How to Paint Over Shellac

Updated February 21, 2017

Shellac is a finish commonly used on raw wood surfaces to prime or seal. As a primer, shellac serves a base coat before a surface is ready to be painted. Shellac is normally applied to a surface that has previously been sanded and is applied using a roller. Shellac dries quickly, usually within two to three hours, but it is best to let the shellac primer dry for 24 hours or overnight before you begin painting over it.

Cover anything that needs to be protected from paint with a dust sheet.

Apply tape to any areas that need to remain unpainted.

Apply the first coat of paint to the surface, using a roller or brush.

Allow the first coat to dry completely, at least 24 hours.

Paint a second coat onto the surface, using a roller or brush.

Leave the painted surface untouched for at least 24 hours to allow it enough time to dry completely.

Things You'll Need

  • Masking tape
  • Dust sheet
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Paint roller
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