trz

Top coat over shellac

Recommended Posts

So, I've sprayed two coats of amber shellac on my bookcases. Why shellac? Because I've never worked with it before and wanted to try spraying some! Amber, because two coats gave me just the color I wanted.

Now that that's done should I top coat it and if so with what?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bookcase = something durable

 

New to spraying = something easy to shoot that’ll lay-down well

 

From previous posts, not a lot of oomph at the tip = something that atomizes fairly easily

 

 

I’d shoot pre-cat solvent lacquer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And I would wipe on some poly. Most anything goes over shellac, so take your pick. Just be sure it has fully hardened. Pre-mixed shellac may have been on the shelf a while, and old shellac can sometimes stay soft for quite a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep it simple - get some water based poly and spray it. General finishes high performance or Old Masters poly are both easy to spray.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

==>And I would wipe on some poly.

Excellent choice... I would have gone that way, but figured he wanted to keep spraying... Of course, the other advantage of a catalyzed lacquer – you can finish the project in an afternoon and have books on the case the next day... Wipe-on poly/varnish/etc -- it's another week or so... The upside of poly -- spraying bookcases can be a bit of a challange...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Correct you are, I would like to keep spraying, I won't be putting any books on them for awhile, so drying time is not an issue.

I'll have to look into the water based poly and the lawuer options. Mot sure which would be better for a noob sprayer to start with!

Again , thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Based on your other spray threads... WB isn't in the cards until you up your air supply... Solvent-based, shellac, et al are about your only options... Shooting poly is absolutly out of the question...

 

==>drying time is not an issue.

Not so much dry time, but cure time... It normally takes three weeks to a month for wipe-on varnish/poly/oil blends to cure... No cure = no books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a couple bookcases and a few other pieces that I only finished with shellac.  They are holding up fine (through plenty of use and 2 moves).  

 

 Is there a reason you are looking for a different topcoat?  Shellac has been used for a long time with nothing (save some wax) on top. If you want a different sheen you can sand it a bit with 600 or something, or just apply some wax, and buff to the sheen you want.

 

Additionally while many people report not having issues applying another finish on top of waxed shellac (which is what Zinnser Amber is), there is at least a theory that another finish will not stick well.  I usually buy the seal coat or mix my own, so I can't provide any experience to that notion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

==>I wanted the amber color!

Amber Transtint: http://www.amazon.com/TransTint-Dyes-Honey-Amber/dp/B001DSZ4MM  added to dewaxed is the ticket -- a couple drops is all you need...

 

On wax, lacquer bites into just about everything... But if it worries you, shoot a coat of dewaxed over it, then topcoat...

 

As for shellac alone -- yea, it tends to be aok for decorative bookcases, but if you take/remove books frequently -- say a student -- then shellac won't hold up... The scratches will [mostly] be hidden by the books, so it's up to you... One thing, shellac takes between a week and a month to cure.... and no cure = no books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

==>I wanted the amber color!

 

 

On wax, lacquer bites into just about everything... But if it worries you, shoot a coat of dewaxed over it, then topcoat...

 

 

 

Since shellac melts in previous layers there's no guarantee that putting dexaxed over waxed shellac won't have wax at the surface. Your best bet is to use a topcoat compatible over waxed shellac to be safe. Poly does not like waxed shellac but I've heard that Waterlox will work just fine over it. Personally I like to plan ahead and never use waxed shellac if something is going over it. 

 

But like Josh said, shellac will be a fine finish for a bookshelf and will be ready to use the next day. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

\ One thing, shellac takes between a week and a month to cure.... and no cure = no books.

 

That is some good advice.  Dry does not equal cured.  I built a small gaming table and sprayed it with amber shellac (from flakes).  I put it into service after a couple of days and right away it sctratched a little.  But since then, no new scratches and it has been surprisingly durable and water ring resistant.   If it were my bookshelf, I'd wait 2 weeks, put it into service, and if in a year you are finding it is not durable enough, you can scuff sand and top coat.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

==>will be ready to use the next day.

No it won't... Been there, done that -- doesn't work. It needs time to cure prior to adding books. I learned that the really hard way...

 

==>melts in previous layers there's no guarantee that putting dexaxed over waxed shellac won't have wax at the surface

True, but it's more like 'bite-in' not 'melt-in'... The top layer really will be the new coating... That's the point of barrier coating and locking-in color layers... Can some wax make it to the top -- maybe... Is it likely at all? No.  But the point is well taken --- plan the finish schedule in advance and pick compatible finishes...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Original plan was to only use the shellac , but the decided to throw it out here to see if it was "better" to top coat it! If it isn't necessary Ill be satisfied with the shellac and save the experience top coating with other products for another project.

Hopefully by then I will have a better sray system.

I do need to smooth the shellac out a bit cuz it's a little rough!

The book shelves are more of a home library where my wife can put her hundreds of books, so they won't be moved on and off the shelves frequently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.