What finish for kit. cab interior?

What is a good clear finish for the interiors of kitchen cabinets? They're constructed of 3/4" maple ply.
I used shellac on another project, but, liquids / water wasn't an issue?
I've been told/read that shellac isn't recommended near wet areas, is this true?
ThankX, Ron
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You've been told correctly, Ron. Shellac doesn't like water or heat, or a combination thereof. That's what causes the white rings you see when someone puts a hot coffee cup on a french-polished table top. It's also attacked by alcohol, and is quite a brittle, easily-scratched finish.
This is one instance where PU scores over shellac!
Cheers
Frank

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You owe it to yourself to check the archives and look up a longish article by O'Deen on this subject. He did a very good job of debunking a lot of the Myths Of Shellac.
UA100, who is adding the Myths Of Shellac to his list of common wooddorking myths...
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Hi, Keefy,
I love shellac, with a passion, and don't think I have too many illusions or delusions about it, but I'd rather not use it in a hard-working area like the kitchen. However I have an open mind, and an immense respect for the Leprechaun of Lac, so I DAGS'd him as you suggested and came up with this, which I quote below in its entirety, with acknowledgement to the aforementioned bugmeister.
(I did try to refer to the link, but it came up with a 403).
Seems to me that O'Deen - in this post at least - is making a fairly good case not to use it in the kitchen. I take the point that poly is certainly not scratchproof (this failing, of course, has been a fairly regular source of income for me over the years!), but it is tougher than shellac. I'm sure that, like me, you've had occasion to scrape both finishes, so you'll know that old shellac scrapes off a *lot* easier than does old poly.
I also take the point that it's very much easier to repair a scratch in a shellac finish than it is in a poly finish, but life's too short to worry that much about repairing scratches inside your kitchen cabinets, I'd say. I sidestep the problem by having a kitchen whose cabinet interiors are finished in Melamine, a soul-less, but pragmatic solution.
Now I know that O'Deen is also passionate about shellac - he liked it so much he bought the company, to paraphrase an old Remington ad. But only an utter cynic would infer that this had anything at all to do with his advocacy for the product. I'm equally sure, as well, that he is a practical man and would recognise horses for courses. I'd lay long odds that he hasn't french-polished his fence.
So c'mon, Patrick, 'fess up, as you Colonials would say - what do you use in your kitchen?
Cheers,
Frank

this FAQ.
http://www.concentric.net/~odeen/oldtools/shellac/why.shtml

Poor resistance to heat. It softens at about 150 degrees. This means you should not use shellac as oven mits, nor should you set really hot coffee on your French polished jewelry box or armoire.

ammonia, or set a searing-hot casserole dish on it? If you answered, "My dining room table top," then Bingo! You've found the application for poly!

poly's scratch resistance is good.

would be to coat your project with diamonds. That's a little pricey.

The notion of no-maintenance finishes is a pipe-dream. Best to have a

about it.

-- Shellac looks great over hand cut or machine cut dovetails, too! http://www.concentric.net/~odeen

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This applies to inside the cabinets only:
Former kitchen - pre-cat lacquer Current kitchen - melamine
What would I do given a chance now? I'd put Formica over some good marine ply. If that weren't an option, Behlen's bar top finish over a shellac undercoat. Shellac is perfect for the insides of your dresser drawers, but for under-neet-da-sink, there are usually too many caustic chemicals to make it worth one's while. So there ya have it.
For all but the kitchen base cabinet, plain old shellac will do the job, though most of the cabinet shops I used to sell to, preferred to top coat with Waterlox. I think Larry Nocee uses the stuff and swears by it.
O'Deen
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Typically, lacquer or polyurethane is used. If you have a sprayer and want even better, try a pre or post catalyzed lacquer or conversion varnish.
Preston

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wrote:

Shellac is a good choice for door or drawer interiors. I'd use a "spit coat" which is just shellac with more solvent (alcohol) added. What would ruin shellac is any alcohol-based liquid spilled onto them, not water. Shellac would not be a poor choice for storing booze. A polyurethane finish is good too, impervious to alcohol, although it will require a longer curing time.
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I've been using Waterlox. Just wipe it on.
RB
Ron wrote:

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