Make shellac less shiny - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-05-2016, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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Make shellac less shiny

I recently carved a small coffee scoop, and since it won't be routinely sumberged in hot water, I decided to finish it with spray on shellac (yes, shellac, not lacquer). It's non-toxic, and I figured it'd be easy. But the problem I am having with it is that is really really shiny! To me the scoop went from a cool hand carved walnut scoop to a cheap mass produced one with that shiny spray on lacquer that they seem to put on everything. I don't think I like it.


Has anybody had experience with making shellac a little duller/matte? I am thinking about maybe trying to sand it with some 500 grit wet/dry sandpaper with a little water, but since I left a lot of the tool marks in the bowl of the spoon, I'm concerned that I won't be able to get the shellac uniformly scuffed.


Might just end up wiping all the shellac off with some denatured alcohol, and doing my usual mineral oil and beeswax finish instead...
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post #2 of 11 Old 11-05-2016, 06:49 AM
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Its is well sealed. Give it a light scuff and Varnish it with a Low/Satin sheen varnish.
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-05-2016, 07:18 AM
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First of all any finish once dry would be as non-toxic. With any finish the difference between gloss and flat is a flattening compound added to the finish to interrupt the sheen. Shellac is no exception except they don't add the flattening agent to can shellac. If you get the means of spraying you could add the flattening agent yourself. The more flattening agent you use the flatter it would get. http://www.ebay.com/sch/sis.html?_nk...c+32+oz+Bottle
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post #4 of 11 Old 11-05-2016, 10:34 AM
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Unless i am mistaken, i think he is using a spray can.
He could use a spray can of Varnish/Lacquer at this point...i am assuming a "Coffee Scoop" is a rather small item.?
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post #5 of 11 Old 11-05-2016, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by jeremymcon View Post
Has anybody had experience with making shellac a little duller/matte?
0000 steel wool and wax should work fine as long as you go very easy and don't cut thru the shellac. Shellac does not have a lot of build, so be very careful on corners.

You can also obtain an aerosol lacquer in lower sheens at this point as it will go right over the shellac once you scuff sand the shellac slightly.

Matching colors on different substrates is easy. All it takes is patience and beer.
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-05-2016, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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Steel wool! Not sure why I didn't think of that. I bet that'd get around all those little tool marks a little better than sandpaper would. Think I'll try that first. I don't really want to go out and buy something special just to fix this one project. Next time I think maybe I'll use an oil finish from the start.
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-05-2016, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ColorStylist View Post
0000 steel wool and wax should work fine as long as you go very easy and don't cut thru the shellac. Shellac does not have a lot of build, so be very careful on corners.

You can also obtain an aerosol lacquer in lower sheens at this point as it will go right over the shellac once you scuff sand the shellac slightly.
My thoughts as well, although I'd go for a grey or white scotchbrite pad over steel wool. The scotchbrite isnt nearly as messy as steel wool, dropping little iron shavings all over the place. They work the same though, so if you can only find steel wool have at

I need cheaper hobby
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-05-2016, 03:41 PM
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Next time you might try just wet sanding some mineral oil into the wood just like you would for a butcher block.
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-05-2016, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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The steel wool helped a bit, I think. It's now come down to a sheen that I can live with. Thanks! Here's an "after" picture. Didn't take any "before" pictures because I didn't like it before I took steel wool to it.

Next time I'll just do my usual mineral oil and beeswax finish, I think.
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post #10 of 11 Old 11-06-2016, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by jeremymcon View Post
The steel wool helped a bit, I think. It's now come down to a sheen that I can live with. Thanks! Here's an "after" picture. Didn't take any "before" pictures because I didn't like it before I took steel wool to it.

Next time I'll just do my usual mineral oil and beeswax finish, I think.
That actually looks good. Nice job!

Matching colors on different substrates is easy. All it takes is patience and beer.
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post #11 of 11 Old 11-06-2016, 01:43 PM
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Note that Shellac does not like water, so if you are sanding with wet/dry paper, do it dry. The water will blush and it is nearly impossible to get it out once it's there.

I agree with epicfail48 about white or grey Scotchbrite for smoothing. The shellac is a great quick and easy sealer that adds some depth and color, but it really needs a topcoat of something more durable.
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