Why won't anyone Shellac the floor?

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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
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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.
David
Munroe wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (Munroe) wrote in

Do you think maybe it's because of the fire hazard? That much shellac would release a lot of flammable alcohol fumes.
Don
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On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 18:22:03 -0500, Don Wheeler

Have you ever been privy to the fumes from some of the "pro" finishes? <G>
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 finish application.
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.
Barry
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I guess they'd rather do what they know for those who demand warrantees. Then there's the problem of alkali in almost all cleaners....

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (Munroe) wrote in

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....
Patriarch
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

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.
--
MikeG
Heirloom Woods
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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.
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wrote in message

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 place.
John
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Most often when one refurbishes a floor, either satin or semi-gloss is used to help mask the imperfections of the sanding process...
David
John McCormick wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (John McCormick) wrote in wrote in message

Well, yeah, with a 1 lb cut, it _will_ take a while. You could reasonably pad a 2 or 3 lb cut, with much faster build.
Won't save the cost of flake, but would cut the alcohol and labor bill.
Patriarch
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Isn't that risky, Ed? I mean spreading an alcohol based product over the entire floor, indoors??
David
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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David did say:

If I had a nickel for every time I spilled alcohol based product all over the floor...
--
New project = new tool. Hard and fast rule.


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It has bee done that way for many years in tens of thousands of homes. You do have to take some precaution.
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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?
David
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.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 than shellac.
Good luck,
hex
-30-
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followed by a very rapid pass with lots of alcohol followed by a new layer of shellac. I really appreciate the fixable finishes. <
Hex, 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.
Dixierebel
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It's good that it's "fixable"; it'll need much more fixing than a modern high quality waterborne product will need under the same conditions.
David
FLDIXIEREBEL wrote:

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Repeating "Why not do it yourself?". It was used for years prior to varnish developmnet. Easily repairable compared to varnish NOT easily repairable.
On 20 Oct 2004 14:47:10 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (Munroe) wrote:

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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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