If you have read my post about when to use Shellac- you know that it is a life saver and has so many uses like when you are having painting issues with:
(Click HERE to read that post)
Water stains bleeding through
Wood grain showing
Wood tannins bleeding
Painting RAW WOOD and the paint is getting sucked up
Issues with the paint cracking or not adhering in a certain spot?
Painting a piece that you have sanded and now have different finishes visible
Planning on painting Pure White or Old White over a wood piece and concerned with stain or wood grain bleeding?
You used wood filler on a section and the paint is taking to it differently?
Every once in a great while- I will receive an email from someone who is saying that their shellac is not working.
Shellac is produced from natural materials. Which means – shellac is also perishable. Perishable- in the sense it has a shelf life, an expiration date…in other words…it is no longer good after a certain date – so don’t use it. Sort of like spoiled milk…eew!
Cans of shellac are often marked with their date of manufacture. Now here is the interesting thing that most do not realize- Shellac typically expires 6 to 9 months after the date of manufacturer. So when buying shellac, if you go to a store and you find some in the way back of the shelf covered with dust…you may not want to purchase it.
When Shellac passes its shelf life date it begins to undergo a chemical change and it will gradually take longer to dry, and the dried film is softer and more prone to scratches and water damage and poor performance. Meaning- it is not ideal to use.
Zinsser, the brand that I like to use and commonly stocked in big box stores throughout North America, uses a date code.
DECODING THE STAMP ON TOP OF THE CAN:
For example, my can is marked on the lid with the code S42279 D.
The first number after the letter is the last digit in the year it was manufactured.
The second number corresponds to the month.
The third and fourth numbers relate to the actual day of the month.
So, my can of shellac shown above was manufactured on February 27, 2014.
Zinsser’s Bulls Eye Shellac is the only pre-mixed shellac in the world guaranteed to dry quickly to a hard, durable finish for 3 years after the date of manufacture. We love it and use it often when doing kitchen cabinet jobs.
However, since storage conditions can greatly affect the shelf life of shellac always check the manufacturing date to find the freshest Bulls Eye Shellac and apply some of the product to a test surface to check the dry time and film hardness.
HOW TO STORE SHELLAC:
To ensure a long life for your shellac, keep the container tightly closed and store in a cool, dry place where the temperature does not exceed 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Extreme heat can ruin shellac in less than a week. Unlike paint…..there is no need to worry about cold weather; since shellac is alcohol-based it is unaffected by freezing temperatures.
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