Shellac for Wood coating
24 March 2017

Why shellac?                                                                    

        1.Shellac is a natural resin so it will be perfectly safe for use. Even the FDA has certified shellac to use for food and pharmaceutical coating.

        2.Shellac solution is able to deeply penetrate in the wood surface. So the wood will still be very well preserve even after scratched.

        3.Shellac is a transparent solution so it will always show the beautiful grain of wood without concealing it. Also it will make the wood surface look very soft and natural, not plastic coat.

        4.Shellac is totally water insoluble. Therefore, after coating with shellac, the wood will be more water and weather seal.

Why professional woodworker use “Dewaxed shellac”? 

Natural or raw shellac will contain 3-5% of wax which we call shellac wax. In our process we will remove the wax off. So it is called dewaxed shellac.

        1.After dissolve shellac with alcohol, the wax molecule will not completely dissolve as shellac itself. After let it stays for few hours the layer of shellac solution and wax will be separate. Therefore after apply waxy shellac solution to the surface of work unit, the coating may not very smooth consistence.

        2.The molecule of Shellac wax is bigger so it will not penetrate into the work unit as shellac solution. The wax will stay only at the surface of the coating. Therefore the feature especially the water resistance and weather seal will not as good as the dewaxed one.

        3. As the wax will stay only on the surface of the coating unit and the wax itself is not easily mix up with other top coating. Therefore, in case that you use shellac as a sealer, top coat such as, Vanish, polyurethane, lacquer or paint will not good adhesion as the dewaxed one.


Producing Dewaxed shellac require more complex and advance technology. Therefore in the earlier, woodworker will dissolved waxy shellac with alcohol and let the wax settle down at the bottom. Then they will pour the clear liquid on top for using and throw away the wax.  

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