View Full Version : Has anyone tried this "hard" shellac?

06-18-2010, 09:19 AM
So I was going through the finishing products on LMI and ran across this: http://www.lmii.com/CartTwo/thirdproducts.asp?CategoryName=Finishes&NameProdHeader=U%2DBeaut+Hard+Shellac

I am going back and forth between wanting to use an aerosol lacquer or rubbed on shellac for my finish when I get to that stage of finishing my uke. I eventually want to try both methods on future builds, but this is my first build so I'm not biased towards any finishing method as of yet... :)

The only reason why I am not considering shellac as of now, is because of everything I have read about it not being as durable or long lasting as lacquer finishes. However, due to not having a very suitable area to spray(I would just be spraying outside, I am a bit nervous about dust, dirt, etc. getting into the finish) a rubbed on shellac that I could do in my building room sounds much better.

So, if I go the shellac route, is this stuff any good? Or should I just stick with the traditional shellac materials?

06-18-2010, 09:27 AM
It's an Australian product, and has had a reformulation about 2 years or so ago after a mate of mine brought it to the attention of the manufacturer that it was being used on instruments and there were instances of very severe crazing in the finish. To be fair, it was initially never designed to be used on instruments, but now that it turns out to be so popular our needs are being catered for.

I've not used either the old or new version personally, as I spray all my instruments with lacquer, but do know a few guys over here that use it. They seem to like it. But honestly, when I want to put shellac on something, I prefer to make my own.

Pete Howlett
06-18-2010, 11:24 AM
Shellac? It's a great environmentally friendly finish that sadly is not durable. Anyone who has lived the past 70 years will know that until the introduction of truly synthetic lacquers, French polishers had regular repeat business going to the 'big houses' to refresh all of the French polish work. Read George Frank's books if you want to find out how fascinating but fragile this finish is.

I can see why people use it and it has it's place. I personally wouldn't recommend it for instruments that are played regularly.

06-18-2010, 08:34 PM
I can see why people use it and it has it's place. I personally wouldn't recommend it for instruments that are played regularly.

Thanks for the recommendation Pete... I think that was just the nudge that I needed to just stick with a lacquer finish :)

Michael N.
06-18-2010, 11:59 PM
For a non spray finish you could try the Behlens rockhard. As a brushed on oil varnish it's both hard, durable and dries fast.
I've tried it but I'm no fan of the smell. Unless you exclude air from the can it starts to gel and solidify pretty quickly. It also gives a slight greenish cast on light coloured woods. Some of the Guitar makers have switched to a varnish sold by Pratt and lambert.
I use a violin oil varnish. Not as durable but much more pleasant to use.