Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Started Shellacking

I have been dreading shellacking the master bedroom woodwork since February. I heard it was difficult and shellac was finicky, so pretty much any excuse was good enough to procrastinate working on the project. Well, today, I finally got up enough courage to try shellacking. Result: Success!

While it's not super fun, I didn't find it especially difficult. The shellac does dry pretty quickly and you definitely need to keep moving, but it's something I've decided I can manage on my own.

It probably helps that we made our own shellac from 2 pounds of shellac flakes dissolved into a gallon of distilled alcohol and so it's not as thick and unforgiving as the ready-made stuff; seams between sections are not as noticeable. Of course the downside of using this thinner shellac is I'll have to apply 3 coats!

So now, maybe, we'll finally start making some decent progress finishing these bedrooms.

Before starting, I did peruse a couple useful webpages on shellac:
Choosing And Applying a Traditional Shellac Finish by Jeff Jewitt

Getting a Beautiful Woodworking Finish with Shellac by Chris Baylor


  1. Love it! Looks gorgeous. So wish we had done shellac-oh well, live and learn!

  2. At some point in our lives I'll have to deal with some shellack - I'm fairly certain that's the top coat on our faux bois painted trim!

  3. Why the hell am I not subscribed to your blog yet? I've visited a few times, and I've seen your jaw-dropping kitchen... Plus you're subscribed to MY blog. I'm just terrible, I guess.

    I find shellac easy to work with, but I can't imagine doing all the woodwork (in place) in a room. I usually use it to refinish antique clocks, and when I do, I usually need a minimum of 10+ coats to get enough of a film that I can sand it smooth and polish it.

    I applaud your efforts on this house. It's going to be gorgeous.