Not recommended for shellac

  • Advertise with us
Review by Purrmaster posted 10-11-2012 08:08 AM 5331 views 0 times favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Not recommended for shellac No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I got this stuff after I saw that the finishing test counter at Rockler had a bottle of this. I was using shellac for the first time so I got this denatured alcohol instead of the “regular” denatured alcohol. I was hoping it might have a bit less toxicity.

After sticking my shellac flakes in (2 oz of shellac) and measuring out 6 ounces of alcohol I let the jar sit overnight. And basically nothing happened. So I shake and stir and it makes no difference. I even put the jar in some hot water. Nothing. I end up with a gloopy mass of shellac at the bottom of the jar.

After about 2 weeks the shellac finally dissolved fully. I figured I screwed something up. So for my next batch (same amounts of shellac and alcohol) I ground up the shellac flakes in the blender to a fine powder. I measured out the alcohol and let it sit.

It’s been 3-4 days now and the shellac is not dissolving any faster than the last batch. I have a gloopy mass that I can’t use.

For comparison, on my third batch of shellac I got Klean Strip’s regular SLX denatured alcohol. In about a day the shellac is fully dissolved. I didn’t even grind up the flakes.

Bottom line: This “Green” stuff doesn’t work well for shellac. I would have given it just one star but the shellac does eventually dissolve. The Green stuff smells just as bad as it’s SLX counterpart so I doubt it’s any less toxic.

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 3337 days

31 comments so far

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 4536 days

#1 posted 10-11-2012 12:09 PM

Do they say what’s in it? Frankly, I can’t imagine the need for a “green” DNA – after all, ethanol is a totally natural product. It’s just yeast poop.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 3614 days

#2 posted 10-11-2012 01:36 PM

Thanks for the warning. Also avoid the “green” mineral spirits. It’s a milky white emulsion and is useless except for cleaning brushes.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4586 days

#3 posted 10-11-2012 01:45 PM

the first time i tried water based contact cement
i couldn’t get it to stick worth a dam

give me good old lacquer based

pretty soon they will have
‘new and improved formula’
eco-friendly for all finishes


-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Puffin's profile


22 posts in 3892 days

#4 posted 10-11-2012 02:03 PM

Sorry for your troubles and thanks for the heads up. Well at least one silver lining is you helped some of us from having a similar experience.

View joewilliams's profile


89 posts in 3369 days

#5 posted 10-11-2012 02:19 PM

thanks for the warning!

-- Joe - - - something witty should go here - - -

View ChrisForthofer's profile


150 posts in 4311 days

#6 posted 10-11-2012 03:49 PM

Green alcohol? That’s a new one on me… While I have no problems with “green” products, I generally steer clear of them. If it works as well or better than its non-green counterpart, great, but usually they fall short like this one did. Thanks for the review.


-- -Director of slipshod craftsmanship and attention deficit woodworking

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 4215 days

#7 posted 10-11-2012 04:02 PM

They probably made it “GREEN” by dilluting it with 50% water, then jack the price up 50% because it’s “GREEN”.
Sad thing is that this marketing scam works and creates millions of dollars in sales for basicly inferior products.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 3614 days

#8 posted 10-11-2012 04:05 PM

The green MS is an emulsion and I surmise that it does contain some amount of water. I tried making a wiping poly by mixing it with oil-based poly and wiped on a coat, and 5 days later it was still tacky. Brought the container back to HD and got my money back.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View denovich's profile


30 posts in 4068 days

#9 posted 10-11-2012 04:45 PM

The Kleen Strip Green is almost entirely Ethanol (ethyl alcohol, the kind you drink)... Check out the MSDS:

The regular Kleen Strip DNA is about 50% Ethanol, 50% Methanol (the kind that makes you blind)...

Everything I’ve read about Shellac is that Ethanol is the preferred solvent. Shellac might dissolve faster in it, but too much methanol causes issues when it dries. I exclusively use the Kleen Strip Green as it’s the only 95% Ethanol DNA that’s easy to obtain, and I certainly prefer not being exposed to methanol.

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 3337 days

#10 posted 10-11-2012 06:15 PM

Now that is interesting. So the tradeoff for it dissolving slowly is that the shellac may go on better? That does change my perspective a bit.

What kind of problems does too much methanol cause? I’ll be doing a sort of “head to head” between the two alcohols once everything dries. It may not be a fair test though because I mixed a 2 pound cut with the regular denatured and a 3 pound cut with the Green stuff.

Thanks for the information.

View WoodworkGuy's profile


77 posts in 4038 days

#11 posted 10-11-2012 09:51 PM

Glad to know. Definitely won’t buy this stuff for shellac. Will have to see how it works for other things. Thanks for the review!

-- Making sawdust and memories through woodworking.

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 3337 days

#12 posted 10-12-2012 12:52 AM

Please do note denovich’s post. He has a counter argument that the “green” stuff is better when it gets to the shellac actually drying. If so, that would largely negate my review. Can anyone else comment on this? I don’t want to knock a product incorrectly because I don’t have enough facts.

View GarageWoodworks's profile


555 posts in 3401 days

#13 posted 10-12-2012 12:53 AM

denovich nailed it. The green is >90% ethanol and the regular is 50% ethanol 50% methanol. Apparently shellac is more soluble in methanol than ethanol.

In order to salvage your green ethanol, buy a container of methanol from the BORG and cut your green ethanol in half to make a solution of roughly 50:50 ethanol/methanol. That way you won’t waste it.

-- Subscribe on YouTube:

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 3337 days

#14 posted 10-12-2012 10:57 AM

But does a higher methanol content lead to the shellac having drying problems?

View GarageWoodworks's profile


555 posts in 3401 days

#15 posted 10-12-2012 11:17 AM

No. The higher the methanol content the faster the drying time should be the only difference you see.

-- Subscribe on YouTube:

showing 1 through 15 of 31 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics