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7 votes
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What is an efficient way to re-use jars containing old shellac for storing new shellac?

I'm a firm believer in reusing jars used in finishing as much as possible. Especially very small jars that are handy for the small amounts of mixed finish that a single project often calls for, I will ...
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6 votes

What are the best substitutes when nothing labelled as "Denatured alcohol" can be found in your area?

I've found two products readily available in BC that one might not suspect to be denatured alcohol, but despite not having "denatured alcohol" written anywhere on the product, they are denatured ...
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  • 1,597
3 votes

Is shellac really a "universal binder"?

Binder isn't a good word here as in coatings that means the stuff that bonds pigment particles together in paints, e.g. linseed oil in simple oil paints, acrylic/vinyl/styrene suspension in wall ...
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3 votes

Is shellac that has been dissolved with methyl hydrate (methanol) toxic, once dry?

Methyl hydrate = methanol. Also called wood alcohol. There is already methanol in most versions of denatured alcohol and in the general equivalent sold in the UK and elsewhere, and these are of ...
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3 votes
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Solvent for Shellac in California

Bioethanol is an option. It's effectively high-proof Everclear with a bitterant to prevent it from being ingested. You might have luck finding it stocked at outdoor outfitters (camping/hiking stores),...
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  • 297
3 votes
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Applying finish over furniture repair wax

Can I apply a finish safely over top of these wax patches? Given their size (10mm diameter is a pretty big wax fill for finish to bridge over) and that it seems there are quite a few I think there's ...
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3 votes

Painted board coated with shellac

Shellac applied in thin coats normally dries very quickly, but it won't harden completely if the shellac is too old. Check the can -- there may be an expiration date that'll help you judge how old it ...
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  • 7,588
2 votes

What is an efficient way to re-use jars containing old shellac for storing new shellac?

If you can redisolve the shellac by adding more alcohol, do so, then pour the resulting mixture into something disposable like an aluminum pie pan or even just a big wad of paper towel. Wait for the ...
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  • 5,644
2 votes

making shellac darker / tinting shellac

I’m finishing pine with amber dewaxed shellac (with a brush). I was hoping it would impart to the pieces the same color as the flakes after a few coats, but it’s still looking too yellow for my taste ...
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2 votes

Solvent for Shellac in California

I saw recently several youtube methods of removing the water from alcohol. They simply added salt then decanted. Salt attracts water. If you can find some cheap high proof alcohol you can make it ...
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  • 21
1 vote

How to smooth out grain texture from shellac?

I thought maybe with application of some more coats it would smooth out, but that doesn't seem to be happening. If you were French polishing it could if you took it far enough (i.e. spent enough time ...
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  • 59k
1 vote

Is shellac that has been dissolved with methyl hydrate (methanol) toxic, once dry?

Two additions to Grpahus's comprehensive answer: Skin absorption of methanol is also an issue (chemistry.se), so gloves should be worn. Latex isn't much good; nitrile and PVC are not much better but ...
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1 vote

Choice of sanding sealer to avoid blotching (shellac vs cellulose)

In the past I have used Shellac as a prelude to wax finishes but I am worried about how it might react with a final finish of varnish or lacquer (ie not wax or oil). There should be no problem there ...
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1 vote

Restore to originality

Even if you use various tests (solvent sensitity, scraping) to determine what a piece of vintage furniture currently has on it that doesn't mean it's the original finish and even if it were it doesn't ...
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  • 59k
1 vote

Restore to originality

Test in a unseen place with denatured alcohol if it is shellac it will soften.
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1 vote

What are the best substitutes when nothing labelled as "Denatured alcohol" can be found in your area?

Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) seems to be fine for shellac and isn’t as toxic as methanol. It should be freely available anywhere - I got it from a high street chemist in the U.K. years ago, or get it from ...
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  • 163

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