Newbie Q: Brush on shellac - milky

This is my first time trying shellac. On my 3rd coat, one cut with alcohol, the finish dried on part of the piece with milky white streaks. Tomorrow, I'll snad them off and reapply, but I want to know why, of this happened out of the several other coats I put down. The shellac was thinned with alcohol.
Thanks for any suggestions jim H
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On Sat, 05 Jun 2004 22:46:13 -0400, Jim Helfer

Sounds like moisture in the process. You didn't use household alcohol (70% Isopropyl, 30% water), did you? If so, toss it and melt more flakes with denatured or anhydrous Iso.
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Larry Jaques wrote:

That's what I thought, thanks. I was thinning with denatured alcohol, however I was cleaning the brush with ammonia and water, and I must have left some water in the brush.
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"Jim Helfer" wrote in message

Could also be trying to apply too many coats at once, particularly if it is humid. FWIW, not a bad idea to clean shellac brushes in the same solvent you used to thin it ... and they don't have to be totally free of shellac/perfectly clean, as long as you're planning to use them with shellac the next time.
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On Sun, 06 Jun 2004 16:05:38 -0400, Jim Helfer

I still use a rag for applying shellac, but I haven't done any fancy furniture with it so it hasn't been a problem.
You can clean the cloudy shellac off with straight denatured alcohol, let it dry overnight to let the moisture finish evaporating (although the alcohol will gather a lot of it) and try again with a clean brush.

Next time don't "clean" the brush. Rinse it in clean denatured alcohol and let it dry semi-hard with a small amount of shellac on it. Save the brush cleaner solution to mix new shellac. The next time you use the shellac, let the brush sit in it for a minute and it'll be good to go. Shellac is very easy to work with that way.
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Moisture.

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