Over 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, and coloured for dramatic decorative finishes and more.
Shellac is available in a variety of forms, these include button shellac, blond, ultra blond, granulated white shellac, and golden or orange flake shellac.
The most readily available and versatile of these is the Golden or Orange Flake Shellac. It dissolves readily in Ethanol (methylated spirits) and can be used in a variety of ways.
Flake Shellac has a virtually unlimited shelf life if kept dry, cool and out of direct sunlight, thus making this the most practical way of purchasing the product. Liquid shellac is best when used fresh so do not mix your Flake Shellac until you are ready to use it.
Available in a 220g jar - perfect for mixing with 1L of 100% methylated spirits for a standard consistency used commonly in french polishing.
How To Mix Shellac
Empty contents of your jar into a large clean container. Add either 500mL or 1 litre of 100% methylated spirits depending on the size container you have purchased. Larger quantities should be mixed at the rate of 1.5 -2kg per 4L of methylated spirits. Leave until flakes are thoroughly dissolved, stiring 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.