I have no idea who told you to use a foam brush with shellac. Hopefully
they have died a horrible lingering death. If you're going to brush
shellac convincingly, you'll want to use the right brush. I see where a
badger brush was suggested. I've used badger brushes with some success
over the years. And then I switched to a taklon brush... it rocked my
little shellacky world.
Remember when brushing shellac you are "laying down," a finish. And you
must move very quickly. As previously mentioned, DO NOT tip-off the brush.
You'll pick-up partially dried, gummy finish from the lip of the jar and
it just isn't necessary. Give the brush a gentle shake just after loading
it, and you're ready to go.
You're gonna work quickly, right?
A quick google search turned up this article. Enjoy
http://www.klownhammer.org/ - Home of the World-Famous Original Crowbar
On Thu, 02 Oct 2003 15:14:02 -0700, "Patrick Olguin (O'Deen)"
I'll look for a good brush. Actually, in trying to recall it may have
been a NYW episode where Norm suggested the foam brush.
The real issue seems to be on a large, flat, surface where I can't
cover the entire thing quickly enough. I brushed it on quickly across
about 12" of one end then went to do another band across the next 12".
The first part had dried so much in just the 30-40 seconds that I
couldn't get the next part to blend without creating serious marks
when I touched the partially dry stuff. All my previous experience is
with poly or standard varnish, where you have plenty of open time to
brush it out smoothly. The shellac was dry to the touch within 5
minutes and sticky inside 30 seconds - I just couldn't work fast
enough to keep up and still get any kind of even coating.
Well, I tried to. How quickly is quickly?
Some helpful stuff. How does one go about wiping shellac? Should I
just take my fabled lint-free rag and soak it well with shellac then
wipe it quickly over the entire surface? I do pretty much that with
oil finishes and end up with good results. I'm a bit concerned about
the rapid drying just gluing rag and all to the work and creating a
worse mess than I started with.
Current thoughts are:
1 - thin to 1# cut.
2 - use good brush and work fast with a fairly heavily loaded brush.
c - wet sand to smooth (generally sounds like a nasty amount of work
4 - wipe on one or two more coats.
5 - work in early morning before the temp in the shop is so high. Last
time it was probably around 90 and the humidity was in the low teens
f - some combination of the above.
I really want this to work, the oil and shellac combination gives
exactly the look I want.
Therein lies the answer. Go to www.homesteadfinishing.com and get a golden
taklon brush. Tell Jeff I sent ya. Hmmm. Make sure you have the price first,
before you tell 'em that..
This sounds like a candidate for wiping. For me, I'm of two mindsets on this.
If I brush, it's because I know I'm going to come back later and scrape the
finish flat with a hand scraper.
The best scrapers for this, hands-down, are the super flexible offerings from
Lie-Nielsen. The advantage to scraping a finish, versus sanding is that the
finish will not corn-up on you, as
a partially-cured finish is apt to do.
So, ya load-up the brush, shake, lay on some finish. Repeat. This process is
repeated literally every 5-10 seconds at most. If you're taking longer, you're
working too slowly. Light
touch, loaded brush, lay down the finish with a feather touch. When the brush
strokes begin to streak, time to reload. When working a long surface, begin
three inches in from an edge. I'm
a righty, so I like to begin at the left edge. I brush out to the edge, then
quickly brush back the other direction until I get to the right edge, then
immediately reload and begin the next
"strip." Using a thin cut does two things. It almost eliminates drips, runs and
sags, and it quickens the dry time. Ok, it does one more thing, it reduces the
effect of the lap marks.
Remember, do not brush-in the finish. Lay it down. The brush contacts the
surface of the wood as though it were an airplane doing touch-and-go's.
This shouldn't be a problem. Dip your lint-free rag in the shellac (a 1# cut is
all ya need) in a wide bowl of shellac. Squeeze it out so it's just damp, and
wipe down the surface as
though you were drying off your car. You should be able to cover it in a few
seconds without having to dip the rag again. A light touch is best. You're
putting down an incredibly thin layer
of shellac. That might seem a bit tedious and slow. It's not, because you're
ready to recoat in a minute. Keep doing this wiping thing. When the rag begins
to stick, you have a couple of
options. Stop for an hour or two or make a pad (wrap the rag around something
absorbant like a wool sock or old diaper), apply a couple drops of mineral oil
to the outside of the pad, dip,
squeeze and keep going.
This takes a little more skill, but only a little. You also use a bit more
pressure on the pad. When it begins to drag, you're ready for more shellac. Some
folks (myself included), prefer
to charge the pad using a squeeze bottle. Open the pad, squirt some shellac into
the wadding, wrap your pad back up, give it a healthy squeeze to dispense the
excess, and you're back in
As long as you work with a thin cut, fresh alcohol and quality shellac, you
shouldn't run into huge-gummy-mess issues.
One thing about shellac - your finish, the air and the wood should all be close
to the same temperature. If not, you can end up with a blistered finish, as air
trapped underneath it expands
too quickly for it to outgas through the curing (evaporative) film. Apply it in
the shade, early in the morning before things have heated up, or later in the
afternoon, once things have
maxed-out temperature-wise for the day. Do just about everything you can to
avoid applying shellac in direct sunlight.
Lunch is a tradition invented so that we could take a break and allow the
morning's shellac application to dry while the air temperature stabilizes in the
middle of the day. That's my story
and I'm sticking (no pun intended) to it.
http://www.klownhammer.org/ - Home of the World-Famous Original Crowbar FAQ
I have been using shellac lately myself.(1 to 2 Lb cuts made from flake)
I have had no problem applying it with a brush,
but the largest surface area I have used a brush on has been
24" by 10" or there bouts. I have had good results consistently,
using a cotton rag, like a cotton t-shit, with a rolled up wad of
wool in the center of the cotton rag. I found that using cotton fabric
with the "wool center" worked MUCH better. The wool stores the shellac,
and dispenses it to the cotton outer via capillary action, and allows
for precise/even flow. It was a more controllable process, than the
other processes I have tried to date. You might want to try it out.
I've sanded dry to evaluate progress until there was an even dullness
then wiped a thin cut for gloss then pumice, rottenstone, etc. Ensure
that there enough build before sanding.
On Thu, 2 Oct 2003 07:20:25 -0400, "Montyhp" <montyhp at yahoo.com>
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