For many artisans and woodworkers, shellac appears as the best finish, as its application is easy and is a very versatile material. The result of the application is of quality and can be considered one of the best sealers available on the market.
It dries quickly and can be with a brush, doll or pistol. If you want to know more about the usefulness of this material, today’s text is for you. We have selected tips, instructions and inspirations. Check out:
What is Shellac
Shellac is a product made by dissolving dry resin with denatured alcohol. It was very popular in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to finish wooden furniture and is still in great demand today, mainly to revitalize furniture.
Its origin is natural, its application is easy and it has almost no odor. It is a very safe material and has been proven to be non-toxic, allowing you to make use of this product at home, in the best DIY style!
It can be used to waterproof MDF, plaster, ceramic, wood, paraffin, styrofoam, paper, leather, cork surfaces, among others.
It is an excellent product to be applied before painting these materials, since they “suck” the paint. It can also be used as a finish after painting.
The basics about shellac
The product is diluted with alcohol and when it evaporates it leaves a resin film on the wood. The gum coat “melts” the previous application, forming a unique and resistant varnish layer on the wood. It is possible to buy shellac ready-to-use or in flakes, what comes ready is easier to use.
Cut is the name given to the proportion of resin and alcohol found in shellac and which may vary according to the work to be carried out. So, 120g of resin for each liter of alcohol corresponds to a cut of 1 pound; just double the resin ratio to get a 2-pound cut.
The easiest cuts to apply are 2 pounds, the 1 pound requires more coats to form a thick film and the 3 pound is sticky making it impossible to be uniform.
Types of applications
The shellac is very versatile and allows the three main types of applications to be carried out: brush, doll and spray gun. We selected the characteristics of each of them below. Check out:
This is the most common type of application. The main tip on horizontal surfaces is to work quickly and not to pass the brush several times in the same place, thus, it spreads evenly and covers the total surface of the wood. Make long strokes following the veins of the wood.
The importance of not running the brush again on a part that has already been covered is that it dries quickly and you will end up dragging dry resin leaving the stained and coarse finish.
On vertical surfaces, you need to take care that the gum does not drain. So, apply a very thin layer to cover the wood and then pass the brush over it once or twice more. This way, you will be able to check if the resin has drained and repair it quickly.
After the first coat, wait between 30 minutes and 1 hour, lightly sand the surface. If the sanding powder is white, the shellac is completely dry. Clean the dust and repeat the process to apply the second coat. The number of coats depends on the look you want.
Application with doll
The application with a doll is when you fold a cloth or cotton to form a doll. With this technique, it will be possible to work faster and with greater control over the thickness of the finishing film.
Use any cloth that is soft, clean and dry. Fold it until it is the size of your palm and with a round, even base. It is important that this is the size because the cloth absorbs the resin and needs to have enough to slide on the wood without skipping parts.
It is great for flat surfaces. First, wet the cushion with shellac, then rub from side to side of the piece following the veins of the wood. When you reach the end, lift the cloth to complete the brush stroke.
The control of the pressure exerted on the pad will determine the thickness of the coat. The higher the pressure, the more shellac will be applied. Cover the entire surface and wait for it to dry before applying the second coat.
For vertical surfaces, the cushion is more suitable because it prevents the resin from running. On worked surfaces, more attention needs to be paid.
The final result is only achieved after applying the second coat!
Apply shellac with spray gun
This technique is for those who have a pistol and a ventilated area. The work will be much smaller, faster and with an excellent result. With it, it will be possible to cover large areas with a higher speed. Using the proper technique, the finish will be smooth and uniform like a glass.
Apply thin coats with a diluted cut of 1 pound. The drying starts to happen right after leaving the gun.
The application must start with the difficult areas, followed by edges and finally the flat areas. To avoid smudging, the gun must be in constant motion.
Types of Shellac
There are 4 types of shellac available on the market and each has a different result. We have selected the main characteristics of each one to help you decide which one is best for your project. Check out:
This type is used as a waterproofing agent for absorbent and porous materials. Widely used on paper, wood, ceramics and plaster before painting. The varnish finish is the main feature and its colorless base maintains the color of the material.
This also fulfills the function of waterproofing in porous and absorbent materials. However, it is still used as a protection for paints with low abrasion resistance. The finish is more yellowish and brings a rustic look to the pieces.
It has the same function as the previous ones, however, it can also be used as a finishing varnish in decorative pieces and for fixing glitter and glitter. Its finish is lighter than that of Indian shellac.
The finish of Chinese shellac is glossy and adheres very well to wood, plaster, MDF, glass, ceramic and concrete materials. It is extremely durable and completely colorless!
50 shellac photos to inspire you to apply to wood, glass and other materials
Now that you know what shellac is for, we have selected projects that will inspire you to revitalize and decorate your furniture with this product. Check out:
1- Shellac leaves the finish of wooden pieces more shiny and elegant
2- Can also be used for cracked glass crafts
3- This finish is widely used in musical instruments made of wood such as guitars
4- It is an alternative to revitalize old furniture and transform the look into a new piece
5- Look how beautiful and shiny the wood is
6- Another example of the use of shellac in musical instruments
7- The finish is also used on colored wooden furniture giving a more professional result
8- A piece of furniture finished with this material brings a touch of elegance to any space
9- There are several shades of Shellac that will give the effect you want on your furniture or instrument
10- Do you know that old chair? She may look new after using Shellac on wood
11- It is a great idea for those who are adept at vintage style and want to insert antique furniture in their home decor
12- Look how beautiful the result looks and hide the imperfections of old wood
13- It is a form of conscious consumption since you reuse an item that would go to waste
14- Look at the difference between a chair without the application of shellac and with the application of shellac
15- This piece of furniture is elegant and charming, perfect to match with various styles of decoration
16- The shiny finish with a new face reminiscent of the parquet we put on the parquet floor
17- Your dinner set may look new after the application of Shellac
18- A sample of how to use shellac on pianos
19- You can make comics with wooden drawings and finish them with shellac for a professional finish
20- That imposing game becomes more current when revitalized
21- Lighter woods can also receive this finish to have a more elegant look
22- The application of shellac is simple and you can do it at home alone with little effort
23- Drying is also quick and allows the application of the second coat after half an hour
24- Look at this selection of violins with different shades and all finished with shellac
25- The result is fantastic, isn’t it?
26- One more idea of how to revitalize vintage furniture and turn it into the key piece of decoration in an environment
27- If you want a more rustic result, use Indian shellac
28- Small decorative objects are more beautiful when they are well finished and elegant
29- Raw wood asks for a finish that will preserve its look and quality
30- Look how amazing this corner shelf to decorate your home with elegance
31- Nothing replaces an old piece of furniture, so don’t throw it away, revitalize and reuse it
32- On bedside tables, shellac can be applied on top to protect it from daily use
33- Look how amazing this table is made with a built-in chess board
34- Turn that old sewing table into a beautiful sideboard for your home
35- A vintage piece of furniture to make your home more elegant and charming
36- Solid wood furniture stands out and deserves special care
37- It is also worth applying the finish to small decorative objects
38- A simple but well-finished table draws attention in any room
39- Even the frame got a special touch after applying the finish
40- Another example of a violin finished with shellac
41- The parquet floor combines with the application of the Lacquer Range on the wooden stool and on the racket
42- The colorful table was elegant and shiny thanks to Shellac
43- Old desks are very charming and look even more beautiful after applying the right finish
44- Revitalized furniture is unique and ecological
45- No one else will have a side table like this if you know how to reuse and revitalize it with Shellac
46- Vintage chairs are wonderful and after finishing properly they look amazing in your dining room
47- Look how interesting the difference in colors you can have with the application of Shellac
48- Shellac can be applied to any wooden item, be it small or large
49- Charm is guaranteed with revitalized vintage furniture
50- A before and after so that no one defects
Shellac is very versatile and can be used in different types of material, with wood being the most popular. Choose the safest application method for you and make crafts, revitalizations and let your creativity flow with this product so simple and that brings a wonderful result!