Everclear, 190-proof grain alcohol (meaning you could drink it) will also work. I don't know whether isopropyl alcohol will thin shellac or not. How are Californians thinning shellac nowadays seeing as how denatured alcohol is now a banned substance here? Fortunately, denatured alcohol dissolves shellac, but not lacquer. I would use alcohol because it drys faster, but the MS is cheaper. Crown Denatured Alcohol is an excellent shellac thinner. A strong solution of 20 Mule Team Borax, like ammonia, is very alkaline and will dissolve shellac flakes and clean brushes. Shellac can be redissolved in alcohol, so it’s easy to just soak the brush in some alcohol to soften the bristles the next time that I need to use the brush. It’s widely available in the USA as Denatured Alcohol (additives make it unfit to drink), but difficult to obtain in Canada. I have lots of Lacquer thinner, Naptha and denatured alcohol from when I was experimenting with shellac and lacquer on some veneered loudspeakers. And please don't say drive to a neighboring state and buy some there. I generally use paint thinner/MS. Will they cut … It’s also cheaper than denatured alcohol. Need to carefully check the MSDS/SDS on denatured alcohol (DNA) when you buy it. Denatured alcohol is ethyl alcohol, or ethane (a two carbon molecule, as you surely know with some toxins added … Re: Thinning Shellac Mike, If my memory of some rather long-ago chemistry classes has not totally failed me, methyl hydrate is a common name for methyl alcohol It is methane (natural gas) with one hydrogen replaced by a "hydrate" group, or simply, an -OH group. Here is Crown DNA, it shows 70-75% methanol alcohol:.. Try a couple different cuts to see what works best for you. You do not drink isopropyl alcohol, either. Is it OK to clean brushes with these after a oil based Alkid paint job. That's just not an option for me. Doesn't really take much, I spray it on a cloth and wipe the wood down. If it gets sticky, then you’re dealing with shellac. Here is Kleen strip DNA ingredients, with 50-55% methanol:. Paddler Thins shellac, lacquers, resins and certain inks. Store-bought shellac is usually sold in a heavier three- to four-pound cut, and then thinned accordingly. The exact ratio of alcohol to flakes (referred to as the pound-cut) isn’t critical. Simply dab the surface with some denatured alcohol. You also thin liquid shellac with alcohol. Searching for dewaxing Bulls Eye shellac on google came back with some promising hits. If I want to preview the finish, I'll spray it on the wood. Shellac cut with this solvent gives a smooth film of high gloss and good color, and is a good primer for floors, furniture, wood, and plaster. And if you do that, then you may want to thin the 3lb cut Bulls Eye (check the can for the exact cut) with your alcohol of choice down to a 2lb cut or thinner for sealing. The preferred alcohol to use is ethyl alcohol (ethanol), the same stuff booze is made from. Here is the green low VOC ingredient list, with 3-7% methanol:. THINNING RATIOS. Methanol alcohol is cheaper, and many home store brands use 40%+ methanol. The term "cut" is used when referring to the amount of alcohol added to dry shellac flakes to dissolve them (one pound of shellac flakes dissolved in one gallon of alcohol gives a well-thinned one-pound cut). It is usually sold in drug stores in a concentration of 70% by volume because it is antiseptic at that concentration. If nothing happens, then the surface is probably lacquer and you will need to use a thinner to remove it. "Denatured" alcohol is ethyl alcohol that has had methyl alcohol mixed with it to make it poisonous to drink. 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