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It’s starting to be more apparent every year that we will slowly see our beloved solvent-based finishes disappear in favor of water-based finishes.
I understand the VOC concerns but I still like my Alkyd Varnish and my Acrylic Nitrocellulose Lacquer, but I can see a time in the future when I won’t be able to buy my favorites.
Shellac may be the final frontier for non-water based finishes. Dissolved in alcohol, shellac may be the last survivor of the “brittle” finishes. What do you think??
I’ll be in Denver this weekend (19-21) defending my viewpoint and I can show you three excellent ways to apply shellac. Stop by and say hi. Denver Merchandise Mart, 451 East 58th Ave.
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System Three's WR-LPU is a pretty heavy-duty water based topcoat. It comes with an optional cross link additive.
I have tried it on my stairs and on my basement floor. It does show some scratches after a while.. But, come on! A floor! This is a tough product.
And to try to stay on topic... On my baswement floor it's sticking well to a gnarly solvent based sealer coat. With a shellac layer in between.
I’m no shellac expert, but just to stir things up a little bit, (hope you don’t mind Rollie, :) ) have you folks seen Vijay Velji’s shellac DVD? According to a reviewer, in his DVD, Velji says that shellac actually has good resistance to alcohol if the shellac flakes are fresh. In the video, he even spills some scotch on a finish. After leaving it sit, the scotch doesn’t leave any damage.
What do you folks think of this? Do you buy it? Anyone had similar experiences? Or experiences where a drink DID ruin a shellac finish?
Biggest problem with shellac? No resistance to alcohol. Solution: a few coats of Carnauba wax. It won't completely stop that spilled wine from getting to the shellac, but it gives you a fighting chance to get the alcohol off the surface before it does damage the finish.
Buy Shellac Flakes, Ron Hock sells a very fine flake it lasts forever use a good alcohol for a solvent mix it to your specs and have fun.
I like shellac also but it's difficult to find a can on the shelf that is not out date. Luckily I can still buy the solvent base finishes in my area and will use those until I no longer can find them.
I was shocked (and I'm still annoyed) that I can't buy solvent-based varnish here in CT. I used to make my own wiping varnish for table tops other high use areas on furniture. However, there has been one good consequence stemming from the void:I know use shellac for my furniture. And I couldn't be happier.
I don't know, I love Grafted Coatings KTM-9 waterborne finish. I use it on electric guitars. It polishes to a high gloss if need be, and looks like "real" lacquer. It changed my opinion of waterborne finishes.
I personally love shellac. It sticks to anything, and anything sticks to it. It's a thin, delicate finish, and dries very quickly. It's not horrible for the environment, and far from the most toxic finish out there. I have never successfully brushed or padded it on - I spray it with my hvlp gun (thinned a bit). My favorite super easy finish recipe:
-pore filler if desired
-color if desired
-2 coats shellac, sprayed on
-glaze if desired
-1 coat of shellac
-2-3 coats minwax wipe on poly (wiped on), sanding between coats
-Pumice and rotten stone buff if desired
The result is a thin but durable finish that looks like many coats of oil.
I can't say that I see the end of products like lacquer or conversion varnish however. Companies like ML Campbell would essentially have to go out of business (I kind of hope you are right, for environmental reasons). Most guys I know spray conversion varnish. I used to be one of them. I just can't stand lacquer thinner and the environmental effects of spraying poison into the air...Plus my shop stunk for a few days.
I have never liked water based finishes, for the standard reasons (plastic, purple appearance).
I will be 1500 miles from Denver this weekend, otherwise I'd stop by and learn about shellac.
This week's prize is a 7-piece router bit set from Whiteside valued at $118!
Fast, fun approach to making a comfortable, casual seat
In this video Michael finishes the first of the three boxes. Gluing-up, planing, sanding and finishing bring a new piece of art to the world.
In this video Michael starts work on the second box, a carved and painted Saddle lid box.
Michael begins carving the saddle lid box with his ripple pattern along the top. Then turns to his 5/30 gouge to texture the sides of the box. This isn't work…
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