How to Spray Shellac


Shellac is a finish that protects wood objects and gives them a smooth and rich appearance. Traditionally, shellac is applied using a brush or a rag, but you can spray it if you use the appropriate tools. You will want to test the pressure of your application tool before you apply the shellac to your wood object, however, to avoid using too much or too little shellac.

Things You'll Need

  • Damp cloth
  • 600-grit sandpaper
  • Shellac
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Paint stick
  • Spray paint gun with air compressor
  • Scrap wood
  • Wipe down the wood object with a damp cloth to remove any dirt and dust.

  • Sand the wood object with 600-grit sandpaper until it is smooth.

  • Pour the shellac and alcohol into the spray gun cup and mix thoroughly with the paint stick. The ratio of shellac to alcohol will vary depending on the product you use, but typically, you mix 5 parts shellac with 2 parts alcohol. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.

  • Spray a few test strokes of shellac on the scrap piece of wood. Hold the gun about 12 inches away from the piece of wood when spraying. Ensure that you're moving the gun at a steady, circular pace. If the test coat looks too dry or grainy, reduce the air pressure on your paint gun.

  • Spray one coat of shellac over the wood object. Remember to hold the gun about 12 inches away from the object, use circular strokes when applying, and move the gun at a steady pace across the piece.

  • Wait about 30 minutes for the wood object to dry.

  • Sand the wood object lightly with the sandpaper to remove any wood fibers that appear.

  • Spray another coat of shellac, using the same technique in Step 5, and allow it to dry for another 30 minutes.

  • Spray further coats as necessary until you achieve the desired look. Remember to allow the shellac to dry for 30 minutes after every coat.

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