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Shellac Curing


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I'm building a bass for a friend - Maple over Walnut, and finishing it with sprayed Shellac. The guy I'm building it for owns a good sized machine shop and has some kind of industrial oven for baking varnish on pump bodies. Is there any safe way to accelerate the curing of the Shellac using something like that? If so, any ideas about time and temperature? I suppose a meat thermometer would not be wise......

Any advice would be appreciated, thanks,


Here's a pic of the "Backwards Beast".


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I don't usually spray (I french polish), but I have found lighter cuts, applied thinner (for me with more pressure) seem to cure faster. I don't usually bake the alcohol to make it cure quicker, but reasonably warm room temp. with good circulation and again thinner closer finish seems to cure pretty quick and well. I have found the times I have had slow cure or soft finish it was because I was laying it on too thick and too fast. Hope that offers some help. It will be interesting to hear what other guys who spray Shellac have to say.


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Like Rich and Setch, I have found shellac drys quickly enough on its own at room temperature. I have also sprayed shellac but the results were less than acceptable (was not very smooth) so I switched back to wiping on the finish well thinned.

I have not tried french polishing yet, but believe that method would give you your best results if you are not putting any other type of finish over the shellac. I have always sprayed clear nitro lacquer over the shellac for the top coat.

Cheers, Greg

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