Shellac, The Basics

Shellac, the basics:

For the low-down, as to our understanding after reading multiple articles online, in books, wikipedia, and our own experimentation:

Shellac is a resin secreted by a female lac bug in Indonesia and Thailand. Harvesters collect the secretion off the bark, then heats the secretion until it becomes a liquid. Next, they pour the liquid over a thin sheet, remove outstanding particles, and let it dry. Once dried, they break it up into small pieces and sell to consumers, such as ourselves.

Shellac flakes dissolve when mixed with alcohol, and is applied directly to whichever wood you need. For best durability, use within a year after being mixed, and lasts longer if refrigerator. That's why we choose to buy our shellac in flakes versus the premixed at the store. Fun fact, shellac is considered a natural form of plastic!

Continuing on, word on the street is you can test whether or not shellac is still good. Just apply to a surface and let dry. If it's still tacky after an hour, it is no longer good to use. We have yet to run into a tacky situation with our shellac.

A consumer can choose a shiny coat, matte coat, wax (assumed to be in it unless stated otherwise) or dewaxed. It is used for wood finishes (french polish, anyone?) and for food waxing and glazes (fruits and chocolate, to be specific. Wood, fruits, and chocolate, all amazing products!).

In a way, then, we eat bug poop. Hahaha!

Back to professionalism.

The natural colors of shellac include brown, yellow, red, or orange. It can be mixed with other dyes as well. We will be showcasing some shellac products mixed with other dyes in the future, so stay tuned if it interests you! We received some dyes today, pretty excited to get started with that.

For other news, M and I are working on our coffee table this weekend. Here's the prototype (nifty, eh?) of the table. M used some balsa wood and stained it with, you've probably guessed, shellac.

I've designed some storage containers to go under it, we'll have to see if they work and look OK. Wish us luck!

Thanks for checking this out, have a great day!



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