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. Typically, when you are thinning out oil-based polyurethane or oil-based varnish, you will be working with mineral spirits. I’ve always just dribbled some oil onto the wiping pad. It’s easy to apply and quick to dry. This technique works only when padding on the shellac , much like one would do when French polishing. 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). This is a real good example of why I keep coming back to this website. If more than fogging is required, lightly sand the surface with a very fine sand paper, such as 320 grit. When painting, it is great for erasing mistakes. Can you comment on how you make the "pad" for this last step? Mixed with shellac, it will produce a serviceable finish. Choosing the right solvent can make a job easier; using the wrong one can damage tools or a project. OK , the key word here is cloth. 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. 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. My guess is it’s illegal to sell it in Canada, ‘cause here, you can buy it off Amazon (I checked amazon.ca and it doesn’t show up). For example, mineral spirits is a thinner for varnish, but it will also dissolve wax. Scrubbing is futile without the right ingredients, so don't rub your hands raw. You will find oil sitting on the surface. A layer of wax will protect the shellac surface from the minor scratching and scuffing which come during the course of normal use. As for mineral spirits and turpentine, there really wonât be much difference in terms of application. Some East Coast states and California prohibit users from adding solvents after the can is opened. (Stay with me, I’m not suggesting that you do a French polish.). It should work for shellac. Polishes could be used to accomplish an emergency clean and shine, but should not be used for routine maintenance. Shellac is a resin that has been refined from the secretions of tiny bugs that grow in India, Thailand and China. We have mineral spirits, paint thinner, denatured alcohol, lacquer thinner etc, but I’ve never seen Naptha in any store here. Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. As a result, your finish should be smooth. Acetone is especially effective with shellac and every type of lacquer. There are a number of formulas circulating for one step "revivers" or "restorers" for shellac finishes. Save up to 68% on 7 issues of woodworking projects and tricks. You may start out gently scrubbing with a circular motion but then finish up scrubbing with slightly more force in the grain direction. geeg Judge Gigi-Honorary Geek. Padding works bests on flat surfaces, brushing on others. 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. If the surface is sufficiently clean, you are done, otherwise, repeat this process until the surface is clean. Here’s what I would do. Zinsser products are available at many hardware and paint stores. In that case, you'll have to recycle the old stuff and buy a fresh can. 3. You can identify them using their thickness, which is like mayonnaise. âMineral spiritsâ (paint thinner) is a petroleum product and does not work with shellac at all. Wet the steel wool with the solvent and gently scrub the surface. 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. 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. Shellac has good clarity and compatibility with most finishes, is easy to rub out, and easy to repair with additional shellac. The oil allows the cloth to flow over the shellac without any drag or noticeable lap marks. Mineral Spirits â Though products like paint thinner, Varsol and Naptha are similar to mineral spirits, they are not as pure. This means that some brands are cut with water to increase their volume, often by as much as 20%. If you feel very adventuresome, here is a link to instructions for French Polishing. What is Naptha exactly? Shellac is susceptible to damage from alcohol, strong soaps and ammonia. When the dry flakes are dissolved in alcohol the resulting shellac can be brushed, wiped on, French-polished *, or sprayed in thin coats. If it flows freely through the funnel, you know the paint is thinned enough. 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. In each scenario, the finished surface is not exactly smooth. The thing they call ‘Naphtha’ here is camp fuel meant for a Coleman stove. OIL-BASED MATERIAL:All sprayers CAN be used with oil-based interior and exterior materials. One of the most common problems with old shellac finishes is that they are simply dirty. Thinning varnish and shellac finishes Thereâs nothing better than a fine looking finish to protect wood surfaces from moisture, heat, spills and surface damage. It can be damaged by heat as low as 120°. The pad I used for my experiment a bunched up wad of cotton cloth. Fine scratches can easily be repaired by wiping or brushing, whereas crazing is best repaired by misting or fogging. It works great and dries all by itself — no need for a wipe down with naphtha. You will find a product called Everclear (banned in some states) for sale in liquor stores, 750 ml for about $25. 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 â¦ Good idea. When I started this craft in earnest some five years ago, I laid some guidelines: 1. Keep things simple. The surface can be kept clean by dusting with a dampened cloth. Mike Methyl hydrate will certainly dissolve shellac but all is definitely not well. You can purchase either at your local hardware store or home center. Mineral spirits, also known as paint thinner, also works well, as do some of the new citrus based cleaners. 3 - You might want to try this "old time" formula, itâs â¦ We have tried every widely regarded wax we have heard of, none are better than Black Bison. You know your audience .. and its diversity. However, the end result has not been as satisfactory as the approach we have been employing, which is outlined above. Mineral spirits, also known as paint thinner, also works well, as do some of the new citrus based cleaners. Use denatured alcohol to thin down your stain. 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. Sometimes youâll see methanol (methyl alcohol) sold in paint stores. I don’t need the latest and greatest motorized or hand-powered gizmo – good blades and bits, well cared for, I found gave decades-old tools new life. I experimented with this mixture and was amazed at how it worked. 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. But it is made poisonous so it can be sold without liquor taxes. Subscribe ». I like the quick dry time, the easy build and the warm color that shellac adds to my work. Lastly, what brush do you recommend for the shellac brushing steps? Or, if you feel adventuresome, mix your own shellac using shellac flakes and denatured alcohol! A small amount of mineral spirits can clean and polish furniture that has a layer of varnish, shellac, or lacquer. Mineral spirits will remove wet or tacky gel stain. 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. What each dissolves and thin? (The left-hand side is the mixture and the right-hand surface is the right-from-the-can shellac. This is ethanol, the same alcohol that is included in beer, wine and liquors. Shellac forms a beautiful finish, accentuating the grain of the wood and adding its own warm tone. Measure out the solvents to use them as thinner. - Add ½ cup of water for every gallon of paint. 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. Thank You x . 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. Spirits whenever you can identify them using their thickness, which is like mayonnaise the! For the best result possible removing the old stuff and buy a fresh can distillation.. 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