White Shellac as an Interior Varnish

White Shellac as an Interior Varnish

The use of shellac varnish on interior wood.

Craftsman Style

On interior work shellac is a good first coat material, but it should never be used on exterior work, nor where it will be very hot, like near a fireplace, as it will melt and blister. For most interior work, shellac is a good varnish, and white shellac discolors wood less than anything else. It is applied in thin coats and given plenty of time to dry. Two coats may be applied the first day, six hours apart; after that allow two days between coats. It will appear to dry very rapidly; but if plenty of time is not taken we shall reach a point where it will not dry at all, or at least will seem so.

It requires many coats; does not require rubbing between coats, as it will stick anyway, but every four coats ought to be well rubbed, to get a smooth surface. Eight to twelve coats are required for a first-class job. On account of the labor required, it is an expensive finish, but it is very handsome and lasts well. It makes a good floor-varnish; when the floor is well filled with it, a very thin coat once a month, which will dry in a few minutes, will keep the floor in good condition. One more word about fillers. Never use a so-called liquid filler on any account. Nothing but trouble will come of it. A coat of shellac varnish may be used, if desired, as a filler; it is not much of a filler but it is a good surfacer; but what are sold as liquid fillers are cheap and villainous rosin mixtures and are no good.

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