How To Use Shellac

Even though our farmhouse table was built and had found a perfect home in our dining room, it still wasn’t complete. It needed layers and layers of shellac. Like 5. Do you know how long that takes? I can tell you – it takes an entire day. Yikes! It was just me, my paint brush, and my can of shellac….from morning to night. By the end of the day, I was seeing stars from all the shellac I’d inhaled. That stuff smells.

Anyway, because the top of the table was true, blue barn wood, it was rough. Really, really rough. And full of not-so-fun splinters. The shellac essentially took care of this. It’s a great primer and sealant. The best way I can describe shellac is that it’s like wrapping a piece of furniture in plastic. It seals, it protects, and it glistens a bit. It also won’t darken with age – what you see is what you’ll get. Unlike plastic though, it’s very durable. I found it easy to use – all I used was my brush (a brush made for use with oil-based paint), a little bit of sandpaper and I was good to go. If I wanted a smooth finish, I would have used a tack cloth, but because I wanted the wood to still look weathered, I dind’t end up using it on the table.

how to use shellac

how to use shellac

I used a clear color, as I wanted the barn wood to be the star of the show. Also important to note, this small can gave me 5 coats – so a little goes a long way.

how to use shellac

After one coat, you can immediately tell the difference of the wood that’s been treated(the treated wood is on the right below). There’s really no step-by-step DIY here, as it’s as simple as evenly coating the wood, letting it dry, and doing it all over again. And again, and again.

how to use shellac

Truth be told, it could still use a few more coats (crazy, right?), but for now, I’m happy. And shellaced out:).

5 thoughts on “How To Use Shellac

  1. Kendra {house of Ficek} Said:

    But so worth it! I love, love, heart your table.

    Reply
  2. Irina@CanDoGal Said:

    Seeing the scale of your hand against the table, it’s no wonder the table took all day. It’s huge! But oh, so gorgeous.

    Reply
  3. Maureen Said:

    Did the shellac fix your problems with splinters? My reclaimed wood table is full of splinters and I am looking for a solution. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. kirsten Said:

      hi Maureen! Good question – our table still needs another few coats of shellac, because it’s not sliver-free. But, it sounds like more shellac gave you more splinters? Do tell!

      Reply
  4. Stevie Said:

    I was wondering where you bought your table. My husband and I have been looking for something of similar style, and I simply love yours.

    Reply

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