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how to clean a shellac finish

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by schleiermacher, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. schleiermacher


    Jun 24, 2012
    My son just acquired a very fine bass which has a shellac finish (a story in itself). What is the best way to clean and maintain such a finish?
  2. DC Bass

    DC Bass Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    Naphtha or mineral spirits will do a great job cleaning a shellac finish- a little on an old t-shirt will do, but mind the warnings on the can!

    Also, test a little inconspicuous spot before proceding, just to make sure that it really is shellac.

  3. wcoffey81


    Feb 3, 2012
    S/E Michigan
    avoid anything with alcohol in it
  4. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Have you been talking to my wife? :D
  5. schleiermacher


    Jun 24, 2012
  6. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Is shellac the same thing as spirit varnish?
  7. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Guest Commercial User

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Bass Specialist, Lisle Violin Shop
    Yes and no...Spirit varnish will have shellac in it, but there will usually be other ingredients as well(copal, mastic, sandarac...).
  8. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Or ammonia!