Friday, February 16, 2007

"Yeah. That's the ticket!"

One by one I am creating converts. If I were saving souls I'd have a front row seat on the highway to heaven!

It has only taken two years and umpteen dozen posts but finally the two most resistant hold outs have succumbed to the charm of shellac! Now here is the challenge. If John and Chris can admit that they have tried shellac (and like good presidential candidates, neither have inhaled, or so I have heard.) then so can YOU. Yes I mean YOU! You know who YOU are. YOU are the one who has read all my posts. YOU are the one who hasn't decided whether to stain or paint your wood. YOU are the one that has said "I MIGHT try some of that there shellac one day." You are the one that remains sceptical about this lost secret in wood finishes. YOU are the one that hasn't been SAVED!

YOU need to check this page out and click on the link about shellac finishes if YOU still won't believe me or the dozen or more houseblog reading converts that I have guided towards achieving spiritual homeowner nirvana.

Yes YOU are the one that is preventing Zinsser from offering me stock options!

I need to form a non-profit corporation for my converts. I need to elect a board of directors. I need to raise money to build a shrine to the lac bug. I shall need a lac bug or two to worship and sacrifice vegetables to. I need a good name...... how about The "Community Alliance of Shellacked Homes"?

Just make your checks out to C-A-S-H.


Jodi said...

Okay Okay... I am going to the store today. I will buy the Amber Shellac and use it this weekend. :)

Anonymous said...

I think you've created a new trend in home restoration--but, sad to say, I may be your lone hold out! All the woodwork in my family's Victorian on the Eastern Shore of Virginia is shellacked (has always been this way)--and I dislike this finish. Why? Because in the heat and humidity of summer, the stuff is. . . well. . . just shy of tacky to the touch. I also don't care for the dark "glisteny" look of it, especially around any detailing. It's like the wood has a hardened syrup finish (well, I guess that kind of IS the case). Maybe if I were just doing flat panels with no edges. . . well, nah. . . . Okay, I will no longer rain (or snow, as the case may be) on your parade. . . just babbling. . . good luck!

Anonymous said...

Greg, kudos to you as the official "shellac champion" of the houseblogging community.

There are starting to be enough houseblog posts tagged with the topic that I'm going to add 'shellac' to the topic directory at

It's not a complete list of all the shellac-related posts in our archives but the list is growing large part to you, of course. :-)

Three cheers for shellac!

Anonymous said...

Ok you got me! :D

But I have to strip first.. strip the door we bought to display in the dining room!

Anonymous said...

Any suggestions on how to match the color of tinted shellac on existing woodwork? It is a dark brown so I am thinking aniline dyes but there are different kinds.

Gary said...

Any suggestions on how to match the color of tinted shellac on existing woodwork? It is a dark brown so I am thinking aniline dyes but there are different kinds.

You can try staining new wood and applying amber shellac over the stain. You can also buy an acrylic paint that is close in color and rub a diluted solution of it on the wood allowing the grain to show through. Then shellac over the painted surface. You could also use oil paints diluted with thinners instead of stain. If you use aniline dye you don't need very much and you want the alcohol soluble kind. You can get dyes that tint shellac the same colors as wood stains. Hope this helps.

My whole point behind all the shellac posts is that people shouldn't be afraid to try stuff that they aren't familiar with. I only know about shellac because we realized that it was the original finish on our wood and it was applied over paint in some rooms. As a result of paying attention to what I was removing, I was able to apply similar techniques in the refinishing process and discovered that the results exceeded expectations.

Anonymous said...

Well, I admit you got me too. No house as of yet, but since late last year a number of pieces of furniture I've refinished I've used shellack.
The stuff is great. And seeing as most of the furniture I've been refinishing was originally shellacked - well, it only made sense.

Hayden said...

I'm fascinated. Nothing to refinish at the moment, but am eager to give it a try at the next opportunity.

pj said...

I'm grateful the homeowner who worked on our house in the 70's didn't mess with the 2nd floor woodwork. Our downstairs woodwork is walnut--13" base molding, window trim, etc.--original shellac still looks like new. The loors are poplar, probably milled from trees on the farm that used to exist here. Upstairs woodwork(oak doors, window & door trim, walnut baseboard) has shellac that alligatored due to 160 yrs. of heat & humidity. If the previous homeowner had refinished any of it, I'm sure he would have used polyurethane. He devalued everything he touched in his wife's antique shop--stripped all old finish/stain, then applied STIRRED poly, leaving dried bubbles on the surface. Glad he only coated the upstairs window sills--probably helped protect them from weathering that rotted some parts of the windows.