What is Shellac? I hope this hasn't been discussed before. 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. Tweet. It is processed and sold as dry flakes (pictured) 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. One of the essential stages of woodworking is applying a finish to the wood. Close. Shellac: A natural finish derived from the lac bug, it imparts a warm tone and adds depth to grain. Shellac: This finish is virtually a natural product that creates a lustrous, mid-gloss sheen with a golden tint. So it may not be the best choice for furniture that will be cleaned a lot, or have a lot of surface use, like a table or bookcase. In its practical applications on guitars, polyurethane has to be shot in a thicker coat and can’t be shot in layers because the polyurethane doesn’t melt together. Since shellac naturally contains a small amount of wax, it is necessary to de-wax the shellac if coating it with a varnish. Following is a basic description of Shellac, Lacquer and Polyurethane Finishes and differences between them, take a look. Polyurethane. Lacquer, Varnish, Shellac, Conversion Varnish, and Polyurethane all serve to protect a wood product from water, heat, and other spills. Lacquer is a thin liquid varnish usually applied by spraying. Though not as durable as polyurethane or varnish, shellac proves much easier to repair. Pin 1. As with shellac, the water-based polyurethane does not hold up well to heat plus chemicals. Some use wood finishes to protect their furniture while others use them just to make their furniture look more appealing. What Is Polyurethane? By eliminating oil, and using acrylic and other clear resins, water-based finishes don't yellow as they age. Minwax Polycrylic is an example of a fortified water-based polyurethane than can stand up a bit better to rough conditions. 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. All in all I think that this will sever the purpose. 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. Posted by 1 year ago. Advertisement . Shellac vs Polyurethane - Wood Finish Comparison. This is also a common finishing used for things that are submerged in water like boats because of its resistance to water. Archived. Polyurethane This durable product comes in a range of finishes, from matte to gloss. Many individuals use these terms interchangeably, but there is actually quite a difference between lacquer and polyurethane. Polyurethane is recommended over varnish for hardwood floors. Oil-based polyurethane is fully compatible with other oil- based finishes. ... Shellac is an amazing base coat for lots of finishes. All shellac products produce a gloss sheen. • Varnish has been in use since much older times than shellac as it was known to ancient Egyptians. Shellac isn't known as being a durable finish. 2,267 Posts #21 • Feb 24, 2017. renraw9002 said: oh man that sucks. Shellac vs lacquer vs polyurethane?! As with shellac, water-based polyurethane won’t hold up well to heat and chemicals. Shellac vs polyurethane. post #2 of 6 Old 01-30-2009, 04:03 PM. ... Shellac. You can choose from polyurethane, lacquer, shellac, or even varnish. You may be refinishing them in a year or so, maybe less depending on traffic. 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. Remove Advertisements. Shellac happens to stick to just about anything. Shellac vs lacquer vs polyurethane?! jerry. (Drying time: 30 mins) Polyurethane: A synthetic finish made from plastic resin and available in water- or oil-based forms. 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. Shellac is what is used for French polishing which is basically applying lots of very thin coats of shellac. What finish do you go for when finishing most of your projects, polyurethane, shellac, or lacquer?? 1. It’s good for bookcases, desks, side tables and picture frames — anything that won’t be exposed to extremes. There is a reason most professional floor finishers are still using polyurethanes, either oil or water based. If you want a rich color without having to reapply coats, an oil-based poly is your best bet. Spar urethane, on the other hand, is commonly used on wood that is commonly exposed to the light, heat and sun. Is there a reason beyond "that … Guest. Shellac naturally contains 3–5 percent wax and, when used as a stand-alone finish, this will not cause bonding issues between successive coats. 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. Lacquer Polyurethane. There is little reason to use lacquer or shellac because of this invention. It's basically a 2lb cut of dewaxed shellac, and very economical versus making your own from flake. Rick White: It seems like that should work, but make sure you give the oil 72 hours of drying time before you apply the polyurethane. Polyurethane vs. Varnish vs. Shellac: Did You Pick the Right Finish? Poly works fine over shellac, either waxed or de-waxed. Water-based polyurethanes dry much faster. Polyurethane vs Urethane vs Shellac You may also think of polyurethane as urethane , but they are actually two different components. So, we weigh up the pros and cons of each of them before deciding on the best sealing product for wood, overall. I am cosidering using shellac instead of poly . Spar Urethane vs Polyurethane: Difference – Pros – Cons. 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. However, shellac doesn’t have near to protective qualities or strengths that a good varnish and polyurethane offer. So from what can tell, most people use shellac on the interiors. If you’re looking for a more natural appearance with a low odor, going with a water-based poly is the right decision. Polyurethane is like a liquid plastic, often either a pure synthetic plastic or a blend with resin. Even the most skillfully-executed … We all know that furniture has to be protected especially wooden ones and if you leave it outdoors to stay all the time. Shellac This naturally derived finish creates a lustrous, mid-gloss sheen with a golden tint. When it comes to polyurethane, you have two choices. The Differences Between Shellac & Varnish. It goes on and dries clear without adding a slight color, unlike the oil-based versions. Shellac (/ʃəˈlæk/) is a resin secreted by the female lac bug on trees in the forests of India and Thailand. 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. Is anyone familiar with this finish, Joe Kobylski is offline Quote Quick Reply. Despite having so many similarities, these products are recommended not to be used interchangeably. Sponsored Links WoodWorkingTalk.com. Water-based polyurethane is the most popular because it contains low odor and a small number of toxins. Senior Member . It’s also important to consider other finishing products though including varnish, polyurethane, and shellac. Shellac refined for industrial purposes either retains its natural wax content or is refined wax-free by filtration. Share 4. Shellac vs. Polyurethane Shellac vs. Polyurethane . Shellac vs Varnish • Varnish is of plant origin, whereas shellac is of animal origin. A quick guide to wood finishes - what to use, and when to use them. Shellac and varnish are two of the most popular clear finishes available, but they are dissimilar materials. 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 … However, if they want to use water-based polyurethane, the answer is no. The "SealCoat" shellac another poster mentioned is from Zinsser, not Behlens. 5 Shares. If so, I apologize. Blog Marcus Gatley. Oil-based is the most hardy and has a slight amber hue, while water-based has less odor and a crystal clear finish. When you look at urethane vs polyurethane , you will notice that urethane can be molded into different shapes while polyurethane is only … 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. Shellac is a clear gloss finish that comes from the secretion of an insect and is mixed with alcohol. Post Aug 29, 2009 #1 2009-08-30T05:26. Understanding the differences between lacquer vs. polyurethane durability can help you to make a wise choice when it comes to finishing your latest project. Shellac continued to be used by painters and floor finishers working inside buildings and by amateurs until the 1960s. 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