Wood Furniture Finishes: How to Apply Shellac

What You'll Need
Two paintbrushes
Old newspaper or plastic
Fine-grit sandpaper
0000-grade steel wool
Clean tack cloth
Furniture paste wax

Shellac is one of several wood furniture finishes. The rich colors resulting from a shellac finish create beautiful pieces of furniture. This guide will show you how to properly apply a shellac finish.

Step 1 - Prepare to Apply the Shellac

With a clean tack cloth, wipe away any dust that may be on the piece of furniture. Lay old newspaper or plastic on the floor or ground where you'll be doing the work.

Step 2 - Apply the Shellac

Take a paintbrush and dip it into the can of shellac. Then use long and even strokes to apply the shellac to the furniture. Before the shellac gets too tacky, use the second dry brush to again brush the furniture to remove any brushstrokes.

Step 3 - Sand the Furniture

Allow the shellac to dry, and then take a fine-grit sandpaper and lightly sand the entire wood surface of the furniture. Don't sand down all the way to the wood, but just slightly scuff up the shellac finish.

Step 4 - Apply Subsequent Coats

Apply two to three more coats of shellac, and be sure to sand in between each coat.

Step 5 - Scuff with Steel Wool

Once the final coat of shellac is dry, take a piece of 0000 steel wool and scuff up the furniture to remove any gloss.

Step 6 - Wax the Furniture

Use a quality paste wax to create a high-gloss shine.