Some good shellac techniques include applying shellac by spraying or padding, which utilizes shellac's fast drying time. Another shellac technique is applying shellac by brushing it on with a Fitch brush.
Padding is a technique for applying shellac that works best on flat surfaces. Cut a square piece of cloth that measures approximately 10 to 12 inches. Use professional trace cloth from suppliers or French polishing cloth. Do not use cloths that contain lint or cloths that are found in the household, such as cheesecloth or t-shirts.
Fold the cloth into a pad, pour 1 ounce of alcohol on it and apply a few thimblefuls of shellac to the cloth. Bring the pad down onto the surface firmly, and run it along the surface until it reaches the edge. At the edge, lift the cloth slowly off the surface. Apply shellac in stripes down the surface using this motion. Repeat these motions until the cloth starts sticking.
Apply light coats of shellac. Ensure that the shellac cloth is damp, not wet. If wringing the cloth makes it drip, then the cloth is too wet. Wait one hour for the shellac coatings to dry, and then remove the raised fibers by scuff-sanding the shellac with 320 stearated sandpaper.
Give the surface another shellac coating after this, and let it dry overnight. Sand the surface again using sandpaper and steel wool with wax as a lubricant. Once the wax dries, wipe the excess wax from the surface for a satin finish.