Quick Answer: How Do You Use Shellac Flakes?


  1. Once the surface is ready to finish, apply a coat of shellac using a quality varnish brush, pad, or spray gun.
  2. Apply in thin coats and allow the surface to dry for 30-45 minutes between applications.
  3. Apply additional coats until you obtain the desired finish.

What do you mix shellac flakes with?

Shellac flakes are mixed with alcohol to produce a liquid finish. The ratio of flakes to alcohol determines the “cut” of the finish.

How do you dissolve shellac flakes?

Dissolve dry shellac flakes in denatured ethanol, which is sold in most paint stores. It also dissolves in methanol, butyl and isopropyl alcohol. Methanol will evaporate the quickest, followed by ethanol, butyl and isopropyl alcohol.

What are shellac flakes for?

It is processed and sold as dry flakes and dissolved in alcohol to make liquid shellac, which is used as a brush-on colorant, food glaze and wood finish. Shellac functions as a tough natural primer, sanding sealant, tannin-blocker, odour-blocker, stain, and high-gloss varnish.

How much shellac flakes do I need?

cut liquid shellac use approximately a 2:16 ratio of shellac flakes to alcohol (2 oz. of shellac flakes dissolved in 16 oz. of alcohol). Heavier liquid cuts can be used however it is best to apply several thin shellac coats rather than a few heavy ones.

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Can I use vodka for shellac?

Pure grain alcohol will dissolve your shellac more smoothly and will build your finish more quickly. So take a trip to your local liquor store and pick up some solvent, give it a try with shellac, and see what you think when you’ve used a traditional solvent for your traditional shellac finish.

How long will shellac flakes last?

Remember, in flake form, and stored properly, shellac has a shelf life of around 3 years. Keep the flake cool, dark and tightly sealed. Therefore you can stock-up and mix only what is needed for the job at hand. The thing about shellac is that it will take a tremendous polish at extremely thin layers.

How long does it take shellac flakes to dissolve?

That way you have no down time waiting for shellac flakes to dissolve. Mixing the shellac flakes is simply a matter of dissolving them and this usually takes 24 hours and sometimes more, depending on the temperature usually.

How do you grind shellac flakes?

Grinding the shellac flakes first (e.g. with a coffee grinder ) will accelerate the process, as well as a warm water bath. Do not heat the mixture directly. Mix every 15-30 minutes until you obtain a homogeneous mixture. Shellac should be completely dissolved.

Does shellac waterproof?

Shellac, just as many other finishes, is not waterproof, however, it is quite water resistant. Shellac can easily withstand water for about 4 hours. Even if the surface is not wiped, the resulting faint white stain will still fade away as it dries.

Does shellac seal wood?

It “seals” the wood perfectly well. Shellac also blocks the resin from pine knots and very oily exotic woods, which can slow the drying of lacquer and varnish significantly. But notice that the first three situations are all refinishing problems, not new-wood problems, and the last is rare for professional finishers.

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Do you sand between coats of shellac?

You do not need to sand between shellac coats, but it can seriously improve the piece’s finish. That is because small imperfections like specks of dust get bigger and bigger every time you add a new coat. Shellac will bond with the coat under it, making one layer. Not sanding can leave you with a lumpy finish.

Do you Stir shellac?

The fresher the dissolved shellac the quicker it hardens and the more water-resistant the dried finish. When you do this, be sure to stir, not just shake, fairly often until the shellac is dissolved, at least once an hour. Otherwise the flakes will soften, settle, and stick together at the bottom of the container.

Do you have to dilute shellac?

Since store-bought dry shellac flakes are sold in several cuts (three- to four-pound cuts are most common) you will need to thin it accordingly by dissolving it in the right solvent. Thinning the shellac is important to provide natural consistency to the product which makes it easier to apply.

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