I want to try a rubbed out finish. Wondering if shellac will work? I'm using maple and cherry for a mirror frame.
Can shellac be rubbed out?
Yes. The rule is that any finish that dries hard can be rubbed out, and that includes shellac.
Varnishes, lacquers, epoxies and other resin coatings can also be rubbed out as you might expect.
Despite the traditional French polishing technique* being capable of giving a superb gloss finish this is only if you can do it to a high standard and this is not considered easy. A few present-day woodworkers actually think that rubbing it out is the best way to get a really good surface finish with shellac.
This method should not be considered a shortcut in any way as you may want to apply more than a dozen coats depending on a few things, including but not limited to how perfect you want it to look, the 'cut' of the shellac and whether you're spraying it on or brushing it on.
*And numerous variations of applying shellac that called French polishing but aren't really the genuine article.