I have had some experience with woodworking on a funiture scale. I
really prefer the finish shellac gives over polyhurethane (sp?) and
from what I have read on various web sites it seems that even though
shellac is much less durable, it is not unrealistic to finish a floor
with it, especially in a low traffic area. I just finished laying
500sq. ft. of flooring in my living room and dining room. since both
of those rooms are not used on a daily basis I was excited to use a
shellac/wax combination to really get a nice finish. I am having a
very hard time finding a guy to do it though. I live on long island
any recommendations? - Munroe
Why not use a quality waterborne urethane? Products like Bonakemi Mega
and the even more durable Traffic are easy to apply, and durable. I use
shellac in the shop, but NOT on a floor.
Have you ever been privy to the fumes from some of the "pro" finishes?
I think it may have more to do with lack of experience working with
shellac, preferring to deal with known products, and not wanting a
call-back 6 months from now if the finish gets damaged. Contractors
often get customers who say one thing now, and something else later if
things don't work out.
To the OP:
I'm pretty sure John G., a.k.a. "Spokeshave", "Clydesdale MTB", and
"Memphis PD Blue", recently used shellac to finish a playroom floor.
Maybe he'll see this and can offer you some tips on doing it yourself.
A contractor could be hired to sand and vacuum the floor, with no
I recently rented an orbital pad sander, and will probably never hire
someone to sand again. The orbital works a bit more slowly than a
belt sander, but will not accidentally damage the floor. I was
pleasantly supervised how much of a no-brainer sanding a floor was
with the thing. As a bonus, it tossed a lot less sawdust on the walls
than the belt sander does.
I did a new oak floor with 20-36-60-80-120 grits. 180 sq/ft took me
about 2 hours, 15 minutes in total sanding time. A 5" ROS does a fine
job of scuffing the floor between finish coats. If you're here,
there's a good chance you already have an ROS.
I doubt you're going to find a commercial business to do this, but, if
you're up to it, you could do it yourself. Didn't you just lay the floor?
It's old school. And you'd be into the project for at least a week to ten
days, while the floor cured/hardened. Which is one reason why the
commercial folks aren't all that interested. Another is that durability
isn't what the waterborne finishes used today would be. Oh, and ventilate
well. There's a lot of alcohol to get rid of.
But it could look really great....
Offer them more money. Hell, offer me enough and I'll come do it. No
promises, warren ties, etc. on how long the shellac will hold up as a
floor covering though. Of course that may be why no one else will do it.
Most have probably never used shellac. I remember it being use for floor 50
years ago. Good stuff. Now everything it done with polyurethane and people
think it is great stuff.
Why not do it yourself? But some flakes and alcohol and get going. Start
with a 1 pound cut and work up.
Just for giggles I used shellac (flakes from Lee Valley) on my attic
floor. Prep work was done with a belt sander then ROS. Shellac was one
pound cut. Took many coats to start looking good. In my opinion,
shellac provide a rich glossy surface not available elsewhere.
However, it required two or three times the labor. The materials cost
was also high. 250 sq ft took more than 4 pounds of flakes and 4
gallons of alcohol, roughly $100. One gallon of something else might
have done the entire area for around $35.
I am happy with the results and might try again in a more visible
All it takes is a spark from static electricity, not to mention the
obvious: pilot lights. I'll stick to waterbornes and you risk takers
can do what ever floats your boats. :) Besides, shellac is not durable
enough for me to consider using it on a floor after all the sanding,
staining, and other prep involved in refinishing a floor. Shall we
agree to disagree on this subject, Ed?
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:
email@example.com (Munroe) wrote in message
After biting my tongue about your location -- I'm no fan of LI but
that's just me.
I've never done shellac on a floor. Lot's of it on the trim in our
90+ year old house -- wipe down the old shellac finish with water
followed by a very rapid pass with lots of alcohol followed by a new
layer of shellac. I really appreciate the fixable finishes.
A couple of years ago I redid about about 1k Sq feet of maple floor
(original floor with scads of quilted and bird's eye boards). Used
Waterlox. One coat with "Original" which used to be sold as "Gym
Floor Finish", followed by two coats of satin. Wearing well even in
high traffic areas. There are some dog claw and
kid-dragging-metal-toy scratches that will need fixed up next year.
Just wanted to point out that you there are other fixable finishes
followed by a very rapid pass with lots of alcohol followed by a new layer of
shellac. I really appreciate the fixable finishes. <
My house was built in '38, oak hardwood floors, ceilings, trim and doors, all
with a very dark stain/ or is it shellac. nothing has ever been done other than
up keep, it has cracking all over the trim, doors and ceiling, will the alcohol
trick work on this problem also. My house is located in Pensacola, Florida if
this mankes and difference.
Thanks for the help.
Repeating "Why not do it yourself?". It was used for years prior to
varnish developmnet. Easily repairable compared to varnish NOT easily
On 20 Oct 2004 14:47:10 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (Munroe) wrote:
My first apartment (1963) had shellac finish in the dinning area and the
table and chair legs scratched it something awful. I think they used
something called orange shellac. If you want a little color, stain it
first and the use polyurethane.
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