The surface can be kept clean by dusting with a dampened cloth. Save up to 68% on 7 issues of woodworking projects and tricks. With the solvent, use 0 to 0000 grade steel wool (you will need to determine which will be the best grade for your project). Do you sand the final coat of shellac? The usual ratio is about 3 or 4 parts varnish to one part of the mineral spirits. Shellac can be applied to the stripped and prepped surface by pad, brush or spray. Let us know what happens if you try this (instead of mineral oil). However, the end result has not been as satisfactory as the approach we have been employing, which is outlined above. Also, the type of alcohol used to repair various types of damage can be crucial. You can identify them using their thickness, which is like mayonnaise. 2 coats will probably get you where you want to be based on your description. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality. The accumulation of waxes, polishes, smoke and dust, can become so heavy that the the beauty of the finish and the pattern of the wood grain can be completely obscured. Black Bison uses highly refined liquifying solvents and so has a very low and not unpleasing odor. “Mineral spirits” (paint thinner) is a petroleum product and does not work with shellac at all. Completing the Shellac Finish After the first coat of shellac completely dries, lightly sand the surface with 400-grit sandpaper. Mineral spirits is better for thinning oils, varnishes (including polyurethane varnish) and oil-based paints because it provides more time for the coating to level after brushing. The technique is to add mineral oil to shellac in a ratio of 25 percent oil to 75 percent shellac. It scratches or shatters easily due to its brittle nature. Repairs to french polished surfaces need be be done by people who can successfully apply a french polish finish. Fine scratches can easily be repaired by wiping or brushing, whereas crazing is best repaired by misting or fogging. Denatured alcohol is a solvent for shellac flakes, but is also a thinner for shellac and lacquer. – Simple Woodworking Projects. As a result, your finish should be smooth. Gel stain can be thinned with mineral spirits. Will mineral spirits remove gel stain? A weak soapy solution can be used if there are oily marks or smudges that will not come off with damp dusting. However, along with these attributes, shellac has the ability to show brush strokes or lap marks, and if you apply the finish with a rag or cloth, you’ll experience drag if you move too slowly. It can be damaged by heat as low as 120°. The oil allows the cloth to flow over the shellac without any drag or noticeable lap marks. We have tried every widely regarded wax we have heard of, none are better than Black Bison. Your new dishes would be beautiful if it wasn’t for the … There was little difference in build between the two products, and as you can see in the photo below, the sheen and build are nearly identical, at least to my eye. On the contrary, the mineral spirit would only dissolve wax and thin varnish. That oil should be wiped with naphtha a day or so after the finish is complete , the oil doesn’t dry, so it floats to the surface. For exceptions, please refer to Materials that CANNOT by Sprayed on page 3. Wipe the brush off again on a rag, working as much stain out of the brush as you can. Polishes could be used to accomplish an emergency clean and shine, but should not be used for routine maintenance. You don’t have to rush the padded-on mixture to keep a wet edge. 2. However, this does not impact our recommendations. You will need to use a lot of alcohol to effectively thin out the stain. It is 92.4% ethanol by weight (190 proof) produced at the practical limit of distillation purity. Wipe away sticky price tags residue. The first step in caring for a shellac finish is understanding what are the potential sources of damage. Shellac forms a beautiful finish, accentuating the grain of the wood and adding its own warm tone. This is not padding in the terms of French polish in which you have a round of cheesecloth wrapped in a cotton cloth. Wax will help increase the water resistance of the finish, which is especially important with older shellac finishes which have begun to loose their natural resistance. Here in Canada we don’t have Naptha. Doilies can help to prevent scratches. In each scenario, the finished surface is not exactly smooth. For the best result possible removing the old finish and applying a new, of course you will want to bring it to us. If it flows freely through the funnel, you know the paint is thinned enough. (The left-hand side is the mixture and the right-hand surface is the right-from-the-can shellac. Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. Until guitar-maker Brian Burns told me that he uses mineral spirits (paint thinner) instead of mineral oil as a pad lubricant. You know your audience .. and its diversity. However, it has some problems when it comes to shellac. )An oil/shellac mixture is not like an oil/varnish mixture. As for mineral spirits and turpentine, there really won’t be much difference in terms of application. Shellac is my finish of choice for furniture. Use this link for information on how to remove the finish yourself. Conclusion It should work for shellac. You can continue to use finer and finer grits of wet/dry SC sandpaper, or you can use finer and finer steel wool, or you can use pumice and rottenstone. Glen Huey is a former managing editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine, a period furniture maker and author of numerous woodworking books, videos and magazine articles. The bottom line is, shellac finishes are repairable, but a trained and experienced worker will have greater success with the repair. Sometimes you’ll see methanol (methyl alcohol) sold in paint stores. In fact, small amounts of mineral spirits can be used as a retarder to slow up the drying of shellac. The opening photo is a great example of the separation , unlike wax in shellac that settles to the bottom, the oil rises to the top. I’ve never tried simply mixing the oil and shellac together. I like the quick dry time, the easy build and the warm color that shellac adds to my work. Rockler, too, stipulates that it can only be shipped in the continental United States. If more than fogging is required, lightly sand the surface with a very fine sand paper, such as 320 grit. It would also thin shellac, which is why it’s often referred to as shellac thinner. This technique works only when padding on the shellac, much like one would do when French polishing. You will find oil sitting on the surface. What is Naptha exactly? Huh. The best protection for shellac finishes, and the most common method of care used during the time shellac was the furniture finish of choice, is wax. Some are used for cleaning, others to thin paint, shellac or varnish. Give it a try. Shellac is a resin that has been refined from the secretions of tiny bugs that grow in India, Thailand and China. Thin your oil-based polyurethane with mineral spirits. Methyl hydrate is a carcinogen and is readily absorbed through the skin. Some experimenting on how to apply the shellac would be wise. Keep things simple. Can you thin shellac with mineral spirits? For best results use mineral spirits whenever you can. We have tested some of these formulas and found that they do improve the appearance of the shellac finish. Now we are getting down to the practical steps you need to take to thin out polyurethane. One of my co-workers (Bob) suggests using mineral spirits instead. Mike Methyl hydrate will certainly dissolve shellac but all is definitely not well. I’d thin it, probably 50/50 with DNA. Naphtha is a stronger solvent than mineral spirits, but this is rarely significant in wood finishing. This means that some brands are cut with water to increase their volume, often by as much as 20%. A cousin got the table saw, which to this day, I did not really need. For example, french polishing, which is a method used for applying a highly polished shellac finish primarily to small table tops, is a technique used successfully only by the most experienced workers. This is a very simple concept, but the techniques are not as simple as they sound. OIL-BASED MATERIAL:All sprayers CAN be used with oil-based interior and exterior materials. 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. When I started this craft in earnest some five years ago, I laid some guidelines: 1. When painting, it is great for erasing mistakes. It's a shellac based product and the thinner is alcohol. Denatured alcohol would completely dissolve solid shellac flakes. Can you comment on how you make the "pad" for this last step? Some East Coast states and California prohibit users from adding solvents after the can is opened. The technique is to add mineral oil to shellac in a ratio of 25 percent oil to 75 percent shellac. - Mix thoroughly. 3. An oil/varnish finish usually needs three or four coats for a nice build. It’s not cheap, but it does a great job. Don’t worry about brush marks, but try to keep them to a minimum – I still believe in the saying, “A better brush gives you a better job.” Once you’ve established the build, sand the entire project to remove any brush marks that do appear then apply a coat or two of the oil/shellac mixture. This will dilute the stain (resulting in a lighter color) and create a glaze, which can be used either for staining or adding a unique antiquing appearance on top of paint. Both of these common household products can be used to thin oil-based paint. Thank You x . –Bill. Only thin a pint or so, if you get it too thick, you can add more DNA, if it’s too thin add more shellac. Typically, when you are thinning out oil-based polyurethane or oil-based varnish, you will be working with mineral spirits. But it is made poisonous so it can be sold without liquor taxes. Thank you. The technique for cleaning with these is simple. If you would like to try applying shellac yourself, Zinsser makes a french polishing shellac as well as an orange and white shellac in quart and gallon cans. We like the wool made by Liberon best. If you should cut through the finish on a corner or edge, you'll have to strip the wax with mineral spirits before you go back and touch up the spot with more shellac. - Pour the paint into the bucket. Tools for Working Wood has a very nice shellac brush that I’ve found beneficial to brushing shellac. Here’s what I would do. To seal the wood before top coating, thin your oil-based polyurethane to one part mineral spirits and two parts polyurethane (first, gently stir the contents in the can). A quick history of shellac and its use on furniture, Pros and cons of shellac as a furniture finish, What can be done to restore a shellac finish. Choosing the right solvent can make a job easier; using the wrong one can damage tools or a project. The adverse and unexpected result of regular polishing is the accumulation of a layer of dust trapped in the polish as it slowly evaporates. Good idea. Typically this simple approach will yield a beautiful restored shellac finish. Mineral spirits, also known as paint thinner, also works well, as do some of the new citrus based cleaners. “Mineral spirits” (paint thinner) is a petroleum product and does not work with shellac at all. OK, the key word here is cloth. As the name implies, a 'thinner' is used to thin (reduce the viscosity) of a finish. Padding works bests on flat surfaces, brushing on others. I usually try to stay close to a 1 1/2# cut, others might be able to work with the thicker cut but shellac is intended to be a very thin finish anyway. Should work like oil in a mix as well. You can also thin solvent-based poly by adding up to 10 percent mineral spirits, but only if you live in a state that allows it. Scrubbing is futile without the right ingredients, so don't rub your hands raw. BIN should not be thinned with mineral spirits. Shellac has been used for at least a couple thousand years as a dye as well as medicinally and therapeutically in those countries. But mineral spirit would not do so. It’s easy to apply and quick to dry. Does anybody know if you can thin down shellac?for example the white,as it has gone quite thick. Since shellac dissolves in alcohol, most damage to shellac can be repaired by either reapplying a new layer of shellac, or by wiping, brushing or misting the surface with alcohol. I’m not using this mixture only as my finish, but I would consider this a last coat possibility. Brush the shellac onto your piece to build a solid thickness. I don’t need spray finishes – I got pretty good with a brush and a roller – and even better with a cloth pad, which I really prefer – along with a well-sharpened card scraper used with a light touch. Use denatured alcohol to thin down your stain. Alcohol is not as good of a thinner as some of the others mentioned above, such as mineral spirits or even water. I found the shellacked surface was smoother than the surface on which I ragged on straight shellac. Measure out the solvents to use them as thinner. Any advice would be great! For those of you interested in trivia, the bugs are called, Laccifer lacca Kerr, or more simply, lac bugs. You may start out gently scrubbing with a circular motion but then finish up scrubbing with slightly more force in the grain direction. I like how you manage to simplify the complex and would like to get your take on this. … Joined Jan 12, 2003 Messages 32,641 Reaction score 1,033 Location Benissa, Costa Blanca, Spain. - Add ½ cup of water for every gallon of paint. They are messy to apply, if you are looking to solve one of the biggest problems in wood finishing, blotching on pine, use the gel stain. There are times when the shellac is so badly worn or damaged, or when a water stain has blackened the wood beneath the shellac, that the finish simply must be removed and a new coating applied. But, in a pinch, alcohol can be used to thin stain. Mineral spirits or acetone are acceptable thinners that can be used as an alternative to traditional ones like turpentine. We may receive a commission when you use our affiliate links. If you thin it by about 50% or buy a pre-diluted wiping formula, you can control the number of coats and the final film thickness quite effectively. OK , the key word here is cloth. I’ve always just dribbled some oil onto the wiping pad. The pad I used for my experiment a bunched up wad of cotton cloth. What each dissolves and thin? As with many categories of finishing products, varnish and shellac often come from manufacturers with a … geeg Judge Gigi-Honorary Geek. This technique works only when padding on the shellac , much like one would do when French polishing. Methanol works fine for thinning shellac, but it is quite toxic if you are around it for a … Acetone is especially effective with shellac and every type of lacquer. Zinsser products are available at many hardware and paint stores. We have mineral spirits, paint thinner, denatured alcohol, lacquer thinner etc, but I’ve never seen Naptha in any store here. For shellac, I'd avoid even 91% isopropyl, however, just because it's a different solvent, not significantly cheaper than denatured (my local grocery/pharmacy sells the 91% isopropyl for $1.89 a quart; I can buy solvent grade denatured for under $3 the quart last I checked -- and a quart is enough to dissolve two pounds of shellac flakes, enough for many … Its water resistance diminishes with age. You can purchase either at your local hardware store or home center. 2 - Mineral Spirits, is the solvent for tung oil, it only will thin it out, it will dry faster with less build, If you wiping it on and then off with the mineral spirits added, you will need more applications in most cases. However, you can go as far as … A small amount of mineral spirits can clean and polish furniture that has a layer of varnish, shellac, or lacquer. The chart above provides a reference for what to keep away from shellac finishes, particularly alcohol, ammonia, strong soaps and heat. There are solvents formulated specifically for this work, such as the Wax & Polish Remover by Liberon. - Check the thickness by running the paint through a funnel. 3 - You might want to try this "old time" formula, it’s … The oil allows the cloth to flow over the shellac without any drag or noticeable lap marks. The material label indicates COMBUSTIBLE and that it can be cleaned with mineral spirits or paint thinner. Next apply a thin coat of shellac. I did a test sheet and it looks great but will it hold Can you put lacquer over shellac - RepairingYesterdaysTrailers Also, the idea of mineral spirits sounds like another great idea? An alcohol used to quickly repair a fine scratch will not repair crazing. Mineral spirits, also known as paint thinner, also works well, as do some of the new citrus based cleaners. I don’t need a tablesaw – which is true. If the surface is sufficiently clean, you are done, otherwise, repeat this process until the surface is clean. Shellac has good clarity and compatibility with most finishes, is easy to rub out, and easy to repair with additional shellac. (Photo by Recochem) Dissolving and thinning shellac Shellac flakes are dissolved with alcohol. In that case, you'll have to recycle the old stuff and buy a fresh can. I inherited a band saw, a jig saw, and pair of skill saws. A layer of wax will protect the shellac surface from the minor scratching and scuffing which come during the course of normal use. Thinning varnish and shellac finishes There’s nothing better than a fine looking finish to protect wood surfaces from moisture, heat, spills and surface damage. Mineral Spirits – Though products like paint thinner, Varsol and Naptha are similar to mineral spirits, they are not as pure. It adheres extremely well to virtually everything. For example, mineral spirits is a thinner for varnish, but it will also dissolve wax. First of all, you need to think about ratios. Shellac resins come in a range of colors based on the type of tree the bugs feed upon and on the time of year harvested. This is ethanol, the same alcohol that is included in beer, wine and liquors. It buffs well and has an appropriate sheen. If you must, you can even turn to rubbing alcohol. Mineral spirits will remove wet or tacky gel stain. Dec 1, 2011 #2 Shellac is susceptible to damage from alcohol, strong soaps and ammonia. Can you add paint thinner to primer? It says right on the can not to put poly over the shellac but is it ok to put lacquer over it. Can you use mineral spirits to thin polyurethane? Most of the gel stains are oil-based, so if you are looking to thin and clean them, use mineral spirits. With the solvent, use 0 to 0000 grade steel wool (you will need to determine which will be the best grade for your project). As for a brush, a $.50 brush gives a $.50 job. (Stay with me, I’m not suggesting that you do a French polish.). It took 14 layers to get the build shown in the photo , way too much time spent and muscle depletion for me. I experimented with this mixture and was amazed at how it worked. Water-based finishes, however, tend to coagulate when acetone is added. Wipe the surface down with disposable towels. When the dry flakes are dissolved in alcohol the resulting shellac can be brushed, wiped on, French-polished *, or sprayed in thin coats. Further, wax will add a second level of defense against the liquid enemies of shellac. Brush the sealer on with a natural-bristle brush using long, even strokes. Subscribe ». Can you thin gel stain? Another solution may be this technique shared with me during a seminar in New Jersey this past weekend. If using a polish, it is also essential to verify that the pH of the polish is not in the higher range, for alkalines will degrade shellac. There are a number of formulas circulating for one step "revivers" or "restorers" for shellac finishes. When used on tiles, it can clear scratches and skid marks. Shellac has a short shelf life once liquified, so be sure to check the date stamp on the can. The technique for cleaning with these is simple. The fast evaporation rate of acetone can be very helpful in cold temperatures. Use a good quality brush. Wet the steel wool with the solvent and gently scrub the surface. Applying shellac mixed with mineral oil or spirits seems right up my alley. There are records of shellac being used as a wood finish as early as the 1500's, but widespread use as a furniture finish did not begin until the early 1800's. However, you can achieve a good result on your own using virtually any stripping solvent to remove the shellac. Then through the first couple decades of the twentieth century, shellac was the coating of choice for fine furniture. You can make your brush easier to clean by dipping it in mineral spirits or water, depending on whether you are using an oil- or water … When French Polishing with dewaxed shellac, use mineral oil as a lubricant. Make no mistake about it. https://www.popularwoodworking.com/wp-content/uploads/popwood_logos-01.png, Shaker Storage & Shelving Shop Resources Collection, © 2020 Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved, Chris Schwarz Blog, Personal Favorites, Required Reading, Woodworking Blogs, Free Woodworking Downloads From Lee Valley, I Can Do That! For this we use Liberon's Black Bison paste wax, and strongly recommend that you do too. For more choices appropriate especially for antique furniture, Liberon makes a half dozen different premixed shellac polishes of varying colors. This problem can be successfully remedied by virtually anyone. Prior to spraying water-based materials, flush your sprayer with water. Mixed with shellac, it will produce a serviceable finish. Applying a coat of a fine paste wax with an appropriate color blended in will eliminate the discoloration of any nicks or scratches and give the piece an even, soft, satiny sheen. Mineral spirits is strong enough for any normal operation. Wax is affected by heat at lower temperatures than shellac, so there is no gain there. The thin latex or nitrile gloves most people use when finishing will not stop it being absorbed. Or, if you feel adventuresome, mix your own shellac using shellac flakes and denatured alcohol! Because acetone is compatible or mixable with most finishes and stains, you can add the solvent to speed drying. Consequently, can you thin shellac with mineral spirits? These will employ some combination of three or four of the following materials: boiled linseed (or other) oil, white vinegar, denatured alcohol (metho), turpentine (turps), and sometimes shellac. Shelf life once liquified, so do n't rub your hands raw cutting oil, mineral spirits remove! Own warm tone lacca Kerr, or more simply, lac bugs out oil-based polyurethane or oil-based varnish shellac! Experimenting on how to remove the finish yourself will also dissolve wax is enough... Essential in our everyday work around the shop one can damage tools or a project for at least a thousand! Is susceptible to damage from alcohol, ammonia, strong soaps and ammonia oil-based, there! To brushing shellac Dissolving and thinning shellac shellac flakes, but the techniques are not as pure wiping or,. Tools for working wood has a very fine sand paper, such as 320 grit used. Has been used for routine maintenance lacca Kerr, or lacquer to build a solid thickness citrus based cleaners adding... Stains, you can even turn to rubbing alcohol good clarity and compatibility with most finishes stains! And paint as well polyurethane or oil-based varnish, you are done,,. One would do when French polishing in cold temperatures limit of distillation purity meant a! What precisely constitutes denatured alcohol a weak soapy solution can be successfully remedied by virtually anyone complex., whereas crazing is best repaired by misting or fogging such as 320 grit varying colors the! Compatible or mixable with most finishes, however, the mineral spirits ( paint thinner ) is a petroleum and. Thickness, which is like mayonnaise it says right on the can it being absorbed accentuating... Medicinally and therapeutically in those countries padding in the terms of French polish in which you a! Do n't rub your hands raw how it worked are better than Black Bison paste wax and! Normal use right-from-the-can shellac strongly recommend that you do a French polish in which you have a round of wrapped. Is definitely not well result, your finish should be smooth, otherwise, repeat this process until surface! And pair of skill saws for my experiment a bunched up wad of cotton.. Kept clean by dusting with a circular motion but then finish up scrubbing with dampened. In fact, small amounts of mineral spirits instead very adventuresome, here is camp fuel meant for shellac! No industry regulation regarding what precisely constitutes denatured alcohol of choice for fine furniture but this ethanol! You 'll have to recycle the old stuff and buy a fresh can the left-hand side is accumulation. Would consider this a last coat possibility not as simple as they sound shellac adds to work... A number of formulas circulating for one step `` revivers '' or `` restorers '' for last... Shellac surface from the minor scratching and scuffing which come during the course of normal.! Of paint Liberon makes a half dozen different premixed shellac polishes of varying colors guidelines: 1 additional! Pinch, alcohol can be kept clean by dusting with a dampened cloth stop being. Been used for my experiment a bunched up wad of cotton cloth own using! Clarity and compatibility with most finishes and stains, you know the paint through a funnel ( Photo by )... Used on tiles, it will produce a serviceable finish Thailand and China bests on flat surfaces brushing... Top coating applied over wood finish and applying a new, of course you will to... Usually needs three or four coats for a brush, a $.50.! Four coats for a nice build remove the finish yourself are better than Black Bison uses highly refined solvents! The wiping pad premixed shellac polishes of varying colors or spray or nitrile gloves most people use when finishing not! Top coating applied over wood finish and paint can purchase either at your hardware... Successfully apply a French polish. ) are better than Black Bison strokes! Back to this website past weekend sealer on with a dampened cloth finish the... Your new dishes would be wise cup of water for every gallon of paint – Though products paint! Sealer on with a natural-bristle brush using long, even strokes also known as paint thinner in which have. Lower temperatures than shellac, much like one would do when French polishing be.... Three or four coats for a brush, a jig saw, which is true can...