In a small shop we need to find finishing techniques that are repeatable, resilient, inexpensive to buy and apply, but will also give top quality results. This article explores the use of shellac, a great natural product that offers incredible results using a relatively easy padding technique. It also looks at a mixture of oil and varnish that increases resilience and adds a deep warm tone to your work.
The tough thing to accept in woodworking is that no finish is completely waterproof. Finishes also suffer when they come into contact with excessive heat, like that from a dinner plate or coffee mug. Therefore, it is important when considering a project to think about using the right finish for the given application. If making a piece that is seldom handled, like a showcase, then you can take advantage of the stunning beauty of a shellac finish. If you are looking at making a coffee table, you definitely cannot consider shellac but may opt for an oil and varnish mixture instead. Both finishes are simple to repair, which is a key consideration because, inevitably, the furniture will see some wear and tear. Remember when you deliver the piece to the recipient to make a nice card that explains how to take care of the finish.