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Cleaning shellac brushes

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:37 pm
by gkas
Since I was just cleaning some brushes from their Sealcoat bath, and I thought I'd pass this on.

Most 'tips' tell you to wrap used shellac brushes in aluminum foil or plastic. The other tip is to resoak them in shellac before reuse. I read a better solution (I think) a long time ago. Clean your brushes in a solution of plain ammonia and water. Maybe add a few drops of dish soap. Soak for a few minutes and rinse. Clean, and like new. The ammonia converts the shellac to some inert substance that just rinses right off. I just put the brush in a jar, add a couple of tablespoons of ammonia, and a few drops of dish soap, and fill with warm water. After a few minutes I dump it, and refill with water. A few swishes, and the brush is rinsed. You can get a gallon of plain ammonia for a couple of dollars.

P.S.
When I dunk the brush, I slosh some of the solution on my hands and it cleans them right off. No sticky fingers.

Re: Cleaning shellac brushes

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:05 pm
by mtylerfl
Thank you for the tip. However, I never bother cleaning my SealCoat brushes anymore - I just put them in the 50/50 mix of SealCoat and denatured alcohol mix and let ‘em soak a couple minutes and I’m ready to go again. (I know about the ammonia for cleaning shellac brushes - I’ve done that before - just not anymore.)

I seldom use full-strength SealCoat - 98% of the time I use the thinned anyway.

Re: Cleaning shellac brushes

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:28 am
by Fleming
Michael,

I know a lot of people use thinned Seal Coat instead of full strength out of the can- could you explain why?

Paul

Re: Cleaning shellac brushes

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:16 am
by mtylerfl
Yes. I use the thinned SealCoat primarily to lightly seal wood prior to staining and/or prior to applying final Clearcoats.

But, thinned SealCoat is my sort of Swiss Army knife. It’s great for stiffening up fuzzies on 3D carves, making it much easier to sand them off as a prep for finishing.

I also like to use it for two or three “pre-coats” when prepping for glazing techniques or as a painting prep. It’s a “must” (for me) as an undercoat sealer and light build-up undercoat for metallic paints such as the Sculpt Nouveau products I like so much.

I do use SealCoat full-strength at times, but usually prefer the control of build-up with thinned - usually 50/50 mixture, or a 2 parts alcohol, 3 parts Sealcoat mixture.

Re: Cleaning shellac brushes

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:44 am
by pal
Could anyone tell me the Aussie equivalent to Sealcoat? Thanks. P.

Re: Cleaning shellac brushes

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:47 am
by ozymax
pal wrote:Could anyone tell me the Aussie equivalent to Sealcoat? Thanks. P.

This is what I use.
http://www.feastwatson.com.au/consumer/products/exterior/product-details/1504
Bunnings sells it in 1l or 250ml tins.

Re: Cleaning shellac brushes

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:29 pm
by mtylerfl
pal wrote:Could anyone tell me the Aussie equivalent to Sealcoat? Thanks. P.


SealCoat is just 100% de-waxed “clear” Shellac (two-pound cut as-is in the can).

You could mix your own batch if you can find a source (maybe online?) for Platina or Super Blonde Shellac flakes. Those are the so-called “clear” flakes.

Re: Cleaning shellac brushes

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:43 pm
by Rcnewcomb
There is a lot of information, including videos, at ShellacFinishes.com.