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S O K O L O W S K I S T U D I O S

Try Our Premium Shellac Flakes and Discover How the Shellac
You Mix Yourself Beats Anything You'll Buy in a Can!
Fresh shellac goes on better and cures properly. It is the key to great finishes and works well as a sealer. And there's no better way to ensure your shellac is fresh than by mixing it yourself. I use shellac as a base coat prior to using a friction finish like Crystal Coat by Hut. I also use it in French Polishing and as a sealer in metal inlay techniques.

Shellac flakes are mixed with alcohol to create a liquid finish. A cut is the amount of shellac dissolved in alcohol. A 2 pound cut is 2 pounds of shellac mixedin 1 gallon of alcohol. You probably won't need all that shellac, so mix an amount that you will use in about6 months. A basic ratio (in ounces) is given on the label of each bag. Mixed shellac has a shelf life of about1 year depending on the temperature and humidity where it is stored. I mix 2 ounces of shellac into 8 ounces of alcohol for a 2 pound cut. That makes about 10 ounces of liquid. From this I make a sealer by adding 3 ounces of alcohol to 1 ounce of liquid shellac, producing a 1/2 pound cut.

Shellac can be dissolved in any kind of alcohol. Denatured is available locally in chain and local hardware stores. I don't care for the smell of denatured alcohol, so I use anhydrous isopropyl alcohol. While the shellac flake takes a bit longer to dissolve in isopropyl, the smell is much more pleasant. Anhydrous means water-free, so try to find a purity of 99% or better. Drug store isopropyl contains as much as 50% water, so avoid it. A local chemical supply house should carry anhydrous isopropyl or you can also find it on Amazon.com.

Here's to a great finish!

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