View Full Version : Waxed Shellac: So What's the Problem

11-27-2016, 06:37 PM
I now use pure unwaxed shellac of the utmost purity gathered by people in loin clouts from distant hot countries and the stuff is beautiful. However, I have used hardware store shellac (Zinser brand) in the past with pretty darn good results.

My question: I'm told that wax in shellac is bad, but I can't find anywhere that says exactly why wax in shellac is bad other than it is bad. I've been watching some of my earlier efforts with shellac containing wax and I'm not see any problems. Yet. So we all know wax is bad, but why exactly? I've found it actually fills and works easier than non-waxed.

Michael N.
11-27-2016, 11:52 PM
I've used waxy shellac numerous times. Never found it to be a problem. The wax content is usually around 5%, so it will be slightly softer than dewaxed shellac.
It's supposedly a little more susceptible to water damage. I think they mean hot water, you can pool water on a shellac surface and leave it for hours, no damage.

11-28-2016, 03:10 AM
If you're using it as a finish alone, use whichever you prefer. If you're using it as a sealer under nitro, then you get better adhesion without wax.

Hand application gives you more depth, but Zinsser has a light color dewaxed pre-mix if you want a spray finish (doesn't pad well) from the hardware store - the resin is still gathered by hand.

11-28-2016, 10:49 AM
De-waxed is going to be a bit harder and some say clearer. I'd say yes to harder, but couldn't say either way if it's clearer.

11-29-2016, 07:44 AM
I've been told that de-waxed is clearer than regular. I'm not sure that anyone would lay on a thick enough coat to notice though.
Maybe it was just some old timey marketing gimmick