View Full Version : Spraying shellac

Brian Hale
05-08-2005, 10:31 AM
I'm hoping to spray shellac today for the first time on some unfinished baltic birch drawers, any tips? (HVLP)

I'll be using Zinnser clear from the can. How much should i cut it with alcohol. I'd like several thin coats, how long between recoats?

Brian :)

Jim Becker
05-08-2005, 10:46 AM
The Zinsser shellac is about a 3lb cut from the can. For spraying, you'll probably be happier with a 2lb cut. Do be sure to clean your equipment IMMEDIATELY after spraying as shellac will dry very quickly...

M. A. Espinoza
05-08-2005, 11:30 AM
OK, I've only sprayed shellac as a sealer once so keep that in mind. I sprayed Zinsser Sealcoat straight from the can with a gravity HVLP and was very happy with the results.

Devillbiss Finishline 3 with 1.3 tip. Sprayed fine. More of a pain to clean from the gun than waterbase but did a great job of locking the grain. I did a WB topcoat and it went down great and the shellac really helped deepen the tone. Something missing with water products unless you tint.

Be aware if you go over the shellac you need to be careful which one you use. Sealcoat is dewaxed and the Bullseye isn't. My WB finish mfg. reported adhesion problems with the Bullseye as sealer so I didn't even try it. Sealcoat was great.

I'm so happy with the shellac as a sealer that I'm going to get a separate cheapie gun to use with it to avoid the hassle of cleaning mid-finish.

Best Regards.

Brian Hale
05-08-2005, 1:34 PM
Thanks Guys!!

I've got everything covered that should be and getting ready mix and spray!!


Raymond Mendoza
07-13-2006, 12:31 PM
Beginner question here... what is meant by 3lb shellac and how would you thin it to 2lb? TIA!

Howard Acheson
07-13-2006, 12:35 PM
Let me strongly recommend that--going a little beyond Jim's recommendation--thinned to 1# works best for spraying. Also, be sure to practice spraying on some scrap or cardboard before you attempt anything real. Shellac sprays differently from many other finishes and a little practice will go a long way.

Howard Acheson
07-13-2006, 12:39 PM
Beginner question here... what is meant by 3lb shellac and how would you thin it to 2lb? TIA!

In shellac the "cut" is the mixture of shellac flakes to alcohol. A 3# cut would be three pounds of flakes mixed into 1 gallon of alcohol. A 1# cut would be one pound of flakes mixed into one gallon of alcohol.

While not exactly correct, to get a 3# cut to a 2# cut mix about 1 part alcohol to 2 parts of the 3# cut. It's close enough. A 1 1/2# - 2# cut is about the best brushing mixture unless you are using the shellac as a seal coat between stains. For this use, a 1/2# cut is generally used.

Jim Benante
07-13-2006, 2:08 PM
I use a 2 lb. cut and am a beginner who has had good luck with spraying shellac with an HVLP conversion gun.

Be sure to show us your results.

Raymond Mendoza
07-13-2006, 2:26 PM
Thank you! It's exactly the answer I was looking for.

Larry Fox
07-14-2006, 9:32 AM
I have also had very good luck spraying a 2# cut with a 3-stage unit. My recent project has a tremendious amount of surface area so I put on two coats of 2# shellac mixed fron flakes from Homestead as a sealer and put several coats of WB Topcoat on it and it is working out very well. No grain raising with the WB following the shellac.

Before spraying alcohol shellac, definitely make sure that you have good ventilation.

I agree with other posts that it does dry very quickly and can make a mess of the gun.