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  • Shellac for Sealing a Wood PanelApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2016-12-10 19:33:02 ... Most recent comment 2016-12-10 19:42:00
    Grounds / Priming
    I have been instructed to use Shellac on Marine Plywood for a panel to paint on. The Shellac is obviously to seal the wood, but how do I get the ground to be white? Do I gesso the wood first?. Do I apply Gesso on the Shellac? do I mixe the Gesso WITH the Shellac? Once it is Gessoed, do I also need to put some kind of an Oil Paint Ground on it? I don't really like to do the prep work, I prefer someone else do the material preparation and I can just paint. I can't seem to get what I need pre-prepared however so my next wish would have been an all-in-one spray to make short-shrift of the work, but that doesn't appear to be available either.   POST SCRIPT: I actually asked this elsewhere and the artist who made the suggestion to me answered, knowing the effect I was after and said that I don't need any white or gesso at all to get the affect that I want.  The Shellac is intended as a sealer on the wood that is not too slippery or absorbent to paint on and to  allow the wet , streaky brush marks I am looking for, with the apricot wood color coming through.    However, what if I DO want the ground to be white?  Do I tint the shellac itself with lead white oil paint, Gamblin oil Ground, or Titanium White Oil?

Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator AnswerFirst thing to consider is this: shellac should only ever be used as a sealant for wooden supports if you are to use an oil/alkyd-based ground (followed then by oil and/or alkyd paints). One should not use it with true gesso or an acrylic dispersion ground. If you are intending the wood to show through you can simply apply oil paint directly onto the shellac size (following the fat over lean principle of course....thin layers that are more absorbent for example followed by layers that have more medium/body). You do not need to tint the shellac. Simply wait for the thin layer of shellac to apply and then apply any oil/alkyd ground that does not contain zinc white (this pigment is now known to be potentially problematic with oil/alkyd mediums). Finally it is not a bad idea to seal both sides of your support (and even the sides) with shellac and possibly apply a ground layer to both. The reason for this is that your plywood support is far less likely to warp in the future if both sides are treated in a similar fashion.
    Kristin deGhetaldi
    2016-12-10 20:14:32

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