Sunday, April 14, 2013


I have discovered a new finish for the toys I make.  It is Shellac.  Actually I have known about it for a while and used it once.  I did not like that it was not a water based clean up and the fumes were pretty bad.  I have always stuck with the water based polyurethane.  The issue I have with the polyurethane was it was too thick to run through my air brush and had to be thinned.  Shellac is the perfect consistency.  I used shellac to finish the two trucks.  It also gives the lighter wood a little bit of an amber hue. 

If you are wondering about the toxicity of this finish, it is non toxic after it cures.  It takes about 30 minutes to dry and and a few days to cure.  The fumes are bad and that is why I wear a respirator.  Shellac is found it lots of different places.  It is used on the coatings of pills and some candies.  Over time the shellac will increase in hardness and durability.

I have always avoided it because it is a pain to clean up.  In water based finishes I would put the air brush in water and wait for the parts to dry and sand then put on the second coat.  With shellac I am cleaning the air brush while the parts to dry just to spray them again and repeat the cleaning.  Now having the finish already at the correct consistency is worth more than the cleanup time.

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