Shellac is an excellent food-safe lacquer. And the best form is shellac flakes that you mix on an as-needed basis. What makes shellac flakes better than pre-mixed shellac you can buy off the hardware shelf is that the flakes have no water, wax or preservatives added to them. Shellac protects wooden spoons from absorbing moisture and provides a shiny finish.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Wood spoons
- Shellac flakes or buttons
- Clean canvas
- Denatured alcohol, high quality
- Glass container with lid
- Measuring cup
- Rubber gloves
- Lint-free cloth
- Waxed paper
Place shellac flakes or buttons in the centre of an 8- by 8-inch square of clean canvas. Twist the canvas ends to lock the shellac inside and use a mallet to pulverise the flakes and buttons. Breaking down the shellac even more will make it more absorbent.
Pour denatured alcohol into a glass container with a lid. Use a 190-proof denatured alcohol. Pour in 3 parts by volume, denatured alcohol into the container. Add 2 parts pulverised shellac flakes or buttons by volume to the denatured alcohol.
Shake the solution every 10 minutes for an hour, then leave it to rest overnight.
Strain the shellac through a piece of old T-shirt to remove any impurities in the shellac.
Put on rubber gloves and wipe the shellac onto the wood spoons. Set a balled piece of cheesecloth in the middle of a lint-free cloth. Pour shellac directly on to the cheesecloth until it's wet but not soaked. Wrap the lint cloth around the cheesecloth and start rubbing the shellac on to the wood spoons. When the cloth starts sticking, open it up and pour more shellac on the cheesecloth.
Set the spoons on waxed paper to dry. Wait an hour between coats.
Tips and warnings
- Shellac dries fast on the surface, but takes longer to thoroughly dry. Allow three days to a week.
- Shellac flakes in a solution of denatured alcohol will last about six months.
- Work with shellac in a well-ventilated room.
- Don't bring shellac near a stove or open flame; it's highly flammable.
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