Our doors are shellaced together- help!

fausonkMay 6, 2008

We bought really nice fir doors, and my husband experimented with dye-shellac mixes to get the right color for them. He bought a high-quality spray gun to get a nice even finish without brush strokes. He sprayed one side of the doors and they looked fabulous. He let them dry for a while in the back yard, then because of a threat of rain, he put them in the garage. The problem???

He stacked them with one leaning on the other. Apparently the shellac was not dry enough, and he went out there tonight and the doors are solidly stuck together.

Is there anything we can do to separate them? We don't care about sanding and refinishing them- no problem to do that. We just don't want to lose the cost of these expensive doors!

Any info on how "sticky" shellac is? Can they be pried apart and still be left in tact? Or is shellac like a wood glue and they will never ever come apart again?


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Shellac is always resoluble in its solvent, alcohol. If you can get some in there put in denatured alcohol, let it sit for a couple of minutes and they should come apart.

FWIW, shellac is used to hold key pads on woodwind instruments. For one reason, it's reversible like this.

Take heart, it could have been latex paint and that REALLY sticks to itself.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 8:09AM
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Shellac is also used for gasket adhesive in auto engine work. It's very sticky. You may risk peeling off some wood in the process. I would strike the doors along their edges to shear them apart rather than pry them directly apart. One swift decisive heavy blow should do it. I'm thinking a 3 lb. hammer.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 10:40PM
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