Prevent Corning When Sanding Shellac

Duration: 4:23

Shellac is a great finish, and can be used for many different aspects of finishing. However, some woodworkers run into problems when sanding shellac, such as corning. Corning is when gobs of finish start to stick to your sandpaper. This isn’t good, and can quickly ruin a finish.

Corning Causes
What causes corning to happen? There can be a lot of factors that cause corning when you’re sanding shellac, from amount of finish being applied, to the shelf life of the finish, to how you’re doing your sanding. This instructional video will fill you in on how to test your shellac before using it to make sure it’s still viable, and what to look for in your application and sanding techniques to make sure you’re not causing the corning to happen.

Preparation
Getting a beautiful finish on your projects requires preparation. Learning how to sand wood correctly is a very important aspect of getting a nice finish. As they say, the devil is in the details. If the project isn’t truly ready for finish, there’s nothing you can do to make the finish look good. Keep this in mind when you’re sanding shellac or finishing with any product.

Finishing Options
Shellac is only one of many choices when it comes to applying finish to your projects. Check out the wide variety of wood finishing techniques that WoodWorkers Guild of America offers. We want to make certain that you’ve got a complete arsenal of finishing tricks, so your woodworking projects look great.

Reply to Sapp James
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6 Responses to “Prevent Corning When Sanding Shellac”
  1. perryj11
    perryj11

    I love to learn and really enjoy your videos.
    Those are pretty neat sanding blocks. How can I obtain one?

    Reply
  2. Sapp James
    Sapp James

    Out of Date Off the Shelf Shellac: There is a code on Zinsser shellac can that tells the date when it was made. If the use date is more than two years after the creation date, I would be leery of using it. Try in on plexiglass like shown on the video. However, it the shellac is out of date by three years, I would suggest disposing of it. I have gone to hardware stores to by Seal Cote and have found cans that were 4 years out of date. So beware what you are buying. Once the shellac is opened, the creation date becomes less relevant.

    Reply
  3. Brian McLoughlin
    Brian McLoughlin

    Is there a finish that should not be applied over a shellac sealer, such as water-based poly?

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi Brian,
      Here is what our expert had to say:
      I’m not aware of any finish that would have an adhesion problem when applied over dewaxed shellac. That said, it’s always best to check with the manufacturer of the specific finish that you are using.
      Paul

      Let us know if other questions come up!
      Sincerely,
      Codi
      Woodworkers Guild of America Video Membership

      Reply
  4. Ron
    Ron

    I was told years ago that shellac dissolves shellac. Hence, when someone thinks he’s put on multiple coats, he’s actually only working the same coat.

    Reply