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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Zinser blonde shellac, straight from the can, on a solid wood un-finished bathroom door. Yay or nay?

Principal concerns are protecting the wood from the humid shower environment, and from grubby toddler hands.
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Shellac and moisture don't play well together. All depends on how steamy your bathroom gets.
I guess that’s my question. As I understand it, shellac is prone to water damage in cases like table tops with cup condensation. But for a broad uniform exposure like shower steam what would happen? Cup rings involve concentrated moisture locally applied, so there results a contrast between where it got wet and where it didn’t. But that wouldn’t happen in a bathroom.

Does water damage to shellac do anything more than discoloration? Does it compromise the protection? Does it happen just from humidity, or does it require a concentrated prolonged exposure?

TBH, I don’t know how steamy this bathroom gets. It’s our “guest bath” off the living room, it we’ve only had overnight houseguests a handful of times, since we don’t have a guest bedroom. When our toddler graduates to showers he‘ll steam it up. But right now bathtime doesn’t create much lingering ambient moisture.
 

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I would put something over the top of shellac. It is a good base coat sealer, but it doesnt hold up well with constant handling.
You say a toddler with grubby hands, pretty soon the shellac will discolour where he handles the same spot day after day.
Experience speaking here.
I would do two coats of shellac and one or two of wipe on poly to properly seal the wood.
 

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Definitely thin that zinsser shellac 50-50 with dna.

I don't think it will be a problem on most doors, but if you get condensation, then I would add a topcoat or use a different finish
 

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Odds are on a door you will have no problem. Especially a guest bath that few showers are taken in.

But I have to questions why Shellac? Knowing that it doesn't like water I would just use something else rather than take the risk of having to strip and redo it. I like shellac too, but I could get similar results with something more durable.
 

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I guess that’s my question. As I understand it, shellac is prone to water damage in cases like table tops with cup condensation. But for a broad uniform exposure like shower steam what would happen? Cup rings involve concentrated moisture locally applied, so there results a contrast between where it got wet and where it didn’t. But that wouldn’t happen in a bathroom.

Does water damage to shellac do anything more than discoloration? Does it compromise the protection? Does it happen just from humidity, or does it require a concentrated prolonged exposure?

TBH, I don’t know how steamy this bathroom gets. It’s our “guest bath” off the living room, it we’ve only had overnight houseguests a handful of times, since we don’t have a guest bedroom. When our toddler graduates to showers he‘ll steam it up. But right now bathtime doesn’t create much lingering ambient moisture.
Shellac was a primary finish used in homebuilding for years. Most US homes built in the early 1900's likely have woodwork finished with shellac. Shellac does not play well with humidity and moisture. The plus side is even after years it can be easily removed with a rag dampened in denatured alcohol. It is also non-toxic. It is even used for coating candy, pills, and some foods. Shellac is also pretty much a universal sealer. I would give it a shot. With canned shellac you need to be very cognizant of the date on the can and not to store it too long after opening. I prefer to mix my own and know that it is fresh, and be able to control the cut more. If you do not like the results, with a light scuffing you could apply almost any topcoat directly on top of the shellac.
 

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Water and shellac don't mix use a boat remedy oil. Mineral oil works on wood and won't discolor or let water in.
 

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I just don't understand the fixation with shellac, a finishing product that has been replaced over a hundred years ago.
 

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I just don't understand the fixation with shellac, a finishing product that has been replaced over a hundred years ago.
Easily applied. easily repaired. Dries super fast. Looks excellent. It's very durable and doesn't yellow. Food safe. Doesn't leave a smell. Doesn't bubble.

The durability is actually much better than people expect, and you can use it on a dining table if you are careful. I learned to use it a long time ago and it is a go to finish for me.
 
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I just don't understand the fixation with shellac, a finishing product that has been replaced over a hundred years ago.
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I would never say shellac has been replaced. There are different options for sure, but shellac certainly stands on its own as a finish and universal sealer, non grain raising, and flexible as far as coloring and application.
 

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I too am a fan of shellac.

If your only exposure to shellac is Zinser shellac from a can then you have no idea what shellac is capable of.
 

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I too am a fan of shellac.

If your only exposure to shellac is Zinser shellac from a can then you have no idea what shellac is capable of.
Zinnser shellac is also modified to allow it to keep up to 3 years in a can. Always better off mixing your own.
 
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