(makes 1 litre)
1 kg bulk double bagged
the years Shellac has had many uses, it was used to insulate early
electrical wiring, the first gramophone records were made of it and
for centuries it has been known as the king of finishes.
Shellac is one of the most versatile of all
wood finishes. it can be thinned and used as a sanding
sealer or a base to build a wax finish upon. It can be
applied with a brush or a pad to give a full French
Polished finish, coloured for dramatic decorative finishes and more.
Shellac is available in a variety of forms,
these include button shellac, blond, ultra blond,
granulated white lac and golden or orange flake shellac.
readily available and versatile of these is the Golden or
Orange Flake Shellac also known as SILTN, it dissolves
readily in Ethanol (methylated spirits) and can be used
in a variety of ways.
also available in liquid form and is usually called French Polish or white polish
if made from white shellac. These liquids
only have a relatively short shelf life and start to
deteriorate after about 12 months. Unfortunately the
polish may have been in the shop for a year or more
before you buy it, this means that it may well be bordering on stale
before you come to use it.
other hand Flake Shellac has a virtually unlimited shelf
life if kept dry and out of direct sunlight, thus making
this the most practical way of purchasing the product. Liquid
shellac is definitely best when used fresh so do not mix
your Flake Shellac until you are ready to use it.
TO MIX SHELLAC
contents of your jar into a large clean container. Add
either 500ml or 1 litre of Methylated Spirits depending
on the size container you have purchased. Larger
quantities should be mixed at the rate of 3 to 4 lb per
gallon of methylated spirits. Leave until flakes are
thoroughly dissolved, (stir occasionally) finally strain
the liquid through a stocking back into your jar.
(Shellac is imported in large hessian bags and straining
removes any foreign material)
Do not use
a metal container to store liquid shellac (French Polish)
as this will degrade the polish at a very fast rate.
mixture may be thinned as required with methylated
ml bottle with flip top lid
FOR FRENCH POLISH
Polish can be used in a number of ways. It can be brushed
on to new timber in a series of coats to give a bright
finish. It can be applied with a pad or rubber as in French polishing. It can be thinned and used as a a
sanding sealer or a base for applying a wax polish.
If you are
not experienced at using French Polish you would be well
advised to undertake a class in polishing or at least
obtain information from a good book on polishing or from
someone who is experienced in using the product.
French Polish is very versatile and reasonably easy to
use for some applications it is not advisable that the
novice just jump in feet first and start splashing it
about willy-nilly all over a piece of furniture.
following section will give you some basic instructions
on using French Polish without tears.
TO USE FRENCH POLISH
following information is only very basic information and
should in no way be taken as a tutorial on using French
Applying with a brush.
method will build several layers of polish in a short
need a good quality brush. Preferably a Polishers Mop or
Artists Mop with Camel hair or Sable bristles. These
brushes have extremely soft, fine bristles that act as a
reservoir for the polish and give an almost perfect
finish to the work.
small portion of your polish and add approx. 25%
methylated spirit to dilute the mix. Dip your brush into
the polish then remove the excess on the side of the
polish container. The brush should be loaded with polish
but not dripping.
brush lightly to the work and glide it in a steady,
constant line from one end to the other, then repeat on
the next stroke which should barely overlap the first and
be slightly heavier. Continue this process until the
brush needs to be re-filled with polish and you have
covered the whole surface.
coat will take between 10 & 15 minutes to dry.
Re-coat two to three more times in the same way, allowing
drying time between coats.
have a base upon which to build a number of finishes.
Waxed French Polish
day for drying then sand the above base with wet and dry
abrasive 400 grit then 600 grit, use water with a little
dish detergent in it to sand with. After sanding dry the
surface thoroughly then burnish the surface with 000 or
0000 steel wool. Use a damp rag to remove any dried
powder left in the pores of the timber. Now apply a coat
of Traditional Wax to the surface and buff to a brilliant
Tip: Be careful not to sand through the polish to the
timber. Always sand with the grain.
French Polished Finish
finish is applied with a rubber (a pad made by wrapping
linen or cotton sheeting around a pear shaped filling of
cotton wadding) This form of polishing is best done after
formal instruction. It is used for the finest furniture.
Polish can also be sprayed on to a surface by means of
conventional or airless spray equipment. This is usually
used as a base for other finishes.
Coloured French Polish
polish can be easily coloured by the addition of
universal tints. (readily available from any paint shop)
coloured polish is usually applied by means of a brush or
spraying. If used over a white base it can give some
startling effects especially if used for scumbling or
with a stippling brush or sponged.
6/ French Polish
as a Grain filler
Decant off about 20mm
of French Polish into a clean glass jar, add an equal amount of
methylated spirits then add about half a teaspoon of our
to the liquid and mix in well. This can be painted onto the surface of
an open grained timber as a sanding-sealer/grain-filler. When it dries
it is easily sanded leaving a silky smooth base upon which to continue
your polishing. If the timber colour is muddied by the talc mix add
extra French Polish and meths.
French Polish is available in 500ml clear PVC bottles
with flip top lids, making it ideal for distributing small amounts
to charge a rubber during polishing. Each bottle is clearly labelled
with a Date of Manufacture and a Best Before date. Very important
with a product that has a limited shelf life. Also available in 5
litre bulk bottles.