SHELLAC Seed, Button & Flake
Bysakhi Dark Seed Lac
Warm Neutral Brown, excellent for older antique restorations
Kusmi Seed Lac
Lighter carmel amber tones
(‘kusmi’ winter production)
Kusmi #1 Button (genuine buttons)
Carmel Amber toned buttons
Kusmi #2 Button (genuine buttons)
Caramel Amber for antiques, darker woods.
Warm toned Caramel Amber
Bysakhi Button (genuine buttons)
Dark brownish warm garnet tones.
Deep red brown tones
Hand Made Lemon Yellow
a thicker Cinamon Orange flake.
MMTN - GOSSAMER
Very Thin, quick dissolving, medium yellow
Lemon Yellow / Orange
general purpose light yellow creamy colour.
GARNET -- Dewaxed
Deep Rich Brown-Redish cast.
RUBY - Dewaxed Ruddy Amber
Flake from Siam seedlac. Use on Mahogany and other warm toned woods & intermix with other shellac to adjust and warm the color.
Dewaxed Orange Shellac
Deep rich colour.
Dewaxed Lemon Yellow
general use & undercoat rich yellow-orange.
Dewaxed Beige (Almost Blonde)
Beige, pale slight golden toned.
Light Pale Transparency.
Super Blonde -- Dewaxed
VERY Light Pale Transparent.
PLATINA Platinum Blonde -- Dewaxed
Extra LITE Crystalline Pale Transparent.
Needed for mixing:
High grade 190 Proof Denatured Alcohol.Preferably less than 10% denaturamts
To aid Brushing or Spraying:
Shellac Retarder to slow drying & to help eliminate brushmarks.
(NOT the same as Lacquer retarder)
To Reduce Sheen:
Shellac FLATT, a flatting agent especially formulated to reduce shellac sheen.
Shellac is an excellent quick drying, non waterproof, finish. Shellac requires experience in order to be able to use it to its full potential. Flake form allows fresh quality shellac to be prepared and avoid waste. Use shellac to seal in sap, resin, grease or oil marks after cleaning and prior to painting or lacquering. Thinned shellac makes an excellent stain barrier coat or hold out coat especially on soft woods and difficult or end grain prior to staining. Test all mixed shellac for drying if several months old. If the surface stays tacky after 8 hours and does not sand freely without gumming, the shellac is old and will not dry and must be discarded.
Dissolving & Mixing Flake Shellac
Mix in a dark plastic or glass container with a tightly fitting lid. Store in a cool and dark place if a clear container is used. Soak the flake shellac in about 1/2 of the total alcohol to be used for 24 hours or longer (cool room temperatures will slow the process; pulverize the button shellac to speed dissolving) stir occasionally and when dissolved add the balance of the alcohol. The consistency of shellac is determined by “cut”. A 3 lb. cut would be 3 lbs. of shellac flakes per one gallon of high quality Denatured Alcohol solvent.
If you have never worked with shellac before it is recommended that you start with a light consistency, preferably about a 1 lb. - 1.5 lb. cut. A one pound cut is (1 lb. of flake to 1 Gal.) - or [1/4 lb. in a Qt.] of Denatured Alcohol.
To mix 1 pint of 1 Lb. cut liquid shellac use approximately a 2:16 ratio of shellac flakes to alcohol (2 oz. of shellac flakes dissolved in 16 oz. of alcohol). Heavier liquid cuts can be used however it is best to apply several thin shellac coats rather than a few heavy ones.
After the shellac is fully dissolved, it should be strained through a fine mesh cheese cloth to remove any impurities. Shellac is made from the lac bug and a few bits of bug carcass are often left particularly in Seed Lac. Before the liquid shellac is used, it should be shaken or stirred thoroughly and allowed to stand for a few hours.
After dissolving, the different shellac colours may be intermixed in the liquid state to obtain intermediate tones or shades of shellac.
When applying as an undercoater prior to other finishes use a dewaxed shellac. Shellac should be applied in long strokes with the grain. Dip a good natural bristle brush about half way into the shellac and gently clear excess shellac against the side of the container, this gives a reasonably filled brush for full strokes without incorporating air in the shellac. Shellac should be sanded between coats. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly.
If the shellac is dry, sanding will produce a fine powder on the surface. If the shellac is not dry it will be somewhat tacky to sand and the paper will clog. After sanding, wipe the piece thoroughly with a tack cloth and recoat. Depending upon temperature and humidity conditions, allow from two to four hours drying for each coat. Some craftsmen prefer to do their finish sanding of the raw wood after first giving it a coat of shellac since this stiffens the wood fibers and allows any rough portions to be fully sanded off.
When the finish level "looks good" apply one more coat for long term durability, abrassion resistance, and to provide enough thickness to allow for 'rubbing out'.
When thoroughly cured (three to five days) the finish can be rubbed out with oil free & long stranded #0000 Steel Wool or fine pumice with paraffin oil. Rubbing should always be done with the grain. 24 hours after the final rubbing, to protect your shellac finish, apply a thin coat of paste wax. Allow the wax to dry completely and buff with a soft cotton cloth.