Questions answered – Taking care of a Hake brush


Hi Paul.  Thank you for a great course I would like to echo John and Norbert’s comments.  You are a great inspiration.

I would like to ask about the clean up of the Hake brush after applying a coat of shellac.

Best wishes for the New Year and your tour of the US.

Regards Steve


Thanks Steve, I am looking forward to returning to the USA for the New Year. It’ has been a wonderful 25 years living and working in the USA and having so many wonderful friends. The coming year proves to be our most expansive in terms of passing on my knowledge and skills so we hope we can support you all as much as you have supported us through the years.

Shellac brush clean up

PICT00272-256x225.jpgSteve above asked me about cleaning up my hake brushes which i use extensively fr applying brushed shellac to my projects. When I grew up we had a knotting jar with a fixed brushed that fed through the lid into a glass-lined aluminium can. The brush remained inside the jar and sealed of any gaps for the spirit to evaporate so you always went to the brush ready for use. Even if the brush was not in the liquid, it remained wet and ready to go. Knotting is shellac and so when I finish using the brush I do one of two things. In both cases I always wipe off the bulk of the waste on the rim of the tin can I use to hold my shellac in. If I am not going to use the brush again for a few days I slip the handle through a hole so that the brush is uppermost and untouched. I leave it with the shellac on but make certain the bristles are straight and to an edge.


When I need to use the brush again, I pour my shellac into the can and dip the bristles into the shellac, which softens the now stiff brush in a couple of minutes. If the brush will be used within say 24 hours, I place the brush inside a disposable rubber glove which I keep for that purpose. This keeps the brush soft and ready to use. This actually work up to about three days, but I usually know if I am going to  use the brush soon. You can of course clean the brush in meths or denatured alcohol if you need to. I usually only do this if I am using colour in my shellac and want a clean colour-free brush.

I can buy a 1″ Hake brush for under £2 on eBay. They are inexpensive natural hair brushesand I have been using the same 1″ Hake for about 5 years now

1 Comment

  1. ShawnR on 1 January 2013 at 12:12 am


    What kind of shellac flakes do you use and what brand would you purchase?