Oil-based takes much longer to dry and cure than water-based, so plan accordingly and follow the manufacturer's directions. jerry. 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 order to help you distinguish the differences between each one, this article discusses some of these finishes: shellac vs. polyurethane and varnish vs. lacquer. 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. A refinishing expert provides the lowdown on the basic products you'll need for your next refinishing project. What is Shellac? Even the most skillfully-executed … Consider using a dust collection system or air purifier. Both oil- and water-based polyurethane can be applied to latex/acrylic paint; however, oil-based polyurethane will create a yellow or amber hue, especially to light colors. Let me explain. what type of finish should I use to restore a 42 year old cradle. which finnish is best for wooden musical instruments. Sponsored Links WoodWorkingTalk.com. Shellac is a clear gloss finish that comes from the secretion of an insect and is mixed with alcohol. Polyurethane, Shellac, Varnish and Lacquer – Use a cotton swab with acetone on it and apply to the wood. We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. I am cosidering using shellac instead of poly . Clean your work area as thoroughly as possible and allow some time for the dust (literally) to settle. Oil-based polyurethane has a slight amber or yellowish tint and can yellow even more over time, which adds a bit of rich, warm, amber color to the floors if that’s your goal. What finish do you go for when finishing most of your projects, polyurethane, shellac, or lacquer?? Shellac (/ʃəˈlæk/) is a resin secreted by the female lac bug on trees in the forests of India and Thailand. The Differences Between Shellac & Varnish. Furthermore, it is not very easy to repair. If so, I apologize. 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. Oil-based polyurethane has a slight amber or yellowish tint and can yellow even more over time, which adds a bit of rich, warm, amber color to the floors if that’s your goal. Try not to exceed four or five coats of finish. When you look at urethane vs polyurethane , you will notice that urethane can be molded into different shapes while polyurethane is only … When spoiled, this finish can actually give out a very foul odor. 2,267 Posts #21 • Feb 24, 2017. renraw9002 said: oh man that sucks. Curing vs. Non-Curing Finishes Although some may be used interchangeably, results would be best if you use the appropriate finish for your furniture. (Drying time: 2 hours for water-based and 6 hours for oil-based) I applied Bin Advanced after cleaning with DN alcohol and scuff sanding with 80 grit on an orbital. Guest. This is because of its thickness and the nature of the chemicals that it contains. There is little reason to use lacquer or shellac because of this invention. It also can go over oil-based finishes and can be applied using synthetic-bristle brushes, a foam roller or a rag, as can other water-based polyurethanes. Now I have always taken the “better safe than sorry” route, simply avoiding regular waxed shellac. Lacquer is a thin liquid varnish usually applied by spraying. Polyurethanes, on the other hand, are clear film finishes that can either be flat, satin-like, or glossy in appearance. For information please refer to these posts: Varnish is a clear film finish that is made from oils and resins. Senior Member . Some use wood finishes to protect their furniture while others use them just to make their furniture look more appealing. As with shellac, water-based polyurethane won't hold up well to heat and chemicals. I’ll make one suggestion about shellac, too: if it’s a new finish for you, practice first before applying it to those drawers. Polyurethane. 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. Shellac vs lacquer vs polyurethane?! (Drying time: 2 hours for water-based and 6 hours for oil-based) Like varnish, lacquer can produce surfaces that are shiny and glossy because it contains shellac mixed with alcohol. It is a durable material that has a fairly high percentage of solids so only a few coats are needed for the finish. Lacquer provides the extremely intense gloss finish often used on many Asian-inspired or ultramodern furnishings. A quick guide to wood finishes - what to use, and when to use them. So from what can tell, most people use shellac on the interiors. Polyurethane is like a liquid plastic, often either a pure synthetic plastic or a blend with resin. 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… The surface may also be damaged by hot items and alkaline compounds that are frequently found in cleaning products. Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more. Since shellac naturally contains a small amount of wax, it is necessary to de-wax the shellac if coating it with a varnish. This article discussed the differences between shellac vs. polyurethane and varnish vs. lacquer. All rights reserved. ... Shellac is an amazing base coat for lots of finishes. The paint is a latex semi-gloss. Wipe-on polyurethane is used primarily by woodworkers who want to create a “hand-rubbed” finish on special projects. Shellac is not too far behind at one hour. It is extremely durable and resistant to damage; however, over time it can begin to discolor and become scratched. 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. It is a plastic resin that is carried in solvents. I have used Cuprinol in the past and been disapointed in it’s performance. Rollers and rags can work for either type of finish. 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. Senior Member . © 2020 Discovery or its subsidiaries and affiliates. Polyurethane vs. Varnish vs. Shellac: Did You Pick the Right Finish? Privacy Policy. It is, however, OK to use an oil-based urethane over shellac. Minwax Polycrylic is an example of a fortified water-based polyurethane than can stand up a bit better to rough conditions. Posted by 1 year ago. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. As with shellac, water-based polyurethane won’t hold up well to heat and chemicals. When applying a finish with a brush or roller you may notice some bubbles pop up. 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 is, however, OK to use an oil-based urethane over shellac. Share. Though not as durable as polyurethane or varnish, shellac proves much easier to repair. Advertisement . Shellac refined for industrial purposes either retains its natural wax content or is refined wax-free by filtration. However, it may take a while for it to dry and it may also become yellow over time. ... Shellac. Archived. Furthermore, shellac tends to show scratches and white rings when in contact with water. A natural, nontoxic resin, shellac comes in a food-grade formula used to coat many of the candies you snack on. Shellac is the secretion of a bug. Poly, varnish, lacquer? It also tends to define the wood’s grains and color, and gives it a warm feel. Spar varnish is often used on items that will be near or on the water, like a wood boat, decks, beach chairs, etc. All in all I think that this will sever the purpose. Wooden tool handles will hold up better with an annual rubdown with boiled linseed oil. 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. On the other hand, perfumes and alcoholic beverages may actually damage a shellac finished wood surface . Orange shellac is bleached with sodium hypochlorite solution to form white shellac and also is produced in wax-containing and wax-free form. Using the information in this guide will hopefully bring you more satisfying results. Then three things happened that almost totally ended shellac being thought of as a complete finish: Oil-based polyurethane became available. When it comes to polyurethane, you have two choices. If it's a problem, simply use a rag to wipe it down. From books to magazine articles to forums to DVD’s, the message is always the same. Guest. Also, poly finishes generally have to be removed entirely before any scratches or worn spots can be repaired. post #2 of 6 Old 01-30-2009, 04:03 PM. What Is Polyurethane? So from what can tell, most people use shellac on the interiors. Follow this advice on the various types of wood finishes and when each one is used. To add durability without affected color, use a water-based finish. While the terms varnish, polyurethane, lacquer and shellac are commonly used to reference a final finish in general, these products are not the same, nor are they recommended to be used interchangeably. I hope this hasn't been discussed before. Also, It handles vibrations really well with respect to frequency pitch and sound. However, shellac doesn’t have near to protective qualities or strengths that a good varnish and polyurethane offer. Despite having so many similarities, these products are recommended not to be used interchangeably. You may be refinishing them in a year or so, maybe less depending on traffic. Shellac continued to be used by painters and floor finishers working inside buildings and by amateurs until the 1960s. Despite having so many similarities, these products are recommended not to be used interchangeably. Due to its natural gloss, only one coat is needed instead of the many coats needed for varnish. Your email address will not be published. Shellac vs lacquer vs polyurethane?! Polyurethane is recommended over varnish for hardwood floors. Polyurethane vs Urethane vs Shellac You may also think of polyurethane as urethane , but they are actually two different components. You love to DIY. I have heard countless times that you should never put polyurethane over waxed shellac. Even the back of the shellac can itself says not to use polyurethane. It's good for bookcases, desks, side tables and picture frames — anything that won't be exposed to extremes. Lacquer, Varnish, Shellac, Conversion Varnish, and Polyurethane all serve to protect a wood product from water, heat, and other spills. There are many different kinds of finishes that you can use to refinish your furniture. Email. Polyurethane. The best conditions to apply are when there is as little dust or other airborne particles as possible. As with shellac, water-based polyurethane won’t hold up well to heat and chemicals. However, it can be difficult to repair when damaged. It also has the ability to resist environmental harshness. Water-based polyurethane is popular because of its low odor and low toxicity. Apply using a natural-bristle brush or rag. A quick trip to their local home improvement store proves that there are lots of options for how to do this. Water-based polyurethane is popular because of its low odor and low toxicity. Since shellac naturally contains a small amount of wax, it is necessary to de-wax the shellac if coating it with a varnish. Easiest to Apply: Wipe on polyurethane Spray on poly from a can Spray lacquer from a can-All three are easy options Nevertheless, water-based polyurethanes are popular among those who like to do-it-themselves because they are usually non-toxic. Apply using a natural-bristle brush. It’s safe to use Shellac for utensils or toys since they don’t contain any toxic fumes. Some use wood finishes to protect their furniture while others use them just to make their furniture look more appealing. Is anyone familiar with this finish, Joe Kobylski is offline Quote Quick Reply. 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. Here’s what you need to know. post #2 of 6 Old 01-30-2009, 04:03 PM. Lacquer is also easier to repair, but is more flammable than varnish. OMU. Shellac vs Varnish • Varnish is of plant origin, whereas shellac is of animal origin. The liquid variety is the best option for the average homeowner. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Polyurethane doesn’t do that. In some ways, shellac pulls together the best aspects of both water-based and oil-based polyurethane. However, unlike varnish, no flatting agents are required. Shellac: A natural finish derived from the lac bug, it imparts a warm tone and adds depth to grain. Is that flea market find worth your time and elbow grease? These two run the extremes of ease of use, but produce excellent results. The general rule of thumb is to use natural brushes, sometimes referred to as China brushes, for all oil-based finishes (including paint), and synthetic brushes, sometimes referred to as nylon brushes, for latex, acrylic or water-based finishes. Is there a reason beyond "that … Shellac is available in most home centers as a liquid in a can. It is usually clear but it may also come in different tints and colors. It is not as durable as polyurethane or varnish but it does look great, however it can appear slightly dull and cloudy with age. DIYers can save money, but experience and know-how counts when refinishing hardwood floors. It is important to note that when buying shellac, you should only buy the amount you need. FALSE: “Like varnish, lacquer can produce surfaces that are shiny and glossy because it contains shellac mixed with alcohol” Cutting boards and other wood items that come in contact with food do well with butcher-block oil and food-grade mineral oil. (Shellac - 1 hour Waterborne polyurethane - 2 hrs Standard Polyurethane - 24 hours) Best for Crystal Clear Finish: Lacquer Waterborne polyurethane - close second place. If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. Guest. However, it can easily be scratched and it may also become yellow over time. Shellac isn't known as being a durable finish. Linseed oil best experience on our website guide to wood finishes and between... Basic products you 'll need to enable or disable cookies again finishes generally have to be more cleanable a coats! Finish with a water-based finish finish, Joe Kobylski is offline Quote Quick Reply gives your.... Durability can help you to make their furniture while others use them to show and! Industrial purposes either retains its natural gloss, only one coat is needed instead of the many coats for. Clear gloss finish that can be repaired other airborne particles as possible to stand up the. Water-Based finish, this finish, Joe Kobylski is offline Quote Quick Reply are still using polyurethanes, either or. Website in this guide will hopefully bring you more satisfying results and wears! Be scratched and it is necessary to de-wax the shellac can itself says not to be used either as protective... And as smooth as possible produce excellent results product for wood finishing be removed before. Virtually a natural extract, polyurethane is popular because of its thickness and nature! T be exposed to extremes scratches and white rings when in contact food... 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