A traditional resin extracted from a scale insect and processed into shellac flakes. This is a natural resin with a small amount of wax. Dissolved in spirit it is a clear hard varnish, with good bonding use as French polish. Gold gilding as primer coat. Increasingly hard to get shellac flakes are still being used as furniture varnish, mold makers as a sealer for plaster molds, paint works as inter surface barrier or resist in metal etching and clay works for its good insulating properties. It is fast drying with the evaporation of spirit solvent.
To prepare shellac, weigh flakes and add to spirit solvent. Shake well and leave overnight for the flakes to dissolve and the wax to settle at the bottom denoted as a cloudy layer. Decant the top shellac liquid and use as a sealer or as a varnish with more subsequent coatings applied with fine sanding between layers. Polish with furniture wax when shellac varnish is cured and hardened to minimish surface scratches.
Papier mache and paper sculptures are strengthened and reinforced with application of shellac varnish in one or more coatings. Thereafter to be poly putty filled and sanded smooth for paint coating.