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Rubbing out shellac

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Forum topic by pashley posted 2103 days ago 8252 views 3 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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pashley

1022 posts in 2343 days


2103 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: shellac

I’ve been getting into using shellac as a topcoat on bare wood lately, but can’t seem to get an even finish with it, even while using the aerosol can. It dries so quick, I guess it does have time to flatten out.

So, how do you flatten shellac out? lightly sand with 220 again?

I plan on putting a final topcoat of Briwax on top, if that helps….

-- Have a blessed day! http://newmissionworkshop.com


12 replies so far

View Russel's profile

Russel

2199 posts in 2565 days


#1 posted 2103 days ago

My finishing regimine includes spraying shellac after sanding with 220 grit. When it dries I sand again with 320, then wipe-on poly and sand with 400 grit. Then another layer of poly and sand with 600, finally one more coat of poly and rub with 0000 steel wool. To my hands, the finish comes out nice and soft and smooth.

-- Working at Woodworking http://www.VillageLaneFurniture.com

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2588 days


#2 posted 2103 days ago

Russel said it best.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2098 posts in 2354 days


#3 posted 2102 days ago

At the risk of sounding ignorant, why even use shellac if yo are going to poly of the top?

Pashley, I’m having the same trouble. I think I’ve read that the trick is to make a polishing pad and rub in small circles (the size of a quarter) after wetting the pad with alcohol. Keep rubbing till it gets sticky, then ad more alcohol. Keep working over the entire surface till smooth. I’m still reading up on this though.

View pashley's profile

pashley

1022 posts in 2343 days


#4 posted 2102 days ago

I’m not putting poly on top, but rather wax.

-- Have a blessed day! http://newmissionworkshop.com

View Loren's profile

Loren

7390 posts in 2273 days


#5 posted 2102 days ago

My guess is you are using too heavy a mixture – too much shellac
to too little thinner – for your skill with it.

I’ve never sprayed shellac but I’ve both brushed it and padded
it on in the French polishing mode and generally found it very
forgiving. I build up many thin coats, lightly sanding between
them usually, and after the last I use a synthetic wool pad and
put on the wax.

When shellacking without wax… as in for guitars the method
of French polishing requires some practice – each layer of application
is “packed” into prior layers as the solvent partially dissolves
them, much like nitrocellulose lacquer. As you get the surface
build up you have to go longer between coats and the “rubber”
drags on the surface as the shellac cures under it. If you push
it too far the pad lifts off the shellac and you have to repair
or strip and start over… so it’s a bit nerve wracking if you’ve never
done it before. Olive oil helps prevent the lift-off effect and
then when you are done you have a shellac surface polished
smooth with no abrasives… and with a thin coat of oil on it. The
final step is “spiriting off” when the oil is removed and the
uniquely gorgeous finish is left behind – all done without sanding
between coats or any abrasive polishing.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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Loren

7390 posts in 2273 days


#6 posted 2102 days ago

And yeah, Shellac dries so fast leveling out is not something
it does. You can build it up thick and sand off the high spots
if you like.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View bman's profile

bman

9 posts in 2514 days


#7 posted 2081 days ago

here’s what i do it seems to work pretty good so far. I sand all surfaces to about 400 grit then apply a 1.5 # cut of shellac with a pad, as in the French polish method. Rub out the finish lightly with 4/0 steel wool tack off the residue. Then add another coat of the 1.5 cut followed with with light rub in needed. follow that with A cote of Watco natural oil (danish oil) let sit for 2-3 hrs wipe off excess and let dry. I have used this method on walnut maple and quarter saw sycamore looks great really makes the grain pop i will try to get some pictures up.
I love that shellac ….it really makes me looks good
Barry

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11644 posts in 2314 days


#8 posted 2081 days ago

Bman , How does the oil get through the shellac undercoats ? The danish oil is supposed to soak into the wood and seal it from the inside .
I just finished a project where I wanted the endgrain to maintain its lighter color so I sealed it with 1# cut Shellac and then applied the danish oil to the rest of the piece and when it came to the endgrain , the oil just beaded up on the shellac .
Pashley , sounds to me like Loren has the experience and the right method for us to use . : )
Thank you , Loren for your knowledge and the advice : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View marcb's profile

marcb

762 posts in 2299 days


#9 posted 2081 days ago

The only way to use shellac in my opinion is french polish.

http://www.milburnguitars.com/fpbannerframes.html

If I don’t do that I tend to use one of the newer brushing lacquer products

View gagit's profile

gagit

2 posts in 2081 days


#10 posted 2081 days ago

First posting. Not sure I’m in the right place. Ive finishing an oak coffee table with 3 coats water-based polycrylic. Is it advisable—or of any value—to wax coat (as you might with a shellac finish)?

-- gagit, Greenboro, NC

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3962 posts in 2689 days


#11 posted 2080 days ago

As a continuation of topic here is an old post.
Gagit, real paste wax over any cured finish can’t hurt to smooth the feel, and offer minimal additional protection.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View jockmike2's profile

jockmike2

10635 posts in 2872 days


#12 posted 2080 days ago

Thanks for that link Dougie I just went back there to make it a favorite, sure is helpful info.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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