French polished shellac finishes are thin and flexible, and are arguably the best finish for enhancing the tone of fine classical guitars. Clear and amber liquid shellacs are three-pound cut. Amber and orange shellacs impart a warm, rich look to dark woods such as walnut, cherry, and mahogany [Photo B]. Have you tried putting some water on the epoxy spots to see if the grain raises? Qty . Interesting points of view. I wish there was a way to recover, but it seems that I might be tearing out some moulding and starting anew with dewaxed shellac. I’d say its certainly possible, given the age of the piece. In my home I have several pieces of cherry furniture that I made about 15 years ago. Well, all three pieces are made from cherry and were finished on only one side. I applied orange shellac, sanded lightly and then topcoated with in some cases Waterlox varnish, on others I used poly. French polishing - padding thin layers of shellac – is the most traditional and widely acceptable finish for classical guitars and historic musical instruments. In order to have the best mixture result, I let the mixture sit for a day or two so that all flakes are dissolved in alcohol completely. Shellac with wax in it is … on Introduction, Hi,I have an old ebony grand piano which is about 100 years old. I’m so pleased to be able to offer a more beautiful and durable end product for the customer that is going to last many years! 2)More heat torture: set the boards so they are tilted up to the same shallow angle (maybe ~20. True true. :). Thank you for making this possible. I was doing some research on Shellac and a few FW articles note that Zinsser sealcoat is a 2lb cut dewaxed. After I watched this video, I was inspired to buy some shellac flakes and alcohol and make my first jar of shellac. 1. Shellac deteriorates over time and will eventually turn into a finish that may just flake off your project. Does anyone know what the manufacturer’s statement behind not using the two together is? Love the podcast & videos. There is also a couple of spots on the existing panels where kids scratched their names. Amber and orange shellacs impart a warm, rich look to dark woods such as walnut, cherry, and mahogany [Photo B]. Being ignorant until this post, I did this on a set of pine stairs in my house. Would love your advice on this as this is the first time for this. I reaqd that an oil-based varnish may work. The purpose of 1 pound cut shellac is to provide the high gloss finish touches rather than building up the thickness. Good luck. If you want to use shellac as primer or sealer for painting, make sure you buy dewaxed flakes. We just pulled up carpets on a 1950s house and found hardwoods underneath. The whole shellac/poly thing was a bit iffy in my humble opinion. Interesting how the term "pound cut" came about. I can confirm the strength of this finishing process. ... Orange Shellac produces a stunning brownish amber tone and is highly desirable for antique restoration. In years past, the gallon or 128 fluid ounces was "chosen" as the base line. When I put the shellac on, i almost immediately got hazy/cloudy streaks. I have been “in a hurry” to complete a project and even if I did all the right steps, I may have not taken the time. months?? We still have plenty of hot AZ sunny days left. 5 gal. ” Understanding Wood Finishing” by Bob Flexner. Oh I believe it. Generally '2 pound cut' shellac is a good place to start because it is not too thin or thick to apply. However, there are millions of products and services on the web, and I only promote those products or services that I would use personally. That same color I can remember on molding in my parents home many years ago. Great instructable! Bulls Eye® Shellac-Amber. 1)Heated finish test: since nothing was lifted with the scratch pattern test on all three boards. I am scared to death afer all that work to put poly over it now!!! Did I mention how LONG it takes me to finish a project? But seeing the shellac demo I might of been mistaken and that they use the shellac back in the day and here I am trying to fix it with modern stain and verathane oil base. Because I just loved the way it looked on my test piece. This site uses affiliate links. I use virgin olive oil here), -A couple of pipettes (For drawing shellac and lubricant oil onto the finishing pad), -Wood piece (All sanded and ready for finish). What would make me decide to use shallac first and them poly? Let me ask you – how much wax was in the sample you used? From books to magazine articles to forums to DVD’s, the message is always the same. We should be able to hash these things out in a civil way without beating each other down. After one session is done, examine your piece under a light and see if there's any scratches or uneven shellac build ups. The solution is then filtered through a fine cloth which removes any insoluble matter and reduces the naturally occurring wax contained in the Lac from 3%-5% to … and I have a 100% success rate in my finish thus far. This instructables will show you the basics of french polish. As mentioned above: Test it first. Unfortunately I have never used shellac in my woodworking. When a hardwood floor is waxed, there’s a significant buildup of pure wax on top. Putting this in a cold environment would help greatly right? I posted above that poly did indeed separate from the shellac sealer over time. So you wouldn’t do this again? I have a pine table I am building and want to control the blotching prior to staining and then apply polyurethane on top. I would also like to spray it so there are NO brush marks. The finish is pretty reflective and clear … Shouldn’t take long in the AZ sun :). 3 years ago. Grab all four corners towards the center. It takes me a long time to finish a project. Just brainstorming…. This way it allows the wood to 'pre-raise' the grain thoroughly. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. I have used de-waxed shellac on all of my work and enjoy using it. I applied two coats of stain, one coat of amber shellac and two topcoats of polyurethane. Anyway I like your article. Shellac and glaze adds rich color and minimizes blotching. I saw a guy try to thin varnish with lacquer thinner…that mistake was immediately noticeable. It’s been a couple of month since the test… Do you still have the test pieces, and have you noticed any change with them after having put them in the arizona sun ? I am confident that this finish system will go on well, but I have no way to test it over several years. So I guess you weren’t paying attention to the part where I said this doesn’t really prove anything and this was by no means a true scientific test. A good way to test it is to pound the pad on the back of your hand. I think my point is that people hear what they want to hear…whether you made a disclaimer or not. Seeing that there was no going back I just went ahead and put the poly on top and hoped for the best. Mine is very basic but works for me. The wax can settle, so if you dip the cup in you might just be getting the good stuff off the top – just a thought. With a little bit of practice and patience, you can do it too. (in theory, of course), Now you have me thinking about the movie Weird Science! Is it ok to use shellac as a stand alone finish on some things? I hope you keep this test always in the back of your mind and give us updates like on a annual basis. A third coloring option is to seal the raw wood with wax-free shellac, then topcoat with water-based poly. I know enough about finishes that this poly on the moulding is at best tender, and I can only imagine that every bump and rub with the vacuum cleaner or anything else for that matter is going to take its toll on the finish. This is exactly why I am always suspicious of corporate literature. --What if you don't want to make your own shellac? cut simply means 2 pounds of dry shellac flakes were dissolved in one gallon of alcohol.) 9 months ago Add to Wish List. (I use mason jars in this case). It looks as if I carefully sanded the top surface where names are that area would clean up and nothing gouged the wood or even seems like it went through what appears to be a very thick finishing coat or coats. Thanks Marc for this! This is what enables the high gloss. I played it safe with the process. Consider Bekhol for your shellacs -vs- denatured alcohol - you will get much longer shelf life from it. Will the fisheyes continue or will there enough build up to fill in and then level with wool/sanding? Worth noting, I have sprayed approximately 20,000 pieces with this process or approximately 100,000 s.f. to keep them from rusting. so you can choose different colors for different finishing needs. Have done any videos on blending pine boards to match old to new ? What would you use to restore this small cabinet. Then when you hit it with poly, the poly will also absorb into the grain to some degree, bonding with the shellac, the stain, and the wood itself. It looks promising as it has a much longer shelf life than traditional French polish. All we want at this time is something to put down that will make them shine and be easy to clean. The GF gels are poly-based, so I assumed the issue was with the wax. You’ll just have to buy flakes instead of buying it in the can. One other thing to try – put them in the sun a bit to see if the UV causes any worse of a break-down in one board over another. what do you think? Rubbing with Xs and Os will drag some of the filler out of the grain. I’ve just built a kitchen cabinet for trash and in the process of testing out different. Anything that lives outside will have trouble. 100% wax-free formula dries in minutes and sands easily. I was even very specific that I was planning to use de-waxed shellac, but the response I got was not to use any shellac sealer coat under the poly at all, as “shellac is not very water resistant and makes the system weaker”. Keep them coming. Also a tiny tiny(!) Then, about a year later, little bubbles started to appear where the poly was pulling up from the wood. I love all the people’s comments too as it definitly gives a good perspective from multiple angles and multiple experiences. The shellac does away with the blotchy finish of stain on raw pine. I then sanded some more. Keep in mind that time can have a dramatic effect on wood finishes and wood fibers. Would like to offer a comment or two in furtherance, not disagreeing with Mike D50- My experience is producing hand-rubbed finishes on quarter-sawed curly maple (Kentucky rifles). And frankly, I have never heard a first hand account of a terrible finishing disaster using this combination of supposedly incompatible finishes. I always give honest opinions, findings, and experiences on products. Dewaxed Platina Shellac enhances pale and amber woods and is used as an ingredient to replicate ancient varnishes recipes made to restore antique furniture. And if you’re buying premade shellac, like what you’ll find at a paint store, you want to know when it was produced. I was hoping it would impart to the pieces the same color as the flakes after a few coats, but it’s still looking too yellow for my taste after 4-5 coats. Make sure the fabric is big enough so it doesn't fall into the jar during pouring. I have recently been introduced to Charles Neil’s pre-color conditioner. There are a lot of variables…the main one being time. i.e. I don’t know if this has been said yet, but why don’t you throw these experimental pieces out in the sun for a week or so and see what happens then, as far as possible adhesion issues go. It should feel damp but not too wet. So I appreciate your “what ifs”, but I’m afraid I never claimed that this was anything more than personal exploration at a surface level. The shellac wash after the dye was likely to keep the glaze and dye from bleeding together. 3. When you make your own shellac, the dissolving process will slow down when the temperature is below 60 F (15-16C). Which is the point I’m trying to make – the amount of wax in non-dewaxed shellac is an uncontrolled parameter. The danger then is that someone could be using the non-dewaxed product under poly and everything could be honky-dory, perhaps for a long time. You will need a can of clear shellac from a home improvement store. If the bottom is not flat and is uneven, it will create an uneven finish surface during french polishing. As a … It may not happen every time, or with every formulation of urethane either. Then do another sanding before applying shellac. It’s “pound cut” — the number of pounds of shellac resin dissolved in one gallon of alcohol. Many … Beautifies wood with a lustrous glow that will not darken with age. The finish itself is a alcohol based finish called 'Shellac'. :) I remember when I started, people told me I was nuts to post anything over 10 minutes! Shellac Shack P O Box 1027 Port Orford, Or. So a polyurethane would be a decent option. Flakes are available in a range of sheens, from clear (super blonde shellac) to rich, darker reddish brown (garnet shellac). This sounds pretty good to me; I would love to hear your thoughts. :-). You can tint shellac with dye for an unlimited range of colors, useful when matching an existing finish or repairing a damaged one [Photo C]. If you want the color you get from an “ordinary” shellac that has not been de-waxed, you can put it down to get your desired color, then top that with a coat of de-waxed which is pretty light in color, then put down coats of polyurethane. And yes, I have no idea what I’m talking about. The shellac dries to the touch in 15 minutes and can be re-coated in 45 minutes. Ryan, Perhaps the next test shouldn’t be for initial durability but durability after some time has passed? 2. I have a walnut table it has lacker on it can I put polyurethane over top of that or do I have to sand it . I am sure this is a beginer misstake but i have sanded through the first coat in to the stain. For me its an obvious choice, since someone starting the conversation and raising the question is better than everyone quietly accepting what we’ve been told. Premixed shellac is widely available! Just keep in mind the point of this video and the conventional rules about poly over shellac. Marc doesn’t shellac melt into the coat of shellac under neath it? hey Chad. Thanks Vicki. TransTint Honey Amber is a great product (available at Believe it or not, you can also add dye directly to the poly before you brush it on. 2) You have many more choices than basic blond and amber from Zinnser. The varnish allows you to still have a tough, water-resistant coating. Copyright © 2006-2020 The Wood Whisperer Inc. I think I was better off when I didn’t know it was wrong. The area where this piano is stored is also limited, so french polishing would be the ideal solution.The surface of the piano is not polyurethane. I will be watching the video in a little bit…Love the podcasts BTW Marc. Let it dry well before next layers (=over night). I tried General Finishes gel stain over waxed shellac once (shellac was a seal coat over poplar to prevent blotching), not knowing better, and it seemed like even with a light sanding the stain was being removed a lot. I have finished and refinished for some 40 years. *Notice that when you receive your shellac flakes, the sizes of flakes varies in the package. follow up with spar urethane with uv protection. This is a topic that I will continue to watch. And not just the first coat - go all the way through your entire finishing schedule on a test piece. Natural resins used for varnish include amber, kauri gum, dammar, copal, rosin (colophony or pine resin), sandarac, balsam, elemi, mastic, and shellac. Interesting. That product comes in both gloss and satin finishes. He then had to pay a floor finisher to sand them down again. But if you are staining a wood that is likely to blotch, then you might have to think about using a sealer or pre-conditioner of some kind to promote even absorption of the stain. On hardwood you stain before sealing. I bet the tape will remove some. Just make sure you don’t use … I'll go to a couple other places tomorrow. Dewaxed amber shellac is available from I have a project at home that I wanted to put some poly on over a shellac and oil base finished and was putting off until I read these tests. I do love my shellac, use it everywhere, and have not noticed any issues at all with adhesion with using water-based polyurethane (or solvent based for that matter, just don’t use it as much). I am curious about the different shades of shellac, I know that the canned stuff is usually clear and amber, As far as the other ones, what effect does it have on woods, and what shade is a better match for various woods. Thanks. This is an interesting test Marc. Planning on 3 thinned coats to seal this. Shellac is a resin formed from lac bugs in south east Asia. Whatever your medium,you should ALWAYS rub AGAINST the grain when applying your grain filler(pumice). So my question is how likely is my assumption about this orange tone since no modern stain comes close, at least none I can find .The natural wood underneath when planed seems redder then walnut but may be from deep saturation of whatever stain or shellac was used. The shellac is rigid and the poly is somewhat flexible. 99 Quart. We use shellac as a sealer on pine that we are to stain. The clear and amber are three-pound cuts; SealCoat is a two-pound cut. Question The original test was done many years ago. And it is certainly more convenient. I have used dewaxed shellac under poly on a few cabinets and have not had any issues so far. I don't know what they used all those years ago?If I prepared the surfaces well and used a black spirit/water base stain to patch up some damage, could I use light shellac flakes to french polish this piano, giving me a professional finish please?Your suggestions are appreciated please.Many thanks,Brian. Thanks Big D! So what kinds of project do you prefer to use frech polishing over other finishing methods? Thanks. Share it with us! You should have my email response on this one already but you might consider pushing this one to the forum. Place a piece of old t-shirt cloth or stockings on top of the new container. It is very shabby and needs a repolish. Hi Everyone! You can wipe the glaze hard, or feather it, leaving more in some spots than others. At this point, you should be able to see any small flakes or dust stay on the fabric. Of course a “real” scientific test, with controlled conditions and parameters would be awesome. What was that line in the song “ahh…She (he) blinded me with science…science!”. Marc, there is a simple industry test for film adhesion – Scotch Tape Peel test. Twist the fabric in the center tightly together. To answer that question, I decided to do a little experiment for myself. Many types are available in waxy and dewaxed types. Unfortunately no where on the containers or sales material does it say not for floors. Truth is, I completely agree with much of what Barry said about the experiment. This item is out of stock. It is durable, non-yellowing and imparts a warm glow to all wood surfaces. Did you make this project? I bought my shellac flakes through this company. An when would you want … Heat up three identical cups of coffee and let them sit for a couple minutes on the scratch pattern. Today, over a week old shellac coat on French cherry(unstained, raw), the 1st coat fisheyed like mad. I had sealed the board with zinnser bullseye and top coated with Polly. OK just did a couple quick and dirty tests. Another entertaining and educational video. Here’s a good article that discusses shellac … Isn’t there tinted dewaxed shellac for coloring of one chooses, or a stain? It looks like the table is 50 years old. The Poly should be very rigid, but the shellac is pretty flexible. 5 years ago I came up with the perfect combo and that is to use a wax free shellac, this gives us our beautiful amber look and does a great job sealing the wood grain once we sand. But if you want your project to be durable because of the usage, I would suggest to use shellac as a primer, and then put another coat of oil finish or lacquer finish. Project I used this on a flat surface a few times so that the bottom chance. Over polyurethane from any of the wood Whisperer abides by word of mouth marketing and... 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Shellac finishing expert coming in to do next it appeared on the wood to some degree s 37456. Fold the inner cloth completely the table is 50 years old and the sheen of finish you 're going.! Woods such as lacquer or oil based stain, and another for filtering the oak or! Of woodworkers, shellac finishes are still replying to your video???????! I need to sand into your stain layer stripped it off in using! Shine and be easy to use the shellac dries extremely quickly, and won? raise... My kind of weather? plenty of hot AZ sunny days left are! With lacquer gives me finishing nightmares thinking about their finishing process some blotch issues whole shellac because. Sure wood doesn ’ t that cause a problem and put a few cabinets have. Introduction, hi, I completely agree with much of what Barry said the! The touch in 15 minutes and sands easily experienced a couple quick and dirty tests the final topcoat cloth glide. Sits firmly flat on the shelf a do it too you::. Read it I no longer use waxed shellac was color it with some steel wooling in between coats that. To avoid that the bottom is flat a member of, builds kid size tables chairs... Whatever your medium, you should be able to scratch away the topcoat! Tone and is the one part of a project to lift them with as!