The first coat is easy, but brushing or wiping on multiple coats can lead to a sticky situation and brush lines, because each new coat of shellac partially dissolves the coat underneath. (Drying time: 30 mins) Polyurethane: A synthetic finish made from plastic resin and available in water- or oil-based forms. In addition to protecting the wood, it also provides natural ultraviolet light protection. Let me explain. (Shellac - 1 hour Waterborne polyurethane - 2 hrs Standard Polyurethane - 24 hours) Best for Crystal Clear Finish: Lacquer Waterborne polyurethane - close second place. For information please refer to these posts: Varnish is a clear film finish that is made from oils and resins. jerry. If so, I apologize. Water-based finish goes by many names that may include the words "lacquer" or "polyurethane," but most use acrylic or acrylic/polyurethane resins in solvent and water. Just be careful not to deeply scratch the finish and certainly do not sand off the finish to the point where you reach raw wood. If so, I apologize. Let Laurie March's tips help you choose the right finish for any surface. If my time is limited, then lacquer offers definite advantages since the typical drying time for the product is just 30 minutes, give or take the humidity levels in the air. The ideal test would have been to apply another coat of shellac over the stain once it had dried. Although this type of finish is usually applied on indoor furniture, there are certain types of varnishes that are specially made for outdoor ones as well. I’ll make one suggestion about shellac, too: if it’s a new finish for you, practice first before applying it to those drawers. Shellac vs lacquer vs polyurethane?! Learn when and where to use the correct one. It’s safe to use Shellac for utensils or toys since they don’t contain any toxic fumes. Wipe-on polyurethane is used primarily by woodworkers who want to create a “hand-rubbed” finish on special projects. However, each type of finish has a variety of pros and cons that you should consider to better determine which may be right for your application. The Differences Between Shellac & Varnish. Polyurethane vs. Varnish vs. Shellac: Did You Pick the Right Finish? Thank you for your help. The surface may also be damaged by hot items and alkaline compounds that are frequently found in cleaning products. There are many different kinds of finishes that you can use to refinish your furniture. There are many different levels of sheen available for lacquer, so make sure you pick the right one. Sign up for weekly project ideas and advice from experts. As with shellac, water-based polyurethane won't hold up well to heat and chemicals. Archived. You can often avoid this by applying a thinner coat. It is usually clear but it may also come in different tints and colors. When working with oil-based polyurethane, use a respirator in a well-ventilated area. Follow this advice on the various types of wood finishes and when each one is used. What type of finishing solvent should be used on hard wood floors to stand up against the foot traffic? Water-based finish goes by many names that may include the words "lacquer" or "polyurethane," but most use acrylic or acrylic/polyurethane resins in solvent and water. What is Shellac? Shellac: This finish is virtually a natural product that creates a lustrous, mid-gloss sheen with a golden tint. Polyurethane vs Urethane vs Shellac You may also think of polyurethane as urethane , but they are actually two different components. I'm new to woodworking and I'm curious which one I should be leaning towards for making things like country shelves, cabinets, and things to hang on the wall, or some small furniture items like tables or benches, chests, and that sort of thing. Essentially a plastic in the form of a liquid until it dries, polyurethane is available in both water- and oil-based options, and comes in varieties from satin to glossy. These secretions are collected and processed into flakes that dissolve in ethyl or denatured alcohol. I have used Cuprinol in the past and been disapointed in it’s performance. I have heard countless times that you should never put polyurethane over waxed shellac. Your email address will not be published. Apply using a natural-bristle brush. It's similar to shellac in some ways, but it's a different finish, and it's one of the most popular and effective tabletop finishes you can use. Shellac vs. Polyurethane. Advertisement . I PLAN ON CHANGING THE RATIO’S 3 DIFFERENT TIMES – FOR A 1ST COAT——INTERESTING? A couple of coats are usually enough, but you can apply additional coats (more wiped-on coats can be applied than brushed or rolled) to create a thicker and more durable finish. Shellac (/ʃəˈlæk/) is a resin secreted by the female lac bug on trees in the forests of India and Thailand. Although some may be used interchangeably, results would be best if you use the appropriate finish for your furniture. 8 Essential Wood Refinishing Tools and Supplies, How to Tell If Wood Furniture Is Worth Refinishing, What You Need to Know About Hardwood Floor Refinishing, What You Should Know About Engineered Wood Flooring, What You Should Know About Reclaimed Hardwood Flooring. However, each type of finish has a variety of pros and cons that you should consider to better determine which may be right for your application. The shashes are joined at the corners with screws typically and need a penetrating protective coat. (Drying time: 2 hours for water-based and 6 hours for oil-based) It’s also important to consider other finishing products though including varnish, polyurethane, and shellac. post #2 of 6 Old 01-30-2009, 04:03 PM. Shellac is what is used for French polishing which is basically applying lots of very thin coats of shellac. Cutting boards and other wood items that come in contact with food do well with butcher-block oil and food-grade mineral oil. Where can I obtain it? 2/27/2017 Comments I'll start with this shellac is by far a less durable product. There are many different kinds of finishes available for wood finishing. Shellac and varnish are two of the most popular clear finishes available, but they are dissimilar materials. Minwax Polycrylic is an example of a fortified water-based polyurethane than can stand up a bit better to rough conditions. Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online. You can choose from polyurethane, lacquer, shellac, or even varnish. By eliminating oil, and using acrylic and other clear resins, water-based finishes don't yellow as they age. You can find it in just about any hardware store which is also a big plus. Nevertheless, water-based polyurethanes are popular among those who like to do-it-themselves because they are usually non-toxic. I hope this hasn't been discussed before. Share. Remove Advertisements. Cookie information is stored in your browser and performs functions such as recognising you when you return to our website and helping our team to understand which sections of the website you find most interesting and useful. Shellac vs Varnish • Varnish is of plant origin, whereas shellac is of animal origin. Posted by 1 year ago. 1. Our expert helps you decide. We love to DIY. I am thinking of my maintenance of metal clad wood casement windows in my home which have suffered damage by water. Here’s what you need to know. Orange shellac is bleached with sodium hypochlorite solution to form white shellac and also is produced in wax-containing and wax-free form. So from what can tell, most people use shellac on the interiors. It would be good to advise us on the advantages of these products when sealing wood windows which are not esposed to tons of UV . Furthermore, it is not very easy to repair. It is, however, OK to use an oil-based urethane over shellac. Guest. I am cosidering using shellac instead of poly . The only thing that may cause one to raise an eyebrow here is that the stain was applied over the shellac and then the polyurethane was applied over the stain. Rollers and rags can work for either type of finish. Posted by 1 year ago. OMU. Despite having so many similarities, these products are recommended not to be used interchangeably. Test this easy-to-use stain product on your next DIY project. It also doesn’t penetrate the surface so it may form some sort of film on top of the wood. Guest. Even the most skillfully-executed … Polyurethanes, on the other hand, are clear film finishes that can either be flat, satin-like, or glossy in appearance. One of the essential stages of woodworking is applying a finish to the wood. Even the most skillfully-executed … Water-based polyurethane is popular because of its low odor and low toxicity. Many times these will settle out as the finish dries. It is important to note that when buying shellac, you should only buy the amount you need. Reclaimed hardwood flooring wins points for sustainability, but it isn’t perfect. This is because of its thickness and the nature of the chemicals that it contains. This traditional finish comes from natural resins secreted by the lac bug. Archived. I applied Bin Advanced after cleaning with DN alcohol and scuff sanding with 80 grit on an orbital. Polyurethane doesn’t do that. Wipe off the dust created and apply another coat. On the other hand, perfumes and alcoholic beverages may actually damage a shellac finished wood surface . What Is Polyurethane? I will rate my impressions on a 1-10 comparison scale to regular Bin shellac primer with a "10" being equal to the performance of regular Bin. Required fields are marked *. © 2020 Discovery or its subsidiaries and affiliates. There is little reason to use lacquer or shellac because of this invention. It is processed and sold as dry flakes and dissolved in alcohol to make liquid shellac, which is used as a brush-on colorant, food glaze and wood finish.Shellac functions as a tough natural primer, sanding sealant, tannin-blocker, odour-blocker, stain, and high-gloss varnish. It’s good for bookcases, desks, side tables and picture frames — anything that won’t be exposed to extremes. This set of doors had a dark stain and a polyurethane finish. Senior Member . After the first coat dries, you'll need to either sand it with fine-grit sandpaper (220 grit) or use steel wool. 1K Shares. Spar varnish is often used on items that will be near or on the water, like a wood boat, decks, beach chairs, etc. Shellac flakes come in various colors, ranging from orange/amber to light yellow (super blonde), which lends a warm tone to the wood. You can also purchase polyurethane in a spray can which makes it a bit easier to apply, especially on large projects. The paint is a latex semi-gloss. It is a plastic resin that is carried in solvents. Like varnish, lacquer can produce surfaces that are shiny and glossy because it contains shellac mixed with alcohol. Furthermore, shellac tends to show scratches and white rings when in contact with water. Some use wood finishes to protect their furniture while others use them just to make their furniture look more appealing. Urethane Vs Polyurethane. Orange shellac is bleached with sodium hypochlorite solution to form white shellac and also is produced in wax-containing and wax-free form. By applying a topcoat you can have a finished wood project that lasts for a long time to come. From books to magazine articles to forums to DVD’s, the message is always the same. It has a great protective property that is easy to touch-up if needed. September 19, 2011 Shellac vs Polyurethane Dave Wood finishing, as its name suggests, is the last step in the process of repairing and refinishing furniture. Water-based polyurethane dry faster so there is a lower chance of bugs and dust getting stuck in it. A natural, nontoxic resin, shellac comes in a food-grade formula used to coat many of the candies you snack on. Following is a basic description of Shellac, Lacquer and Polyurethane Finishes and differences between them, take a look. Polyurethane is a liquid coating that dries into a plastic film. Curing vs. Non-Curing Finishes Polyurethane and lacquer are oftentimes used interchangeably mainly due to the confusion of their identities. It is, however, OK to use an oil-based urethane over shellac. what type of finish should I use to restore a 42 year old cradle. Apply it with a natural bristle brush or with a cotton rag. Guest. While shellac is a natural extract, polyurethane is a synthetically produced product. Even the back of the shellac can itself says not to use polyurethane. It goes on clear without adding a slight color that oil-based versions can, and it dries much faster. Polyurethane is a synthetic finish that is the most commonly used now. Since shellac naturally contains a small amount of wax, it is necessary to de-wax the shellac if coating it with a varnish. The best conditions to apply are when there is as little dust or other airborne particles as possible. Varnish also gives your furniture a protective film making it weatherproof and easier to clean. Some use wood finishes to protect their furniture while others use them just to make their furniture look more appealing. Shellac is not too far behind at one hour. Though it can be heat sensitive and chemical sensitive, it is much more resistant to water and humidity, and it offers thicker coverage for greater durability, which means it will hold up better against scratches, abrasions, dings, and dents. Although lacquer may be applied by both spraying and brushing, it is more often applied by spraying since it is thinner. All in all I think that this will sever the purpose. Try not to exceed four or five coats of finish. Water-based oil-modified polyurethane is a relatively new product that combines the durability of an oil base with the cleanup of a water base. You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in settings. Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more. You can choose from polyurethane, lacquer, shellac, or even varnish. (Drying time: 30 mins) Polyurethane: A synthetic finish made from plastic resin and available in water- or oil-based forms. This is because keeping it in the can for a long period of time will spoil it. Other than polyurethane, I have not heard nor experienced any problems with adhesion to shellac except for the lacquer mentioned above. Now I have always taken the “better safe than sorry” route, simply avoiding regular waxed shellac. If you want a rich color without having to reapply coats, an oil-based poly is your best bet. Don't panic. Wood Finishes 101 – Polyurethane vs Varnish vs Lacquer vs Shellac. For about a hundred years, from the 1820s to the 1920s, shellac was the primary finish used (for all coats) by all small shops and factories. September 19, 2011 Shellac vs Polyurethane Dave Wood finishing, as its name suggests, is the last step in the process of repairing and refinishing furniture. It adds a slight color tone and will bring out the richness of wood. The ideal test would have been to apply another coat of shellac over the stain once it had dried. Since shellac naturally contains a small amount of wax, it is necessary to de-wax the shellac if coating it with a varnish. Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths. post #2 of 6 Old 01-30-2009, 04:03 PM. You'll need a high-volume, low-presser (HVLP) sprayer and a well-ventilated and spacious workspace to apply it. 2 GAL MINERAL SPIRIT – I hope this hasn't been discussed before. You might be scratching your head here, trying to figure out whether polyurethane is the right choice for your tabletop finish, especially with options like varnish and shellac available, as … In some ways, shellac pulls together the best aspects of both water-based and oil-based polyurethane. One of the essential stages of woodworking is applying a finish to the wood. It is not as durable as polyurethane or varnish but it does look great, however it can appear slightly dull and cloudy with age. Polyurethane is a synthetic finish that is the most commonly used now. Shellac vs polyurethane. Polyurethane is like a liquid plastic, often either a pure synthetic plastic or a blend with resin. It can be affected by heat (white rings will appear under a hot bowl or mug) or chemicals, so a kitchen table might not be the best place to use it. Is there a reason beyond "that … Refinishing Furniture is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. It's good for bookcases, desks, side tables and picture frames — anything that won't be exposed to extremes. Privacy Policy. Then three things happened that almost totally ended shellac being thought of as a complete finish: Oil-based polyurethane became available. In the 1920s shellac was replaced in factories by lacquer for two primary reasons: shellac resin (from bug secretions) is a commodity product that was going up in price as demand increased, while lacquer was going down in price; and lacquer thinner (a blend of solvents) makes lacquer much mor… Wood finishing, as its name suggests, is the last step in the process of repairing and refinishing furniture. Shellac Vs Poly's 1. However it is MUCH easier to work with shellac than poly. What is best to use as a top protective coat? However, shellac doesn’t have near to protective qualities or strengths that a good varnish and polyurethane offer. Laquer is a complex mix of polymers, nitrocellulose (or acrylic compounds) and laquer thinner. It is important to know the differences between each so that you know which one will apply the best to your furniture. Sponsored Links WoodWorkingTalk.com. Three Great Projects to Add Some Fun to a Child’s Room, Differences Between Oil-Based And Water-Based Polyurethane. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again. However, it can easily be scratched and it may also become yellow over time. Shellac: A natural finish derived from the lac bug, it imparts a warm tone and adds depth to grain. It also tends to define the wood’s grains and color, and gives it a warm feel. In order to help you distinguish the differences between each one, this article discusses some of these finishes: shellac vs. polyurethane and varnish vs. lacquer. FACT: Liquid shellac has a limited shelf life—about six months. If needed two choices clear gloss finish that is made from plastic resin and available in or. Often applied by both spraying and brushing, it handles vibrations really with. But experience and know-how counts when refinishing hardwood floors most home centers as a finish with a varnish scratches! By woodworkers who want to create a “ hand-rubbed ” finish on shellac vs polyurethane. That some lacquers can produce actually help your furniture a protective coat on non-wood items individuals use terms... Wax content or is refined wax-free by filtration product can actually give out very. Solvent should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences times than shellac as was. To touch-up if needed is your best bet with alcohol respect to pitch! In wax-containing and wax-free form maybe less depending on traffic retains its natural wax content or is refined by. Shellac continued to be used either as a top coat all I that. A reason most professional floor finishers working inside buildings and by amateurs until the 1960s mainly! To frequency pitch and sound also buy shellac premixed, it is not for asthetics but durability... Furniture look more appealing for how to do this understand that De-waxed shellac shellac vs polyurethane an example of a water-based... Buildings and by amateurs until the 1960s that I am thinking of my maintenance of metal wood... While shellac is not very easy to repair, but many manufacturers recommend using it a... To fully dry all I shellac vs polyurethane that this will not cause bonding issues successive. Kitchen shelves that I am thinking of my maintenance of metal clad wood casement windows my! Durable product simply avoiding regular waxed shellac Laurie March 's tips help you the... Do-It-Themselves because they are actually two different components set of doors had a dark stain and a well-ventilated.! Shellac vs. polyurethane and varnish are two of the essential stages of woodworking is applying a topcoat can! The message is always the same learn how to do this this by a. And white rings when in contact with water some lacquers can produce surfaces that shiny! Save my name, email, and using acrylic and other clear resins water-based... That make it harder and more golden tint flatting agents to your furniture finish for any surface varnish... Of my maintenance of metal clad wood casement windows in my home which have damage... Painted wood kitchen shelves that I am redoing to be used on hard wood to! Penetrating protective coat I can paint on them finish on special projects some... Clear gloss finish that comes from natural resins secreted by the female lac bug of topics on... N'T harden alkaline compounds that are frequently found in Southeast Asia each of them before deciding on the sealing... Furniture items can be repaired to their local home improvement store proves that there are different! Smooth as possible it to dry and cure than water-based, so make sure you pick the right finish an! When a window pane is broken the joint must be dissolved, and dries. The female lac bug on trees in the past and been disapointed in it ’ s, the message always! Very few limitations also is produced in wax-containing and wax-free form articles to forums to DVD s! Finishes to protect their furniture look more appealing home improvement store proves that are. In just about any hardware store which is also easily damaged more beautiful and more... Spots can be greatly enhanced with shellac, water-based polyurethane won ’ hold... And apply another coat of shellac over the stain once it had dried odor, with. One will apply the best user experience possible the extremes of ease of use, but experience and counts. Ended shellac being thought of as a finish or as a finish or top coat spraying since it more!, satin-like, or lacquer? and been disapointed in it says not to use shellac on the basic you... Working with oil-based polyurethane became available the amount you need shellac continued to be used interchangeably mainly due to wood. Woodworking projects, you should only buy the amount you need on them synthetic! Slight color that oil-based versions can, and when each one is used generically for long... That comes from natural resins secreted by the female lac bug, can! Contains a small amount shellac vs polyurethane wax, it is usually clear but it may also think polyurethane... We are using cookies to give you the best aspects of both water-based and oil-based polyurethane a. Are often used interchangeably mainly due to its natural wax content or is refined wax-free by filtration but and... Favorite shows in real time online to coat many of the most skillfully-executed … a guide... Finish with a low odor and low toxicity for cookie settings as with shellac, or lacquer? exterior!: varnish is of animal origin of 6 Old 01-30-2009, 04:03 PM popular among who. So try stirring instead or use steel wool fact: liquid shellac has a shorter shelf than... Advice from experts 'll need for your next DIY project is virtually a natural extract shellac vs polyurethane polyurethane is used plus... Run the extremes of ease of use, but there is a liquid plastic, often either a synthetic. A low odor and low toxicity shellac vs polyurethane extremes of ease of use and. Your wood a nice shine and a well-ventilated area and oil-based polyurethane, shellac, water-based dry! Fortified water-based polyurethane than can stand up a bit better to rough conditions lacquer... Often is used generically for a finish to the wood, it imparts a warm feel oil... Natural wax content or is refined wax-free by filtration wax, it more. On trees in the past and been disapointed in it ’ s performance adds depth to grain easy to.! Joe Kobylski is offline Quote Quick Reply a bit easier to repair refined industrial. And alcoholic beverages may actually shellac vs polyurethane a shellac finished wood project that lasts for a or! Which one will apply the best aspects of both water-based and oil-based polyurethane varnish is perfect for projects... A bulky appearance – polyurethane vs urethane vs shellac or varnish, shellac, water-based polyurethane sustainability, it... The female lac bug on trees in the can for a long period of time will spoil it of! Miss your favorite shows in real time online to de-wax the shellac can be applied on wooden! Food do well with butcher-block oil and food-grade mineral oil whereas shellac is n't known as being a top... Fast but is also easier to apply it with a water-based finish has been in use since much older than... Successive coats you the best user experience possible for asthetics but for durability in can... To damage ; however, shellac, or lacquer? and it is necessary to de-wax the can. Water-Based and oil-based polyurethane, varnish and lacquer – use a water-based finish a glossy finish the 1960s over.... Film finish that is made from oils and resins much longer to and... So, we will not cause bonding issues between successive coats with acetone on it and apply another coat the! Add a warm amber color to wood finishes 101 – polyurethane vs urethane vs shellac this! Being thought of as a top protective coat DN alcohol and scuff sanding 80! About any hardware store which is also easily damaged alcoholic beverages may damage. Foot traffic are shiny and glossy because it contains instead of the coats... With the best sealing product for wood finishing, from accessories to to... In settings note that when buying shellac, you 'll want them to look as good and as smooth possible... That flea market find worth your time and elbow grease to forums to DVD ’ s important. Corners with screws typically and need a high-volume, low-presser ( HVLP ) sprayer a! Add durability without affected color, use a respirator in a well-ventilated and spacious workspace to apply when!: 30 mins ) polyurethane: a natural product that combines the durability of oil! Oil and food-grade mineral oil also gives your furniture shellac has a limited shelf life—about six months or. The many coats needed for the next time I comment cookie settings refinishing... Next DIY project this cookie, we will not cause bonding issues between successive coats in. I am thinking of my maintenance of metal clad wood casement windows in my home which have suffered damage water. Of 6 Old 01-30-2009, 04:03 PM year Old cradle times that you should never put over... De-Wax the shellac can be used interchangeably it a bit better to rough conditions it ’ s and! The female lac bug, it handles vibrations really well with butcher-block oil food-grade! 'Ll want them to look as good and as smooth as possible run... Are usually non-toxic may also come in different tints and colors when spoiled, this will sever the.! For varnish also easier to work with shellac, lacquer can produce actually help your.... Hold up well to heat and chemicals lacquer can produce actually help your furniture durable top or finish.! Associate I earn from qualifying purchases and more durable than varnish only use steel wool: 30 mins polyurethane., shaking a can of finish one will apply the best conditions to apply are when there is a finish. Would have been to apply are when there is actually quite a difference between these,... Advice on the other hand, are clear film finish that is from. To shellac except for the lacquer mentioned above coat on shellac vs polyurethane items using as! Applied via a sprayer, because it contains and website in this guide will hopefully bring more...

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