I have a client who likes shellac and I need to seal and finish a new wood cover for the cold air vent hole. After sealing with Universal Seal, what cut of shellac is best for the second and third coats?
It's been decades since shellac went out of favor, and for lots of reasons. Now every hobbyist and home owner acts like it is a miracle finish. They would deeply regret a shellac finish if they have pets, kids that spill, or kids that don't take off wet shoes and boots. What's Universal Seal? Tell your client to be satisfied with shellac on their corn flakes and M&Ms and use a modern finish for the wear characteristics if not for anything else!
Shellac would be a terrible finish for a floor. Itís a super drying ultra thin finish. Every coat will aggressively attack the previous coat which could give a bad final look.
Once cured it had very little chemical durability. It is quite possible that someone at some point will either wash it with something that will damage it. Ammonia, alcohol, various foods all damage it.
Not good for walking on. Itís used on furniture and house trim.
I have one customer whom I have done quite a bit of work for. He is a collector of early American antiques, and his home is built to look period as well. Not only are his floors shellac finished, but his kitchen cabinets too! It is a shoes off home, and itís pretty darn slippery in socks, but those reclaimed quartersawn yellow pine floors look amazing with the shellac and wax on them.
So rather than tell Pete all the reasons not to do something when you donít know the specifics of his situation, why donít we ask him what his application methods will or could be so we can properly answer his question? Maybe ask if there is a reason he needs to use shellac? Maybe in the future some of the grouchier responders can take a minute to think that not everyone lives in the armpit of America, and do not sell mid grade products to average income customers!
The owner has had shellac on their floors for a number of years. They want to keep the old pet stains that have been there and are minor. The floor has been waxed to other finishes are out of the question since there is an adhesion problem. I will be using a lambswool applicator and cut-in brush. I'm used to using a quick drying finish, conversion varnish. I need to finish a trap door and re-coat the whole house. I plan to add blonde shellac to the universal sealer to make a 4 or 5 pound cut, after removing as much of the old wax as possible with steel wool and paint thinner. Any advice?
I would be careful on how thick you make the shellac. Also, the temperature that you will be applying it in will have an effect. To hot and it will not flow out and you will have pad marks. To thick and it will seem dry on the outside but will be gummy underneath. Multiple very thin coats is probable the way to go.
I agree with what cbww said. I have limited pad applying experience. I usually mix a 1 or 2 pound cut and spray it. That thin it drys lightning fast and you can spray multiple coats quickly and they all meld together. Doing a whole floor is another story. I would think to start with a three pound cut and adjust from there.
Shellac is absolutely a terrible choice in floor finishes and the difficulty in application would be a fun challenge if not sprayed.
The main concern is solvent based products do not dry for 30 days on the average. Even if it feels dry. Dry to the touch. Some take months and some weeks. There are a multitude of factors at play here.
Also have you googled the health effects of living on top of shellac? What is in shellac? Formaldehyde and wood alcohol to start.
I have, its horrible. I am not jumping down that rabbit hole today.
Solvent based coating take years to gas of and do they ever really fully gas off? Well Industry will tell you move in tomorrow.
My solution is Old Masters brand, Masters Armor Acrylic Urethane clear coat.
This this stuff thinned 10% or so with a latex reducer like XIM or M1 (Never Floetrol its too thick for anything)
Will make you look like a million bucks.
It is my Go To in Aspen.
There is a benzoyl peroxide hardener that makes it a floor quality finish also.
Spray, Brush, Pad.
It it its own sealer. Then two coats while scuff sanding in between. You can recoat really fast and sock walk on it in two hours easy.
I finish solid wood dining room tables and cabinets with this stuff.
Always read the back of the can and adjust for your own environmental conditions.
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