Flexner on Finishing: Shellac and Sealing Wood


Clearing up the confusion.
By Bob Flexner
Pages: 84-85

From the October 2008 issue #171
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Shellac was once the most widely used wood finish in the world. Now it’s commonly promoted in woodworking magazines as a sealer, often as the “best” or “universal” sealer, even though virtually no cabinet shop or furniture factory, and very few professional woodworkers, use it in this way.

How did this happen? How was shellac transformed, actually diminished, from being the most popular finish in the world to becoming just a “sealer,” the first coat? And why is it that shellac is represented so positively as a sealer in amateur woodworking circles when virtually no large users of finishes think of it this way?


From the October 2008 issue #171
Buy this issue now