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Shellac Based Primers

What is a Shellac Based Primer?

We’re often asked what is a shellac based primer and put simply, it’s a stain-blocking primer that adheres to tricky surfaces like glossy plastics, metals, ceramic tiles and previously varnished surfaces.


What is Shellac Made From?

Shellac is a resinous substance from the secretion of the female “lac bug” (Kerria lacca) on trees, found mostly in the forests of India and Thailand. This resinous ingredient is what makes shellac based primers so good at blocking stubborn stains including nicotine, mould stains, marker pens and water stains. 


What Surfaces can Shellac Based Primers be used on?

Shellac based primers can also be used to prime timber, blocking tannins and knots in the process without the need for separate knotting solutions. Shellac based primers can be used on interior surfaces and exterior surfaces too making them even more versatile.

What is the most popular Shellac Based Primer?

The most popular shellac based primer is Zinsser BIN Primer. Zinsser BIN is a high-performing, fast-drying primer that offers unparalleled adhesion to even the most tricky of surfaces without the need to sand. It dries in 15 minutes and is ready for a recoat after just 45 minutes making Zinsser BIN a go-to primer for professional decorators and DIYers alike.

Smith and Rodgers Blockade Primer is another great shellac sealer and primer that offers excellent adhesion to almost any surface with fast drying times and exceptional stain-blocking properties. 


What is the difference between shellac and oil based primers?

Shellac based primers provide the best stain-blocking and adhesion properties. They adhere to tricky surfaces like glass, creating a surface that the topcoat can adhere to. Without the shellac primer, the topcoat wouldn’t adhere to glass for example. After using a shellac based primer, you need to wash your brushes down with methylated spirits whereas with oil based primers, you wash your tools down with white spirit.

Oil based primers are also good stain blockers but aren’t as good on shiny or difficult surfaces as shellac based primers. Oil based primers are great for wood, metal and interior walls and act to prepare the surface for the next coating be that an undercoat or a topcoat of paint. You may need to sand your surface before applying an oil based primer, depending on what or where you are painting whereas with a shellac primer, no sanding is necessary. 


What Primer would you use on uPVC Windows and Doors?

We recommend using a shellac based primer like Zinsser BIN for uPVC windows and doors, to create a surface that your chosen topcoat will adhere to.


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  1. BIN Primer
    Zinsser BIN Primer
    From £18.76 £15.63