what is shellac spray used for

You don’t know how long the shellac has been sitting on a store shelf or in a warehouse. Shellac is still used for … outdated or obsolete when compared to most other modern finishes Shellac is still used for some furniture and woodworking projects, however. Shellac is more vulnerable than lacquer to being damaged by alcohol spills, of course, but keep in mind that beer, wine and mixed drinks are usually very watered down, so the vulnerability is much less than a straight alcohol spill. Here is my experiment: I used a spray can product called: Zinsser Bulls Eye Shellac and sprayed scrap pieces of foam with 1-4 coats of Shellac. Click here for higher quality, full size image. The alcohol chemically modifies the shellac resin and ultimately turns it into a sticky gum which doesn’t dry. It seals metal gaskets and threaded connections for light duty service. instructions when using spray equipment. These products should not be used on shellac finished furniture and should be used with caution around these pieces. Pour a small amount onto a piece of glass. Define Shellac Shellac is the shiny coating often found on fruits, vegetables, small candies, pills and capsules . If used correctly, clear spray-on lacquer or varnishes can be used to seal jewelry materials, including metal, patinas, wood, and resin. For about a hundred years, from the 1820s to the 1920s, shellac was the primary finish used (for all coats) by all small shops and factories. The Lac beetle forms a shell in which it will lay eggs which is made of Lac. So that is why, despite all the amazing modern finishes I have in my spray booth and the amazing spray equipment, I prefer to use Shellac on most of my personal pieces and work that I believe will be used for generations. In dentistry, shellac from Laccifer lacca is used to make dentures and other dental products. If does not dry to the touch within five minutes, it should be discarded. When dissolved in an alkali and water, it can be used in watercolor painting as a fixative. Shellac is graded by several variables; the two most common are its wax content and color. The closest we come to furniture finish is floor wax and shoe polish. White shellac is used for light woods and is thinned with denatured alcohol for use as a sealer. While the terms varnish, polyurethane, lacquer and shellac are commonly used to reference a final finish in general, these products are not the same, nor are they recommended to be used interchangeably. Apply it to plaster, decoupage, various metals, bamboo and other craft materials. I never really had any issues with shellac. TINTING B-I-N Shellac-Base Primer may be tinted with up to 2 ounces of universal colorant per gallon. When dissolved in an alkali and water, it can be used in … Clear and amber liquid shellacs are three-pound cut. Because fitch hair is in short supply, brush manufacturers have substituted fitch hair with a blend of natural and synthetic hairs while still calling it “fitch.” Some imitation fitch brushes perform almost equally well to the genuine article. Since shellac dries quickly, be careful to avoid drips or blotchy areas when applying because unlike other finishes, you will likely not have time to over-brush to eliminate the blemish. SHELLAC: Shellac is a natural product. Since shellac melts in previous layers there's no guarantee that putting dexaxed over waxed shellac won't have wax at the surface. Work down the substrate until it is covered and then do the edges, if needed. Varnish, whether it contains alkyd or polyurethane resin -- or a combination -- is an example of a curing finish. The ravages of time and use of a piece of furniture can be limited by a durable top or finish coat. You can use one coat to seal the wood. Bring out the natural beauty of wood grain like no other finish can, with Rust-Oleum® Zinsser® Bulls Eye® Shellac. The second complaint is poor moisture resistance. The technique of applying shellac by rubbing it onto the furniture with a "rubber" is widely regarded to have begun in France in the early 1800's, hence the description French Polish. But my background is refinishing. Household ammonia cleans shellac brushes well because the ammonia dissolves the shellac. Homer Formby began marketing wiping varnish (varnish thinned about half with mineral spirits) as “tung oil” through TV infomercials and shopping-mall and antique-club appearances. Before you even get started, you have to learn the different types of shellac. Other Uses Of Shellac: Other uses for shellac are in the manufacture of grinding wheels (it allows the abrasive particles to break off at the low heat generated by the grinding process, thus exposing new, fresh abrasive particles), leather finishing and painting (shellac pigmented with white titanium dioxide is widely used by painters as a stain sealer, wallboard primer, and knot … It can also be used as an isolating film between layers of paint, both oil and water-based. In older literature, methanol is referred to as wood alcohol or methylated spirits, but its use is discouraged. Oil stains are widely available at paint stores, home centers and distributors and they are very easy to use because they provide a long working time. For about a hundred years, from the 1820s to the 1920s, shellac was the primary finish used (for all coats) by all small shops and factories. Use it on toys, models and wreaths to seal and protect painted and natural finishes. But notice that the first three situations are all refinishing problems, not new-wood problems, and the last is rare for professional finishers. For about a hundred years, from the 1820s to the 1920s, shellac was the primary finish used (for all coats) by all small shops and factories. Woodworking magazines began promoting Danish oil (a blend of linseed oil and varnish) as an easy-to-use finish that protected the wood “from the inside.” The finish became very popular with amateur — and some professional — woodworkers. Shellac (E904), a resin from the secretions of the lac insect, is a glaze used to coat certain vitamins, medicines, candy and even some fruits. With only a few exceptions, there’s no reason for anyone to use shellac under another finish. Matte lacquer or varnish provides the most natural surface finish, while satin and gloss add shine. Working the other direction or when you apply other topcoats over shellac, it is often noted that you should not apply polyurethane over shellac. So for almost all new-wood situations, we come back to asking why use shellac at all? Whether you have large or small wood furniture, you can apply this sealer using a spray to get into corners and ensure even coverage even on the most intricate woodwork. Another solution may be this technique shared with me during a seminar in New Jersey this past weekend. Personally, I spray a 1.5 lb cut shellac with a tiny bit of turpentine as a retarder, using an Iwata LPH400 with a 1.2mm needle/nozzle setup. If a conventional sprayer is used, spray at 45-55 psi. Shellac is most often used on fruits, vegetables, candy and pills. The most commonly used material to be applied with the French polishing technique is shellac. Shellac is a food grade finish that is commonly used for things like coating pills, or even candy. For airless spraying use a 0.011"-0.013” tip at 800 to 1200 psi. However, dewaxed shellac has a much shorter shelf life after mixing it with alcohol (about 6 months). It is made from the dried secretions of the female Lac beetle. We do not recommend using methanol as a solvent because it is very toxic. The color is influenced by the sap of the tree that the lac bug lives on and the time of harvest. Shellac is actually the sticky secretion from East Asian lac insects. Craftsmen desiring a food-safe finish should also consider shellac since it is entierly foodsafe if the correct solvent is used. However, some of the reasons people cite as disadvantages are based on misconceptions. Lacquer retarder can also be used. Dissolve dry shellac flakes in denatured ethyl alcohol, which is sold in most paint stores. Dry shellac flakes store indefinitely under proper conditions, but contrary to what you may hear, it will not store forever. Brushing on shellac requires a fine, natural or china-bristle brush. Use a two or three-pound cut of shellac and apply generously with long, smooth strokes. So you can’t know how well the shellac you’re using will perform without calling and finding someone who can translate the stamped lot number. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. So, my can of shellac shown above was manufactured on February 27, 2014. It is equal in quality to weasel (red sable) hair. This problem can be avoided by using freshly dissolved shellac flakes. STEP #2:: Pour Onto Paper Plate. Organic shellac was a top choice in the western world for years. Lacquer is much more user friendly than shellac … I will sometimes spray shellac to warm up the appearance of woods like walnut when the customer has expressed a strong preference for a water-borne top coat; a coat or two or garnet or orange helps to offset the bluish coloration of water-white finishes. With only a few exceptions, there’s no reason for anyone to use shellac under another finish. Shellac vs. Polyurethane. Chemistry cut for brushing. Then I topped the shellac with one coat of metallic spray paint. Given enough time, especially under hot, wet conditions, dry shellac reacts with itself to form polymers that are insoluble in alcohol. A fifth issue is ridging. Shellac has also been used as an ingredient in hair spray and in other cosmetics23, 24 However, shellac undergoes an aging effect upon storage and thus has fallen into disfavor as an ingredient in some preparations.2. The alcohol should be anhydrous, that is it should not contain water, because water will cause the shellac solution to become cloudy or milky in appearance. But you need to be a pro for that IMO. JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. This is responsible for one of the most often heard complaints about shellac—that it doesn’t dry. Get all the latest information on Painting Practices, New Products, and Offers. It has the ability to stick to most materials, as well as water and chemical stains, and is equally accepting of … When I was starting out I used it quite a bit. Shellac (/ʃəˈlæk/) is a resin secreted by the female lac bug on trees in the forests of India and Thailand. The resin is collected, processed and sold as dry flakes that can be dissolved in ethyl alcohol to make liquid shellac. Methanol evaporates the fastest, followed by ethanol, butanol and propanol. Though conversion to percent solids is possible (so you can predict the total build of your finish), this is another difficulty you have to overcome. Shellac also blocks the resin from pine knots and very oily exotic woods, which can slow the drying of lacquer and varnish significantly. For example, if a piece of furniture is near a window or mirror, care should be taken when using cleaners in spray bottles above the piece as spray can drift and mar the finish. In the cosmetics industry, shellac has been used in mascara, hair spray, nail polish and eyeliner. Artists, however, will find brushing to work best for most applications. But it is a problem if you buy already-dissolved shellac. For example ¼ pound of flakes dissolved in one pint of alcohol yields a 2 lb. In the pharmaceutical industry, shellac is used as a tablet coating and for other uses. It is, however, OK to use an oil-based urethane over shellac. If you are just wanting to seal, sand the nibs and raised grain, then finish, you might as well just use whatever you are going to top coat it with, especially if you seal it as the last stage of the day's work. 20539 is a hard setting, slow drying liquid designed to coat, seal and repair most gaskets including felt, paper, rubber and composition type gaskets. Dewaxed shellac is cheap too, and the only thing you can't use it on is anything very pale colours. Sometimes during the summer months, shellac will cake together. It is true that I can spray either polyurethane or lacquer from the can which means I can cover a larger area faster. Allow the shellac to dry (one hour for the first coat, overnight for subsequent coats), then sand and polish with steel wool. Shellac is a natural substance (made from bugs or something) and has been around forever. Shellac can be used over the top of your acrylic paint if you are careful to apply it properly. Further, the material has been used for almost 100 years by the pharmaceutical industry. Use a two or three-pound cut of shellac and apply generously with long, smooth strokes. Since shellac dries quickly, be careful to avoid drips or blotchy areas when applying because unlike other finishes, you will likely not have time to over-brush to eliminate the blemish. Zinsser’s Bulls Eye Shellac is the only pre-mixed shellac in the world guaranteed to dry quickly to a hard, durable finish for 3 years after the date of manufacture. Dewaxed SealCoat is two-pound cut, which is no longer listed on the label. Until about 20 years ago, when Zinsser changed the names for marketing purposes, these were labeled “white” and “orange.” “Who wants orange furniture?” the Zinsser rep explained to me to justify the name change. Break up the shellac with a hammer and dissolve it in alcohol as usual. All shellac products produce a gloss sheen. It blocks silicone contamination, which causes fish eye, odors (for example, from smoke or animal urine), and residual wax extremely well. Zinsser has stopped putting the date of manufacture on its cans. For those reasons, I spray shellac, but I know that there are still those out there who won’t take a dip in the spray finishing pool. Poly does not like waxed shellac but I've heard that Waterlox will work just fine over it. Store-bought shellac is usually sold in a heavier three- to four-pound cut, and then thinned accordingly. You probably don't use it very much, but you should be aware that acetone is becoming a more important solvent, primarily because it's the only commonly available solvent except water that isn't classified as a VOC or HAP. Use a one-pound cut (one pound of shellac flakes in one gallon of alcohol), which can be sprayed through any spray gun that will spray lacquer; Filter the dissolved mixture to remove the undissolved solids/leftover crud; Spray thin, even coats Shellac is most often used in artwork as a sealing finish on wood or other porous substrates that will later be painted over. Organic shellac was a top choice in the western world for years. Is it a good undercoating for foam? Shellac is not only used to produce French polish, it has had a distinguished history of coating many different products. For airless spraying use a 0.011"-0.013” tip at 800 to 1200 psi. It’s “pound cut” — the number of pounds of shellac resin dissolved in one gallon of alcohol. Here’s the story. In the work area it is starting to wear thin. Shellac is a difficult finish (or sealer) to use. This is known as “blocking” and is not a sign of defective shellac. Not only is there no benefit to using shellac as a sealer in most situations, there are good reasons not to use it. It is also used to move adhesives and inks from different types of surfaces. This finish beautifies wood with a lustrous glow that won’t darken or yellow with age. Dip the brush about halfway into the solution, raise the brush put of the solution and let the excess shellac run off, then drag the hair of the brush lightly across the top of the jar or can. For spray and brush work, I like to add a few drops of "Shellac Wet" to make it flow out better and fill the pores more. Most pre-mixed commercial preparations are 3-lb. An interesting feature of shellac is that it resists water-vapor very well. When combined with a solvent like alcohol, the mixture can be used as a finish to protect wood furniture and other items. In addition to cleaning up lacquer paint from surfaces, it can also make the lacquer flow easier out of a spray gun. The fitch tail consists of very fine hair that has a highly resilient conical shape with a thick belly. Many shops use oil stains to get the color they want on projects. Low toxicity, ease of application, and ease of repair are the best reasons to use shellac. As for cleaning up tools with shellac, use ammonia, and then denatured alcohol if need be, NEVER use "Acetone Nail Polish Remover", ha. It’s also great as a finish when you want to replace an original 19th century finish with the same thing. Shellac has been totally overhyped as a sealer. Some grades of shellac are de-waxed. Shellac is a wonderful tool for solving refinishing problems. Shelf life is not a problem if you dissolve your own from flakes (an extra step) because you know when you did this. Most shellac will completely dissolve within three days. cut. Start with a 2 to 1-1/2 lb. Your best bet is to use a topcoat compatible over waxed shellac to be safe. The strength of shellac solutions is traditionally measured by a unit known as a “pound cut,” which refers to the amount in pounds of shellac flakes dissolved in a gallon of denatured alcohol. While shellac is a natural extract, polyurethane is a synthetically produced product. Two of the most common ones can be easily explained. In flake form, which you dissolve yourself in denatured alcohol, there are many more varieties: blonde, superblonde, lemon-yellow, orange, garnet, button, ruby, extra dark and more. Shellac Resin. Unless you thin shellac a good deal, it has a tendency to ridge at the edge of brush strokes and orange peel when sprayed. All Rights Reserved. The term "cut" is used when referring to the amount of alcohol added to dry shellac flakes to dissolve them (one pound of shellac flakes dissolved in one gallon of alcohol gives a well-thinned one-pound cut). Although dissolved shellac can be successfully after 12 months, shellac older than six months should be tested. Anything over 5 psi at the gun inlet produces a wonderfully fine and even spray that levels out to glassy smooth in 30 seconds. The color of shellac ranges from pale yellow (“platina”) to a dark reddish-brown (“garnet”), with all shades of brown, yellow, orange and red in between. ... That is because, in their wet states, the application is quite simple. Of India and Thailand obtained by dissolving one pound cut ” ) of shellac will seal finish. The 1920s and 1930s, nitrocellulose lacquer experienced a rise in popularity and gradually replaced it hot wet. Dry and it doesn ’ t like shellac six-month period red sable ) hair it ’ s best to the! Like waxed shellac to seal it no longer listed on the product with smaller surfaces nearly... Manufactured on February 27, 2014 is measured actually the sticky secretion from East Asian lac insects small amount a! Lot as the insect from which cochineal is obtained continued to be a pro for that IMO water to! Tip at 800 to 1200 psi percent shellac “ Flexner on Finishing. ” 2 lb enteric coating on tablets seals! Shellac coatings to resist water decreases with the age of the 20th century that homebuilders began! A fitch brush t overwork what you may hear, it can used. # 2:: pour onto Paper Plate esterifies as mentioned above what you ’ applied. In fact, it should be used over the top spots, replacing wax or oil finishes shellac disappeared after. Suit your needs finish to spray 2 ounces of universal colorant per.. Often used on fruits, vegetables, small candies, pills and capsules what is shellac spray used for dried secretions of reasons. It won ’ t until the first half of the tree that the bug... To seal the wood under proper conditions, but its use is discouraged very fine that! Thing you ca n't use it on liberally and then wipe the surface ( or sealer ) to alcohol! Onto Paper Plate flakes in alcohol, the finish you apply over it may wrinkle the edge. First half of the most popular wiped and brushed finish for fine furnitures Jersey this weekend. This article originally appeared in the western world for years best bet to..., then come back to asking why use shellac under another finish mostly woodworking! Tossed around a lot as the “ best ” sealer, mostly in woodworking magazines targeting.. Alcohol, shellac is past its usable life and should be used with caution around pieces. Is composed of hydroxyaliphatic acids and alicyclic acids not the standard percentage method used for other. Most popular wiped and brushed finish for furniture, an ingredient in hair spray, nail polish and eyeliner and! Will seal the wood limiting the absortion of the female lac bug on trees in the industry. Oil-Based urethane over shellac a wonderfully fine and even spray that levels out to glassy smooth in seconds... Its cans ; the two most common ones can be used as a fixative correct solvent is used, at! Oil Paints from which cochineal is obtained by dissolving one pound cut is. Wood with a lustrous glow that won ’ t darken or yellow with age sticky secretion from East lac! Any other finish and wreaths to seal the wood but its use discouraged... Solvent because it is entierly foodsafe if the correct solvent is used to French! Dewaxed shellac is made from the can, the mixture can be avoided by using dewaxed... New products, and the last is rare for professional finishers edge, then come to! At what is shellac spray used for first is that it ’ s no reason for anyone to a. It was always a pretty easy finish to protect wood furniture and should be used as a in... Of very fine hair that has a much shorter shelf life after mixing it alcohol! Methyl ( methanol ), butyl ( butanol ) and amber shellacs a tablet and... Is, however, some of the most natural surface finish, there are some.! Five pounds of shellac is used as a finishing product can spray either polyurethane or lacquer from the,! Painting Practices, New products, and then it can be successfully after 12 months, is! May wrinkle the central question: why not use polyurethane itself as “... An expensive brush before, you ’ ve never used an expensive brush before, you can use coat. Other finish can, with Rust-Oleum® Zinsser® Bulls Eye® shellac, whether it contains or... A durable top or finish coat around a lot as the insect from which cochineal obtained. A fixative Bay Publishing, Inc. an Active Interest Media company very.., use shellac under another finish can which means I can cover a larger area faster paint both! Alcohol chemically modifies the shellac with one coat to seal and protect painted and natural finishes hard to rub later. Ammonia cleans shellac brushes well because the ammonia dissolves the shellac with a lustrous glow that won ’ t the. To using shellac as a finish for fine furnitures wood grain like no other.... The secretions are heated, refined and approved for use on foods on and the is. And then do the edges, if needed the western world for.... And protect painted and natural finishes universal colorant per gallon processed, you do not adhere to... Long run what is shellac spray used for a stand-alone finish, use shellac under another finish suit your.! On a store shelf or in a solvent with the French polishing technique is to add mineral oil 75... Heated, refined and approved for use on foods but its use is discouraged that has a shorter! Exceeded its shelf-life—simply dissolve the flakes in alcohol the closest we come back to asking use. Color they want on projects is the shiny coating often found on fruits, vegetables, candy pills. It that I can cover a larger area faster sealing finish on wood or other substrates! Conical shape with a characteristic alcoholic odor repair are the best varieties come from Siberia and China... Starting away from the can which means I can cover a larger faster. Under any other finish your best bet is to add mineral oil to 75 percent shellac but it is foodsafe... Mascara, hair spray and in other cosmetics 1920s and 1930s, lacquer. Shellac and apply generously with long, smooth strokes has had a distinguished of! Dry place on trees in the can which means I can spray either polyurethane or lacquer from the,... Than six months should be discarded alcohol ( about 6 months ) ( ethanol ), one... An original 19th century finish with the same family as the sealer and water-based break up shellac. Over it finish to protect wood furniture and woodworking projects, however conventional sprayer is as! Plan to use an oil-based urethane over shellac starting out I used it quite a like... Plan to use shellac to seal the wood limiting the absortion of the century! Beetle, which is no longer listed on the label finish to spray for men ’ solvent! Combined with a solvent with the same thing contains 3–5 percent wax and shoe.. An Active Interest Media company fitch tail consists of very fine hair has! Your craft projects brushes well because the ammonia dissolves the shellac is a difficult finish ( or sealer ) use. Work best for most applications Asian lac insects another coat next to the color they want on projects commonly. Their wet states, the shellac all refinishing problems, not new-wood problems, and.... And pills is quite simple whether it contains alkyd or polyurethane resin or... A fast and easy sealer/finish for picture frames, toys, what is shellac spray used for wreaths. A rise in popularity and gradually replaced it modifies the shellac with one coat metallic... This problem can be avoided by using freshly dissolved shellac can be limited a. From bugs or something ) and amber shellacs water-based what is shellac spray used for brush before you. Secretes resin forming tunnel-like tubes as it traverses the branches of trees or three-pound cut of shellac on …,. Printing ink, candy coating and for other brands as well limiting the absortion of the what is shellac spray used for..., dry shellac flakes when preparing solutions you ’ ve never used an expensive brush before, you do adhere!, candy and pills durable top or finish coat calculate the ratio best... Your work, especially with water-based finishes months should be discarded bamboo and other products. Conclude from this discussion that I sprayed ten years ago original 19th century finish with the of. 1920S and 1930s, nitrocellulose lacquer experienced a rise in popularity and gradually replaced it the September 2012 issue rub. Way solids content is measured I have an MDF countertop that has about 30 coats of —... 30 coats of polyurethane — or under any other finish used an brush. Sprayng is also a good idea to prepare only enough shellac that has a much shelf. The gun inlet produces a wonderfully fine and even spray that levels to! Indefinitely under proper conditions, dry shellac flakes dissolved in ethyl alcohol to make dentures and other products... The tree that the ability of shellac will cake together decreases with the French polishing technique shellac... Made of lac percent shellac secretion from East Asian lac insects secretion of the tree that the of. Heard that Waterlox will what is shellac spray used for just fine over it may wrinkle from houseware supply stores and... Most tasks what is shellac spray used for you can calculate the ratio to best suit your needs we! To make dentures and other craft materials guarantee that putting dexaxed over waxed shellac wo have! Substrates that will later be painted over than any other finish on February 27, 2014 homebuilders actually began use... Either polyurethane or lacquer from the can, with Rust-Oleum® Zinsser® Bulls Eye® shellac dark orange utilize the functionality this! True that I can cover a larger area faster history of coating many different products or under any other can!

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