Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Shellac or varnish?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,749

    Shellac or varnish?

    I have made and stained a very nice little bandsaw box for my DIL to have as a small keepsake box.

    My two options for finish are Bullseye shellac or Varathane clear varnish. Is there any reason to prefer one over the other? Should I put a coat of wax on it after?

    TIV
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,749
    Oh, my DIL is leaving early on Thursday morning, and it's threatening thunderstorms, so I have limited time to finish this and send her back to Alberta.
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Wapakoneta, OH
    Posts
    611
    Shellac is a very nice finish, and underrated by a lot of folks. I think it would be quite nice on a keepsake box, dries fast and leaves no lingering odor on the inside (if you finish the inside) whereas varnish may be off-gassing pretty much forever (or at least for quite a while) on the inside. At least that's my opinion, and I wouldn't wax it either. The shellac has a nice look and feel all by itself.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,472
    shellac considering your time frame, one other choice would be rattle can lacquer that will dry fast and will off gas quickly..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    15,807
    Shellac, but put on a few coats.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    East Freeetown, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,019
    I made a pile of Band saw boxes and finished them with Shellac.

    They don't need the durability and water resistance of urethane.

    Shellac is a harder finish and buffs out nicer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,448
    Quote Originally Posted by Leo Voisine View Post
    ...

    Shellac is a harder finish and buffs out nicer.
    I agree with your preference for shellac in this case. Multiple thin coats, rather than a thick coat. I agree that it can buff out very nicely. But it is one of the softest finishes I have used. It is subject to water and alcohol damage, but other than that will last "forever."
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Outside the beltway
    Posts
    5,255
    When your done I like to take a nice lint free rag and put a little DNA and buff like you would with french polish. It will work but you got to practice.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,076
    I use shellac followed by paste wax whenever possible. By possible I mean things that will not be exposed to a lot of abrasion or harsh chemicals. By abrasion I mean dinner tables, cocktail bars, door thresholds, etc. For example, I shellacked the bottom of my tablesaw sled years ago. I have refreshed the wax a few times but, despite 1000's of trips back and forth on the saw top, the shellac is fine. Dries fast, use a few very light coats as opposed to a heavy one. Dry about 30 minutes between coats. I sand with 400 between coats to remove any nibs. do NOT go back over an area where you have already applied during a single operation. This can leave ridges or "pull" the rapidly drying shellac.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

Similar Threads

  1. Oil & Varnish Finish
    By Doug Gatecliff in forum Finishing School
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-17-2009, 11:21 PM
  2. darkening varnish?
    By Frank Fusco in forum Finishing School
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-24-2009, 08:18 PM
  3. lacquer and varnish finishing help?
    By Gerald Schacht in forum Finishing School
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-27-2008, 02:29 PM
  4. Mix Stain & Varnish??
    By jim crockett in forum Finishing School
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-17-2008, 05:23 AM
  5. Varnish and Laquer
    By elliott azis in forum Finishing School
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 04-09-2008, 02:23 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •