Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Dewaxed shellac vs. non-dewaxed shellac

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    50

    Dewaxed shellac vs. non-dewaxed shellac

    Dewaxed shellac is a universal sealer; it sticks to just about anything and just about anything sticks to it. If shellac is the final topcoat, is there anything wrong with using non-dewaxed shellac for the seal coat and all subsequent coats?

    I've read that dewaxed shellac is more water resistant than non; are there any other advantages to using dewaxed (besides the adhesion advantages)? Clarity? Ease of rubbing out? Anything?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Chappell Hill, Texas
    Posts
    4,414
    Hi Gary.

    We don't usually say "non-dewaxed" shellac. That would be "shellac", with the other version being dewaxed shellac.

    Shellac over itself works fine. Dewaxed shellac over itself works fine. Shellac over dewaxed shellac, and vice versa, works fine.

    I don't know of any advantages. I don't consider shellac cloudy. Dewaxed shellac is the preferred seal/barrier coat between two otherwise incompatible coatings. Some coatings can't handle the natural wax in shellac.

    Shellac is a good sealer to slow down water vapor exchange. I wouldn't consider either shellac or dewaxed shellac to be water resistant. If you are looking for water resistance, I would suggest to keep looking.

  3. #3
    For me, the advantage of dewaxed shellac is that Zinsser sells a high quality, easily available product. What are you thinking of using it on?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Burch View Post
    Hi Gary.

    We don't usually say "non-dewaxed" shellac. That would be "shellac", with the other version being dewaxed shellac.
    I know. I referred to it that way to be super blonde. I mean clear. Shellac pun.

  5. #5
    I use a lot of shellac . . . well, a lot for me anyway. Let's just say I've never had any go bad and leave it at that. I do not use it for tabletops, shelves that will see a lot of 'off and on' use like bookcases or for items in the bath or kitchen. However, I use it as the topcoat on almost anything else. As Peter asked; what are you using it on?

    I prefer a varnish of some sort for high abrasion areas although, as an exception, I have used shellac and paste-wax for shop jigs that have been in use for years and never worn through. Those surfaces are scratched up to beat the band but still very functional. I would not want the "fog" of a lot of scratching on table tops and so forth, thus, a varnish.
    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” -- George Orwell


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    As Peter asked; what are you using it on?
    I was just asking a general question; not project specific. I've been using shellac in projects, like you, that don't take a lot of abuse/abrasion: boxes, a shaker step stool that will not be stepped on very much, a tic-tac-toe game w/marbles, etc. I've been making my own with flakes & DNA. I use it so infrequently that I want to make sure I have a fresh batch. I've always put on paste wax after it has cured.

  7. #7
    Well, when a back bedroom was liberated from a teenager, I was assigned the duty of taking down some wallpaper which evolved into patching plaster, cleaning woodwork and painting the whole thing. The 90 year old shellac finished floor which I don't think had ever been refinished (although it had carpet for decades) looked tired, but I was tired of the growing project and scuff sanded it, bought a gallon of Zinsser and put on 3 coats in a day. Without sanding it down, it doesn't look super nice, but it looks pretty good and its holding up fine after 7 or 8 years.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Doylestown, PA
    Posts
    4,039
    Dewaxed shellac works pretty well in place of a primer on wood when applying water-cleanup paint (acrylic latex etc.). Shellac uses alcohol as a solvent so there's no grain raising thus no sanding. That can save time and aggravation when painting a door with louvers or elaborate moldings.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    36
    If you are going to use a water borne top coat, you must use de-waxed shellac as the sealer. Water borne will not stick to regular shellac. And, in my almost 30 year custom cabinet and furniture making career. I have never mixed my own flakes. Zinsser, off the shelf works great!

  10. #10
    Is off the shelf Zinsser Shellac de-waxed? Label doesn't specify.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Trussville, AL
    Posts
    3,585
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Skell View Post
    Is off the shelf Zinsser Shellac de-waxed? Label doesn't specify.
    No it's waxed. You can tell in the can because all the wax settles out and you have to stir it (or decant the "de-waxed" shellac). The Bulls-eye Seal Coat is de-waxed.
    Last edited by Jerome Hanby; 01-10-2012 at 12:34 PM. Reason: typos

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Posts
    23,801
    Both dewaxed and waxed Zinsser's is available off the shelf in my my local Ace Hardware. You have to read the can closely.

    Bullseye Shellac is the waxed version. Bullseye "Seal Coat" is the dewaxed version and it says "100% dewaxed" on the ribbon on the front of the can.
    Ken

  13. #13
    Ah! Thanks for the answers guys!

  14. #14
    The spray cans are dewaxed. They don't say it on the cans, so it's misleading, but I believe they both are dewaxed.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Tomball, TX (30 miles NNW Houston)
    Posts
    2,493
    there is one advantage to shellac that still has the wax... it rubs out easier.
    Scott

    Finishing is an 'Art & a Science'. Actually, it is a process. You must understand the properties and tendencies of the finish you are using. You must know the proper steps and techniques, then you must execute them properly.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •