1 pound coat is great, if you are french polishing a 2 pound cut is recommended, if your wood is too porous, then you might even try a 3 pound coat.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4948 posts in 3983 days

#4 posted 11-10-2011 09:12 PM

Don’t use a foam brush on shellac, and ya might wanna use a wiping varnish. Sounds like you’re laying on too heavy a coat of shellac. I have had good results from Modern Masters water-based urethane finish. It won’t “yellow”. I brush it on with a synthetic bristle brush (need a good quality here), then rub out with synthetic non woven pads, wax, and there ya go.


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