What to Avoid When Working With Shellac
There are several things to avoid when working with shellac. It has its advantages, but it also possesses several disadvantages.
No Alcohol Drips
Shellac will re-dissolve in alcohol and alcohol-based perfumes allowing beverages like whisky or any expensive perfume to mar a shellacked surface.
Wax-laden shellacs form white rings when water comes in contact.
Although shellac is a formidable finish for all wood products, it is susceptible to showing scratches. Therefore, wax applications will help reduce scratch visibility.
Once mixed with alcohol, shellac has a defined shelf life. Most wax-free shellacs are limited to six months. Wax-laden shellacs will last longer. They must be store in airtight containers to elongate shelf life.
Shellacked surfaces are subject to damage when using household cleaning compounds that include alkaline chemicals like lye and ammonia. These products can mar the surface area causing discoloration due to its acid composition.
Shellacked surfaces should not come in contact with very hot items. It will start to melt at 150 degrees. Therefore, use of coasters and trivets is always recommended to protect shellacked surfaces. If, for example, a cup of hot coffee is placed directly upon the surface it can cause discoloration and marring.