Product Reviews

Royal-Lac Clear Finish

Royal-Lac-CansRoyal-Lac combines the look of a classic shellac finish with the ease of application and durability of other modern finishes. It goes on easily and each coat levels the previous one, which means that even novices will get a nice finish every time.

The product was developed by a furniture maker and teacher, Vijay Velji of San Diego, Calif. Vijay was disappointed by the shellac flakes available from most retailers because their unknown age made dissolving them in alcohol unpredictable. He built relationships with the shellac harvesters and manufacturers, and started selling high-quality shellac through his business, Shellac Finishes, with a freshness date and guarantee on every package. Along the way, Vijay found that many people were looking for a finish with the look of shellac and the ease of a modern synthetic finish. In response, he developed Royal-Lac.

Using the Royal-Lac was effortless. I applied thin coats of the spray version, allowed it to dry for 45 minutes between coats, and slowly built up a smooth, beautiful finish, even on an irregular surface. While the gloss and low-gloss spray finishes use blonde shellac, different colors are available in the brush-on finishes. Unlike a pure shellac finish, which can be considered food safe as soon as it dries (and it dries quickly), the synthetic resins added to Royal-Lac make the finish food safe only after it cures totally, which takes 15 to 20 days, according to the label.

Royal-Lac is available as a brush-on or spray-on finish (I recommend the spray for scrollers). The prices start at $16.95 for a can of spray finish and $22.95 for a pint of brush-on finish. Order online at