Thinned Shellac Works Better
I make small boxes and finish them with shellac. I pad on the coats and sand between them. However, the finish always gets thick and unattractive. Before I give up on shellac, do you have any tips for a better finish?
Jeff Carmichael, Corvallis, OR
Don’t give up on it yet. I used to have that same problem, but then I learned a simple and quick way to apply shellac that is perfect for boxes. The key is to use a very thin cut of shellac. I start with a 3-lb. cut and mix it 50-50 with denatured alcohol. Thinning it has two advantages. It doesn’t build up as quickly and it dries much faster, so it’s easy to get even coats without streaking. And in less than 30 minutes you can apply both coats of shellac, as well as wax, to a small box.