- 12 November 2015 at 3:07 pm #132308thiel2Participant
Hey guys, im wondering if its the brushes ive used or the shellac or me. But i remember mr. sellers mentioning that he never cleans his brush he just soaks it in the shellac and its ready to go. everytime i do it my brush stays rock hard. anybody else not clean there brush and get it soft after soaking it shellac, i use zinsser bulls eye clear and have tried multiple qualities and hairs of brush. im on the verge of cleaning them again so i can use the same brush for years but sounds like a real convenient time saver12 November 2015 at 5:43 pm #132314Matt McGraneParticipant
The solvent in shellac is alcohol. After use, the alcohol evaporates but the shellac stays and you’re left with a rock hard shellac brush. When you soak your hardened brush in shellac, the alcohol in the shellac will thin the hardened shellac on your brush, but this won’t happen immediately – maybe 10 minutes. I’ve also soaked my brush in straight alcohol to soften the hardened hair – this takes less time, just a few minutes. And since most of liquid shellac is alcohol, there is no problem going right to the shellac with the brush that was sitting in alcohol.
Matt, Northern California - Started a blog in 2016: http://tinyshopww.blogspot.com/12 November 2015 at 6:24 pm #132319Joe KaiserParticipant
“premixed shellac” is just shellac flakes mixed the Denatured Alcohol. known that, pick up some DNA and soak your brush in that (instead of shellac) before use. As Matt said, it tends to go faster.
Seattle, WA12 November 2015 at 6:32 pm #132320thiel2Participant
alright sweet thanks fellas i guess i was expecting a ready to go brush right away lol ill be more patient and try soaking in straight alcohol you guys are using like antiseptic alcohol to prevent infections or liquor or what?13 November 2015 at 2:26 am #132335Matt McGraneParticipant
The alcohol we use is called denatured alcohol and is available at any hardware store (in the U.S.). It is ethanol, which is the same alcohol in liquor, but it has some things added to it that make it unpalatable so wacko people don’t buy it at a hardware store drink it.
Matt, Northern California - Started a blog in 2016: http://tinyshopww.blogspot.com/16 November 2015 at 12:38 am #132467stevehParticipant
I’ve been using a good quality natural fiber paint brush for shellac and have found that it doesn’t soften in just the shellac very fast. I think that the brush that Paul has used in the videos is very thin which probably makes the process go faster. So I just clean my brush in denatured alcohol.
As Matt said denatured alcohol is regular old drinking alcohol (ethanol) but it is mixed with methanol. Methanol or methyl alcohol, or methyl hydrate, or wood alcohol, is supposed to work as well. Now methanol is highly toxic, ingest 10ml you go blind, 30ml you die. Where I live denatured alcohol is very easy to find and is very cheap so that is what I use.
Your antiseptic alcohol is probably just isopropyl alcohol. A quick search suggests that will work as well.16 November 2015 at 5:26 pm #132480David R.Participant
I clean the brush after use with a piece of paper towel, sometimes I will put a few drops of alcohol on it to remove more of the shellac. It’s softening a little bit faster this way in my limited experience.
I heard once isopropyl may behave slightly differently than ethanol (denat.), it might have been the time it takes for shellac to dissolve. Probably only fine nuances not relevant for most work. Both should work fine.
from Germany24 November 2015 at 5:41 pm #132655Mer AlmagroParticipant
I use regular pig hair brushes and I don’t clean them, I think this is in fact one of the nicest qualities of shellac, no hassle, no waste whatsoever. I soak the brush 15 to 30m in the shellac (a small brush takes less time) and it’s ready to go.
I wouldn’t soften the brush in pure alcohol beforehand because it’s gonna take a while until you are brushing on the full strength, especially if the brush is large, natural bristle brushes retain a lot of product.
Just for the record I use rubbing alcohol.
Living in Flanders, Belgium9 February 2016 at 6:48 pm #134662Jerry MazzoParticipant
Thank you everyone I am new member and this information is what I have been looking for.3 March 2016 at 9:52 am #135301dbornParticipant
When I’m done with my the shellac brush, I try and soak it for 20-30 mins in denatured alcohol and then let it dry on a paper towel. If I’m still finishing a piece, or plan on shellacing another piece within a day or two, I will just keep the brush soaking in the shellac. I’ve left it in a container over night over the course of a week or two. Talking with my dad, he said his shop teacher in high school never took the brush out of the the container with shellac and just continually added either more shellac, when the mixture would get low, or more alcohol as the shellac would thicken. Shellac is a beautiful finishing agent!14 March 2016 at 6:00 pm #135632cragglerockParticipant
You could always wrap the brush in some cling film or a plastic bag, many French polishers do this and their brushes are ready to go straight away. I find that in sanding sealer my brushes need around 15-20 minutes soaking before I can use them whether that be a mop or a flat brush like Paul’s.25 April 2016 at 7:54 pm #136691David BParticipant
Paul uses something called a “Hake” paint brush. If not at a hobby store you can get them on Amazon pretty cheap…13 July 2016 at 12:20 pm #138481lowpolyjoeParticipant
Thanks for the brush link David, I’ve been considering tracking one of those down but been too lazy to poke around.24 August 2016 at 9:57 am #139638RenoParticipant
You can speed things up a bit by heating the alcohol. Do this by immersing the alcohol container in a second container of hot water. Keep away from flame and sparks (electric motors).24 August 2016 at 12:40 pm #139639David BParticipant
A guy at Highland Hardware suggested I not use DNA because as he said it is “heavy shit” and you don’t want to inhale the fumes. He suggested using Golden Grain (or some other grain alcohol like Everclear) instead. You can get a 750ml bottle of Golden Grain (190+ proof) for around $10.
To be honest, I use both with equal success.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.