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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago

    Default Re: applying shellac

    Zinssers' shellac is ready to spray right out of the can. It is almost like water, so it sprays extremely well. Shellac seals the wood without raising the grain, so little or no sanding is required between coats. If you intend to leave it as the finish coat, at least two coats would be neccessary to hold an even sheen. It is fairly glossy and I know of no way to bring down that gloss.

    If you think you might eventually put a top finish on it , such as a polyurethane, I would advise using Zinssers' "Seal Coat", as it is the de-waxed version of shellac, which is compatible with just about any finish out there. Polyurethanes are touchy about what they will stick to, including themselves if you wait too long to recoat it.

    Whereas shellac does dry rapidly, it does have some wet time, so that lapping should not be a problem, especially on the subsequent coat or coats. Shellac also "burns" into itself, that is, it re-wets the initial coat somewhat, similar to what lacquers do. Alcohol will always re-dissolve dried shellac, unlike oil paint/varnish and mineral spirits. Once an oil paint is dry, mineral spirits has very little effect on it.

    If you spray it, you will want a full body Tyvek suit and a head sock. An organic canister mask is also a good idea, although the side effects of inhaling alcohol is a good buzz! You can definitely get tipsy inhaling alcohol.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: applying shellac

    spruce and ordjen,
    thanks for all of your input.
    ordjen, good point about the alcohol in shellac. i have done other projects with shellac (my enclosed 8'x 16' workshop was lots o' fun), but i prefer my alcohol cold and liquid.
    i just remembered another little glitch. there is a section of sloped ceiling above the stairway (still about 11'-0" headroom)that will need sealed also.
    this will be put on hold until i figure out a good, safe way to reach all of this easily.
    originally, someone else was going to do the finishing, but they decided not to. got me again!
    would still like to post pics if i can make it work
    thanks again

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: applying shellac

    here are 2 before & 2 after pictures of project.
    walls & ceiling were never shellaced or finished
    i couldn't upload photos before - kept getting error messages
    Last edited by iceman11; 09-20-2012 at 12:58 PM.

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