Tip needed for applying shellac

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I am using Zinsser Bulls Eye Shellac, which drys fast, really fast. So fast in fact, it is difficult to rub on and get done before starting to dry, making for a not so smooth a finish. Any way to retard drying time a little? Doing it first thing in the morning before things heat up helps a little, but not enough. Forget trying to do anything later in the day. Thanks.
--
Paul


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Have you thought about spraying it on?
How big is your area that you are using this on. Are you applying indoors or Out? Can you bring it in to cooler temps.
Shellac like lacquer will haze in humidity I assume you know that. On lacquers I use a retarder to slow down if its hot or hazy, but I have never done that to shellac.
Try going to an auto paint store and getting a retarder for lacquer, and test a spot... See if it helps.
On 9/10/2011 1:29 PM, Paul wrote:

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Look up on Google for better hints than this. Shellac dissolves in ethanol. EtOH (CH3-CH2OH) evaporates rather fast. To slow this, try to add some propanol (CH3-CH2-CH2OH), or isopropanol (CH3-CHOH-CH3). Longer and/or more complex carbon backbone makes for higher boiling point, less evaporation. Also diluting with EtOH or (iso)propanol, especialy for a first sealer coat, makes things easier to apply.
See also the Bible: http://antiquerestorers.com/Articles/jeff/shellac.htm
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Best regards
Han
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On 9/10/2011 2:59 PM, Han wrote:

Here's what the "bible" has to say:
Dissolve dry shellac flakes in denatured ethanol, which is sold in most paint stores. It also dissolves in methanol, butyl and propyl alcohol. Methanol will evaporate the quickest, followed by ethanol, butyl and propyl alcohol. The last two alcohols, butyl and propyl can be added to shellac dissolved in ethanol in small amounts to act as retarders, which make the shellac stay wet longer for better application (like brushing). Lacquer retarder can also be used. I do not recommend using methanol as a solvent because it is very toxic. In some older finishing books, methanol is referred to as wood alcohol or methylated spirits, but its use is discouraged.
--
Jack
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Methanol is toxic if you really drink it instead of or mixed with ethanol. Methanol isn't all that toxic if you handle it appropriately. I used to work with mixtures of MeOH, chloroform, ammonia (or acetic acid), and water as solvent for chromatography. Maybe that's why I'm the way I am now, but otherwise ...
My probem with methanol is that I needed it for something woodworking after I retired, and here in NJ I can't seem to fid a store that sells it.
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Han
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Strange places like big box stores - aka - Home Depot, Lowe's and the corner hardware / lumber yard. Now for the strangest - Pharmacy and maybe an auto part store.
Martin
On 9/11/2011 1:45 PM, Han wrote:

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On 9/11/2011 2:45 PM, Han wrote:

I thought that was a bit strange myself. Lots of solvents are toxic. I wouldn't recommend drinking lacquer thinner, for example.
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Jack
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Yes. Even water is toxic. Someone I know was drinking too much water, resulting in an electrolyte imbalance. Not good. But he's doing very well now, thank you.
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Has probably caused more deaths due to inhalation than all other solvents combined!
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On 9/12/2011 11:06 AM, Han wrote:

Next time mix a little alcohol with it, but stay away from the Meth:-)
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Jack
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<...snipped...>

It's a certain conclusion that water is toxic. All fish eventually die, after all.
--
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plausible, and wrong." (H L Mencken)
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A few years ago I posted this tip under the title "shellac blasphemy" and got blown out of cyberspace by this group, but I swear it works.
I was using shellac on a large surface area (built-in desk/workspace), and it became a huge PITA applying the shellac by brush. I found that using a 4-inch wide high density foam roller worked exceptionally well. I could apply a coat of Zinsser's shellac over ~40 sq ft in 5 mins or less, keeping the "wet edge" concept intact. There was a slight orange peel effect that sanded out every 2-3 coats easily. And I could put on 6-8 coats a day.
But you have to test the batch of shellac to see if the alcohol denaturing agent is compatible with the foam roller. Some denaturants e.g. MEK, benzene, &tc. will dissolve the foam and make a huge mess. All I kniw is that it worked REALLY well for me.
-Zz
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On 9/10/2011 12:29 PM, Paul wrote:

Any time you pad shellac you obviously need to do small areas.
On hot humid days I spray a 1 1/2# cut shellac, cut with 99% isopropyl alcohol to retard the tendency to blush.
Might want to give that a try. You should be able to get it at any pharmacy.
IME, do NOT use the isopropyl "rubbing alcohol" as it has a higher water content.
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Do you get any blushing on cool, humid mornings?

Yeah, he wants to avoid the pharmacy. http://shellac.net/faq.html
-- Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power. -- Seneca
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Not to mention 'rubbing alcohol' often has lanolin (sheep's fat) in it as well. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I said not to mention it.
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Thanks guys. Maybe I ought to just go back to the spray laquer I was using on my little blocks of wood. Haven't had a problem with that.
Paul
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1) Switch from denatured alcohol to isopropyl alcohol. It dries more slowly.
2) Finish in the early morning, when the humidity is higher and the temperature is lower.
3) Switch from shellac to Waterlox. (Sorry, had to do it. ;)
-- Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power. -- Seneca
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"Paul" wrote:

---------------------------------------- Buy a gallon of denatured alcohol and cut the shellac to 1 pound cut.
You will find the shellac/alcohol ratio on side of shellac can.
I use a throw away chip brush to apply.
Have fun.
Lew
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Work fast and let the shellac have time to dry hard between coats. Giveaway is bits of lint from the rag in your shellac. A couple of drops of mineral, olive, or walnut oil on the pad will stop it from sticking. Ridges or other defects can be wet sanded out easily with 320 and paint thinner.
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In article

Didn't O'Deen post a link to a video a few years back of him padding shellac onto a mantel (or table top)?
Anyone have a URL?
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