Shellac over Laquer?

ToBBa

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Hi builders.

Need some advice regarding experiences on putting shellac on top of laquer.
I have this really nice quilted maple snare shell that I have tried to get a real glossy finish on.
I'm not very happy with the result im getting. I don't feel that the coates are building the way they should, I'm also getting a bit of orange peel that does disappear when wet sand though... This is due to my insufficient skill level when I comes to apply lacquer( yeah, stupid me for practicing on such a nice shell)
A skill I feel I master is the art of French polishing with shellac.

So the question is if it's possible to French polish with shellac on top of the laquer? I have never tried this and really don't want to add another dimension to my mess.
The lacquer is acrylic based spray can stuff.
Any advice?
Below is a pic of the shell in it's current state.
 

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jptrickster

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I'd have to ask why would you put shellac over lacquer? Why not reshoot with lacquer ?

I use shellac as a sealer/ first coat because it's thin/ penetrating/ dries quickly/ sands easily/ adds depth dimension and sparkle can be coated with urathane/ lacquer. Shellac would not be my first choice as a finish for drums
 

drumjinxjr

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jptrickster said:
I'd have to ask why would you put shellac over lacquer? Why not reshoot with lacquer ?

I use shellac as a sealer/ first coat because it's thin/ penetrating/ dries quickly/ sands easily/ adds depth dimension and sparkle can be coated with urathane/ lacquer. Shellac would not be my first choice as a finish for drums
This^

If you want to build up a real glossy finish, get a two part automotive finish. Build up two or three coats (sprayed), sanding flat between coats. Use wet sandpapers, going up to 4000 grit, followed by some polishing compound to get the gloss popping. Lots of work, but less of a headache than trying to put shellac over laquer.
 

Kevin_S

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Going with shellac over lacquer is not a good idea. Shellac is not a very durable finish and French polish takes time to learn. Automotive is not a good idea if you don't have the right equipment AND you coud get some compatibility problems. Do you have a buffer?
 

blueshadow

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I'm not very good at DIY check some of my posts here :) but I found both Deft and Watco Spray lacquer to be pretty easy to use. To do right it takes lots of light coats but they dry pretty quick. I'm not sure what you have is true lacquer if its acrylic??? I could be and probably am wrong....but I'd check out the Deft or Watco... Deft should be available at your Home Depot.
 

dboomer

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I have shot shellac over nitrocellulose lacquer on antiques, but never French polished it. Shellac will stick to about anything. You could probably shoot it over the top of motor oil ;). But it's not nearly as durable or as easy to repair as lacquer.

If you are getting orange peel you are probably not getting your coats wet enough (or you need to change your thinner)
 

ToBBa

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Thank you for your replies people.
As i said, the reason that i want to do this is because i feel that i master french polishing with shellac very well. I can easily get a mirror finish that way. Learned it from my grandfather who vas a violin luthier.
I have done french polishing w shellac on drums before. Turns out very well, but yes i know of the durability weakness of shellac. Still it comes down to how one treats their drums.
I have found scratches and dings in shellac easy to repair, much easier than laquer scratches, but again that's perhaps due to my lacking overall laquering skills.
I dont have nearly the skill to do mirror finishes with laquer/acrylic varnish. I really want to learn it, but have desided to not ruin the nice shell any further with my atempts, will have to practice on scrap wood/shells before giving it another go.

Also thanks for recomending various products. The big problem is that i live half way around the world from you guys(most likely) and almost all of the time i read product recomandations and so on, the stuff isn't available here. For instance i would go through hell fire to get hold of one can with that wipe-on poly stuff you guys have over there...it really sucks.

Will do some more practicing on scrap wood, and then give the spraycans another go at the shell.
Thanks.
 

backtodrum

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Use a professional spray gun and compressor to apply the lacquer. You can't get enough material on there for a high gloss finish with a spray can, and you will easily rub through it wet sanding it. Color sand it starting with 1000 then 1200, 1500 and 2000 grit paper and then rub it out with rubbing compound and a buffer. I wouldn't put Shellac over the lacquer, it may be incompatible and lift the underlying lacquer and it will bubble and craze and then you will have a real mess and ruin the stain and the whole thing. You can buy a small spray gun called a jam gun for about $35 at Auto Zone, and rent a compressor if you don't have one. A spray can just can't put enough material on thick enough to get an even coat that you can wet sand and buff to provide a flawless super gloss finish. Lacquer is pretty easy to work with if you have the right equipment to apply it.
 

psalty

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ToBBa said:
Thank you for your replies people.
As i said, the reason that i want to do this is because i feel that i master french polishing with shellac very well. I can easily get a mirror finish that way. Learned it from my grandfather who vas a violin luthier.
I have done french polishing w shellac on drums before. Turns out very well, but yes i know of the durability weakness of shellac. Still it comes down to how one treats their drums.
I have found scratches and dings in shellac easy to repair, much easier than laquer scratches, but again that's perhaps due to my lacking overall laquering skills.
I dont have nearly the skill to do mirror finishes with laquer/acrylic varnish. I really want to learn it, but have desided to not ruin the nice shell any further with my atempts, will have to practice on scrap wood/shells before giving it another go.

Also thanks for recomending various products. The big problem is that i live half way around the world from you guys(most likely) and almost all of the time i read product recomandations and so on, the stuff isn't available here. For instance i would go through hell fire to get hold of one can with that wipe-on poly stuff you guys have over there...it really sucks.

Will do some more practicing on scrap wood, and then give the spraycans another go at the shell.
Thanks.
I'm with you, ToBBa. Even though I have in my building a professional quality spray booth, and I can spray any kind of finish that I want, I far prefer shellac. It is the most beautiful of all finishes, is repairable, and with a little care is easily maintained. It smells good and is fun to work with, and not hazardous to your health. Lovely stuff.

As far as I know, you can put shellac over anything, including lacquer.
 

speady1

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Kevin_S said:
Going with shellac over lacquer is not a good idea. Shellac is not a very durable finish and French polish takes time to learn. Automotive is not a good idea if you don't have the right equipment AND you coud get some compatibility problems. Do you have a buffer?
Fellas, listen to this guy...There is no better drum builder or finisher in the business today...
 

psalty

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speady1 said:
Going with shellac over lacquer is not a good idea. Shellac is not a very durable finish and French polish takes time to learn. Automotive is not a good idea if you don't have the right equipment AND you coud get some compatibility problems. Do you have a buffer?
Fellas, listen to this guy...There is no better drum builder or finisher in the business today...
Listened and noted, and I agree with Kevin about the durability of shellac. However:

1) I am not building drums for other people, and neither is the OP.

2) Since the OP and I already know how to create a French polish, its difficulty to learn is irrelevant.

3) Shellac finishes are, in fact, much easier to repair than lacquer, so that's not a concern. The only concern for me is alcohol, but drinkers never get closes enough to my drums to spill on them, and I don't drink while I'm playing.

4) I am not a drum finisher, but I have spent much of my professional life finishing veneered surfaces that will live in some of the most unfriendly (to wood) environments in the world, so I do understand the issues.

So when Kevin says no, I listen, but the basis for my decisions and my response to the OP is quite different than his. No argument with his viewpoint.
 

swarfrat

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Spray Max 2K was suggested to me for a thick high gloss durable rattle can clear coat over on one of the other instrument forums I frequent. At the time I was planning to cover up some art / decoupage type stuff ( hand print on a bass guitar). Drums get a lot less "normal rub wear" than stringed instruments. (And the damage they ARE subject, ding/impact/scratch wear is much more difficult to protect against with any finish).

http://www.autobodytoolmart.com/spray-max-2k-glamour-high-gloss-clear-coat-3680061-p-31867.aspx?gclid=Cj0KEQjw5Z63BRCLqqLtpc6dk7gBEiQA0OuhsAiJhjdmtsCQBMlKa693jFk33p0ynuf0qOVXwBFQNJgaAucE8P8HAQ

I have a shellac based wash coat, but my sides (on a slab bass) are paint -for opaque black and some bridging abilitty in the little gaps and crannies I left that you never notice before you start finishing)
 

psalty

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swarfrat said:
Spray Max 2K was suggested to me for a thick high gloss durable rattle can clear coat over on one of the other instrument forums I frequent. At the time I was planning to cover up some art / decoupage type stuff ( hand print on a bass guitar). Drums get a lot less "normal rub wear" than stringed instruments. (And the damage they ARE subject, ding/impact/scratch wear is much more difficult to protect against with any finish).

http://www.autobodytoolmart.com/spray-max-2k-glamour-high-gloss-clear-coat-3680061-p-31867.aspx?gclid=Cj0KEQjw5Z63BRCLqqLtpc6dk7gBEiQA0OuhsAiJhjdmtsCQBMlKa693jFk33p0ynuf0qOVXwBFQNJgaAucE8P8HAQ

I have a shellac based wash coat, but my sides (on a slab bass) are paint -for opaque black and some bridging abilitty in the little gaps and crannies I left that you never notice before you start finishing)
Holy smokes. Isocyanates. In a spray can?
Use with extreme caution. Use with fresh air supply (air fed respirator.) Charcoal filter mask won't help against this stuff.
 

swarfrat

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psalty said:
Holy smokes. Isocyanates. In a spray can?
Use with extreme caution. Use with fresh air supply (air fed respirator.) Charcoal filter mask won't help against this stuff.
Holy don't you DARE smoke! You got good eyes, I didn't see that detail on the fuzzy picture. Yeah, supergluing over your lungs could go bad nearly instantly.
 


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