Baby Crib...Topcoat for Shellac?

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Forum topic by PhilipTheGasTank posted 08-30-2016 04:40 PM 1781 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1376 days

08-30-2016 04:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am almost done applying spray coats of shellac to crib made out of pine. My son is currantly 2months and I’m really wanting/needing to complete the crib however I don’t want to skip steps and cut corners only for future disappointments. I guess my question is what should I use as a topcoat if any for the shellac? I like the look of the shellac but read that baby disbursement aka pee :) contains ammonia which is the cryptonight(sorry spelling) to shellac. Any suggestions for a topcoat that wont take a lot (more than 2-3 weeks) of time to cure and still add the protection that Im looking for? I realize shellac dries quickly when applying but any idea how long it take to cure as well? I have about 4-5 coats.

6 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5278 posts in 4702 days

#1 posted 08-30-2016 04:48 PM

I would doubt that the little one is trained to pee on vertical surfaces. :)
Stick with the shellac, and refresh it as might be needed. You will be surprised as to the integrity of the finish.
Just my thoughts.
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View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2737 days

#2 posted 08-30-2016 04:48 PM

GF High Performance Topcoat will provide more protection and goes on perfectly clear. I know it dries in like 2 hours, but not sure how long before it cures.

Shellac doesn’t cure. It just dries.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View nightguy's profile


213 posts in 1404 days

#3 posted 08-30-2016 05:23 PM

One trick for curing according to Bob Flexner, it you cant smell it it is cured. For most oil based Poly that is about 2-3 days, depending on temp.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6193 posts in 3235 days

#4 posted 08-30-2016 05:53 PM

My first choice would be a quality oil based varnish, like P&L 38 (hard to find) or SW Fast Dry Oil Varnish. Neither are a urethane formula, but rather an alkyd formula and look really nice; the SW product is a lot more amber than the P&L. But they do have the complication of being very slow to fully cure, and if quickness is important my next choice would be a good quality waterborne. At the top would be GF EnduroVar, followed by other GF products like HP, or maybe something from Target Coatings EM 6000, or maybe EM 8000. The Target Coating products can be catalyzed to make them even more durable.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View PhilipTheGasTank's profile


2 posts in 1376 days

#5 posted 08-31-2016 10:40 AM

Hey Thanks for all the qwick replies.

Think i may go with just the shellac for now… i like the fact that i dont need to wait for it to cure and there is no guessing if hes sleeping in something toxic. Plus i really like the finish so far

After my son out grows the crib i believe i will add that extra layer of protection. If any concerns with applying future applications a year or 2 from now that would be helpful tho. I think i may apply one of freds suggested oil varnishes.

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 2372 days

#6 posted 08-31-2016 11:49 AM

I don’t personally see any need to put on anything except shellac. The crib you can see in my projects was finished with only shellac, been in use for almost a year and a half now, no problems yet. One spot under the sippy cup got some water damage after my daughter splashed water around and my wife let the cup sit in the puddle

But I don’t see any problems since shellac is so easy to sand and refinish, even just the trouble spot.

At the current rate, re finishing a 2×2” every couple of years seems like a non-issue, especially since I never have to wonder if the finish I am using is actually food safe – in shellac’s case I know for a fact that it is

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

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