Wow, I would never have considered that. Thanks for the tip.
There again is the time issue. Few people mention that, they always
say how fast shellac dries. I have learned already that it is not too
wise to work too fast, noticing the difference between a six to a 24
hour cure. Trust me, all this mention of time and patience is really
appreciated here, I will be doing things differently.
Here's the contents of some old posts of mine on spraying shellac ...
don't have time to find the responses, but you can DAGS if you need more:
1 1/2# cut of shellac is pretty standard for spraying shellac, IME.
Evaporation is obviously slower when the humidity is high due to the
higher moisture content in the air.
So one method when spraying alcohol cut shellac in humid climates is to
either allow evaporation to go faster by spraying on days with low
humidity, or reduce the amount of water in the thinner (alcohol) itself
... mitigating, somewhat, the humidity induced slower evaporation as a
An anhydrous alcohol has a low(er) water content. I usually use a 99%
anhydrous isopropyl alcohol to cut shellac when spraying in this Gulf
Coast climate on really humid days.
As I mentioned earlier, a possible problem spraying with thin alcohol
cut shellac is the spray mist may dry before it actually hits the
surface of the project ... particularly true with cheaper HVLP guns
where you don't have a lot of tips available to fine tune the spray.
Shellac is about the only finish I use, and I always spray it.
If you are not planning on using anything but shellac, buy the three
pound cut and thin it down to 1 1/2 with alcohol (I prefer to use this
cut when spraying, but YMMV) ... experiment.
3 pound cut is what you get out of the can for the standard, although
I've seen 4 and 5 pound cut at paint stores, and the "sanding sealer",
out of the can should be a 2 pound cut.
You really don't need the dewaxed if shellac is all you're using ... the
dewaxed being essential for compatibility with lacquer, poly and other
top coat finishes added post shellac application.
The Zinnser sealer is dewaxed and works well when sprayed and can indeed
be used as the finish coat.
I just generally use the regular BullsEye amber 3 pound cut, thinned to
a 1 1/2 pound cut with 99% isopropyl alcohol (depending upon the
temp/humidity) sprayed on for the final coat.
I find I have better application on extremely high humidity days with
99% isopropyl alcohol, but the Borg denatured works fine 99% of the time.
IME, with humidity, what you're worrying about is blush.
With 99% isopropyl alcohol you need to pay particular attention to the
shellac drying before it hits the surface. If that is a problem, simply
cut your material flow down a bit and spray closer to the work (with HVLP).
Spraying shellac is not that difficult, as a matter of fact, it is easy
and forgiving with an off the shelf, $100 HVLP unit. A couple of minutes
with a scrap piece to make sure material flow and distance is right, and
Thank you for the detailed information, it is like a bright light in
the middle of the night. Between what I have seen from me screwups and
impatience, and all the info I have received here, I will be walking a
different path with the shellac. Thanks all for the help, it sure is a
long ways from the old days when I sprayed shellac on automotive
wiring, for insulation and making it look good.
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