Simple Shellac and Wax Finish

This article is an excerpt from Joe L’Erario’s book Wood Finishing SimplifiedUsing products from your local home building center, author Joe L’Erario teaches you about the various types of stains and finishes on the market, how they differ from one another, and how to choose the right one every time. In easy-to-follow language and step-by-step color photos, he explains how you can produce a beautiful stain color and a high quality finish for all of your wood projects. Save yourself time and eliminate frustration by mastering a subject every beginning to advanced woodworker should know.

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Step Two: Once the shellac had dried, I sanded with 320-grit silicon carbide sandpaper.

Step Two: Once the shellac had dried, I sanded with 320-grit silicon carbide sandpaper.

Step Three: I applied a second coat of shellac.

Step Three: I applied a second coat of shellac.

Shellac and wax is probably the most basic of all finishes. Little time, little effort, nice effect. Keep in mind most of your effort should go into the preparation of the wood — making the wood as smooth as possible through sanding — otherwise, it’s like brushing varnish on the trunk of a tree with the hope of achieving a smooth finish. (You thought I was going to say trunk of an elephant didn’t you? Which, theoretically would have to be sanded as well and I don’t think the elephant would like that.)

Step Four: I sanded again when the shellac was dry, and buffed the finish with No.0000 steel wool.

Step Four: I sanded again when the shellac was dry, and buffed the finish with No.0000 steel wool.