David Lay Posted February 4 Share Posted February 4 I have searched, but cannot find where others have made recommendations for applying shellac by the "French Polish" process, though I remember reading some. I tried the typical instructions found on-line and by an author, Tage Frid, using a 2# cut, a pad, and sometimes a bit of oil, but my result was bad. More recently, I went with what another author, James Krenov, advised using what is a 1# cut or even more dilute, and no oil. (Lots of coats, but then one web source recommended 30 coats with the 2# cut). I like the result. Frid wrote that for traditional FP, filled pores is usual. I left my mahogany with open pores and it is not glossy like I would expect from traditional FP. I used orange flakes in "190 proof denatured ethanol". (Ethanol will distill to 95% ethanol/water easily. Getting that last 5% out is difficult, and once a container of it is open it will absorb water from the air and be 95% quite quickly, making it 190 proof.) The labeled ingredients of my alcohol are ethanol and water, so I have no idea what makes it "denatured". Zinsser shellac from my hardware store gives a wide range for how much shellac is in their product, so it might be 2# or 4#. It lists up to 10% propanol as an ingredient, but nothing more scary. Propanol (rubbing alcohol) is a common denaturing agent. Shellac is said to go bad if not fresh but Zinsser does not have an expiration date on the can (??). Krenov thought the canned product an OK option provided it is diluted and strained. To be safe, I used flakes and as pure an ethanol product I could buy, freshly mixed. So, if I filled the pores and went to 30 coats or so of my 1# cut, would I get a glossy french polish? Also, the use of oil seems counter-intuitive. It seems it would polute the finish since alcohol and oil are miscible. What can be said about this part of the process? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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