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iceman11
applying shellac

Has anyone ever tried applying shellac with a deck sprayer?
I need to seal approx. 1,000 S.F. of luan on walls & sloped ceiling, and really like the way shellac highlights & colors the grain. It would be very hard to brush or roll this much area without having lap marks, and wiping on (my preferred method) would take forever.
Any other ideas?

thanks

A. Spruce
Re: applying shellac

It can be sprayed with an airless sprayer. DO NOT try to use a Hudson sprayer (any typical hand pump garden type sprayer), you'll only create a huge mess because a Hudson will not have enough pressure to atomize the shellac to shoot and adhere it to the surface, nor will it be a smooth, even coat.

iceman11
Re: applying shellac

thank you, A.Spruce

A. Spruce
Re: applying shellac

You're welcome.

If you have to rent a sprayer, make sure that you thoroughly clean it before attempting to spray. Rental equipment is notoriously dirty and your shellac will be filled with debris or worse, tinted by the remnants of paint left in the pump, hose, and gun.

ordjen
Re: applying shellac

I used to spray alot of shellac and BIN with my HVLP sprayer. It sprayed wonderfully. It is a great product for what you are doing. Many people feel that shellac does not give the plastic look that urethanes do. I concurr with Spruce, the garden pump sprayer would creat a mess!

I actually maintained two HVLP spray guns: one for oil based products and one for shellac or BIN. The different solvents , paint thinner or denatured alcohol, created clean up problems in changing back and forth. It was simpler to just keep two separate guns.

The problems with using an airless sprayer with shellac is the amount of expensive solvent needed to clean up the sprayer afterwards. Water is cheap, alcohol is not. It takes a lot of solvent to flush the lines out. If you don't thoroughly clean spray equipment, you will be cursing the next time you use it!

As Spruce indicates, rental equipment is often not in the greatess shape. Renters don't take the same care of equipment as the owner, be it sprayers or cars!:(

iceman11
Re: applying shellac

ordjen,
thanks for your input. i was trying to avoid the HVLP route. i used one (wagner power painter)about 10 yrs ago to paint a couple of rooms for a friend - lots of overspray. clean up for this job would probably cost more & take more time than it would be worth - would probably just throw the sprayer out. i may just have to apply with a squeegee/lambswool applicator. any other sugeestions? i would be willing to switch to a different finish.
thanks

A. Spruce
Re: applying shellac
iceman11 wrote:

ordjen,
thanks for your input. i was trying to avoid the HVLP route. i used one (wagner power painter)

You're talking about two different pieces of equipment a Wagner Power Painter is not the same thing as an HVLP. The Wagner is a low quality airless paint applicator marketed to homeowners. An HVLP uses less pressure, causing less overspray

iceman11
Re: applying shellac

sorry, spruce. i guess i wasn't thinking straight.
any economical recommendations? already have compressor & hose.
also, i just remembered (maybe wrong again) years ago i think i would thin varnish (maybe 50-50) with paint thinner & use as a sealer before my first coat of regular varnish. i realize this would not have the same results as shellac, but i'm sure it would have a longer drying time and not as much color, so it might be easier to keep a wet edge & avoid lap marks. i'm not absolutely set on spraying, just thought it would be a lot faster & more even.
thanks

A. Spruce
Re: applying shellac

I would have to say that an HVLP gun would be the best choice for your project as it will result in the least amount of airborne particulate. The key to keeping things tidy is to mask off the surrounding spray area so that only the project is exposed. You can further encapsulate the area with plastic drape (painters plastic ) hung from the ceiling, the use of Zip Walls (Google for more info ) would be beneficial for this.

As for the product you're using, I recommend following the directions on the label, as that is how the manufacturer designed the product to be applied. If it is necessary to thin the product, then use the recommended solvent for doing so. I am not familiar with the requirements of shellac so I cannot assist in this area. Generally, the reason for thinning a product is to get a deeper penetration for better adhesion to the wood surface.

If Ordjen stumbles back in here he can probably recommend some specifics on shellac products.

iceman11
Re: applying shellac

thank you, spruce.
i didn't mean to thin the varnish & spray it. i meant to thin the varnish and wipe it on. i do still believe that spraying on shellac would be the best.

my problem is this:
2 kneewalls 4'-0" high X 27'-0" long
2 ceilings 8'-0" high X 27'-0" long (@ 45 degree slope)
top of slope is approx. 11'-0" above floor
working off 1 ladder (or 2 with a board between)
shellac dries extremely fast

i've never worked with a sprayer before, but as i understand the technique, you start at one end and spray continuously to the other. that is not a problem with the walls. i can go from top to bottom. i'm not sure how i could do the 8'-0" high sloped sections without stopping or setting up scaffolding. i think it looks pretty sweet right now, and don't want to mess it up.
maybe i'll take a break & think about things a little more.

i tried attaching pictures for reference, but keep getting "not a valid file format" message

thank you both for your input, and i'm still open for any ideas or suggestions (sorry for rambling)

ordjen
Re: applying shellac

Zinssers' shellac is ready to spray right out of the can. It is almost like water, so it sprays extremely well. Shellac seals the wood without raising the grain, so little or no sanding is required between coats. If you intend to leave it as the finish coat, at least two coats would be neccessary to hold an even sheen. It is fairly glossy and I know of no way to bring down that gloss.

If you think you might eventually put a top finish on it , such as a polyurethane, I would advise using Zinssers' "Seal Coat", as it is the de-waxed version of shellac, which is compatible with just about any finish out there. Polyurethanes are touchy about what they will stick to, including themselves if you wait too long to recoat it.

Whereas shellac does dry rapidly, it does have some wet time, so that lapping should not be a problem, especially on the subsequent coat or coats. Shellac also "burns" into itself, that is, it re-wets the initial coat somewhat, similar to what lacquers do. Alcohol will always re-dissolve dried shellac, unlike oil paint/varnish and mineral spirits. Once an oil paint is dry, mineral spirits has very little effect on it.

If you spray it, you will want a full body Tyvek suit and a head sock. An organic canister mask is also a good idea, although the side effects of inhaling alcohol is a good buzz! :) You can definitely get tipsy inhaling alcohol.

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