Shellac is readily available from bq and the home depot in the usa. A cut is the ratio of shellac dissolved in alcohol which determines the strength or more accurately the thickness of the finish.
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As with shellac water based polyurethane wont hold up well to heat and chemicals.
Shellac table. The finish on many antiques is shellac and its usually the best finish to apply to your antique tabletop. Whether or not shellac would be durable enough depends on the use and abuse to which the table would be subjected. You can make your own shellac finish by simply buying shellac flakes and and alcohol and mixing your own cut.
People have valued shellac over the years because it provides a subtle and durable finish. One often overlooked but which will provide a protective and attractive finish is shellac. Also the type of alcohol used.
Shellac is not a good choice for a dining table coffee table or anything else that will have wet things sitting on it spilled on it or where it would likely be abraded. Its good for bookcases desks side tables and picture frames anything that wont be exposed to extremes. Shellac is non toxic can be used as a sealer before applying a stain can be mixed with nearly any color and is easy to repair in the event of damage from use.
Repairs to french polished surfaces need be be done by people who can successfully apply a french polish finish. A shellac finish has been used by woodworkers since the early 1800s. Minwax polycrylic is an example of a fortified water based polyurethane than can stand up a bit better to rough conditions.
Shellac has properties that may require you to use special preparation application and storage. Whether or not shellac would be durable enough depends on the use and abuse to which the table would be subjected. For the person who wants to finish a wood table there are a variety of products on the market that will work.
For example french polishing which is a method used for applying a highly polished shellac finish primarily to small table tops is a technique used successfully only by the most experienced workers. Shellac is not a good choice for a dining table coffee table or anything else that will have wet things sitting on it spilled on it or where it would likely be abraded.
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