Shellac Spray Primer for Silicone – Features and Ways to Use

When it comes to priming silicone surfaces, finding the right primer can be a challenge due to silicone’s inherent resistance to adhesion. However, one effective solution that has gained popularity is the use of shellac spray primer.

Here are the features of shellac spray primer:

  • Versatility
  • Adhesiveness
  • Quick-drying
  • Compatibility¬†
  • Sealing property

Shellac spray primer can come in handy in situations where you need to paint or varnish a silicone surface to provide protection or enhance its appearance. In the subsequent sections of this article, we will explore the ways to use shellac spray primer. We will also discuss the above-listed features of shellac spray primer in detail.

Ways to use shellac spray primer for silicone

Here are two ways to use shellac spray primer on silicone:

  • In preparing the surface for varnishing
  • In preparing the surface for painting

Using shellac spray primer to prepare a silicone surface for varnishing

Varnishing a silicone surface can be a bit more challenging than varnishing other surfaces. Hence, it requires careful preparation, the use of a primer, and silicone-compatible varnish. Here’s a general guide on how to prime and varnish a silicone surface:

  • Gather the materials
  • Clean the surface
  • Choose the varnish
  • Apply shellac spray prime
  • Test varnish for compatibility
  • Apply varnish
  • Allow it to dry and cure

1) Gathering the materials

Here are the materials needed to prepare a silicone surface for painting:

  • Washcloth
  • Mild soap
  • Water
  • Shellac spray primer
  • Silicone-compatible varnish

2) Cleaning the surface

Start by cleaning the silicone surface thoroughly to remove any dust, dirt, oils, or residues. Use a mild detergent and water, followed by rinsing and drying.

3) Choosing the varnish

Select a varnish specifically designed for use on silicone surfaces. Silicone-compatible varnishes are formulated to adhere to silicone despite its unique properties to provide the desired protection or appearance.

4) Applying shellac spray primer

Shake the can of the shellac spray primer to get a thorough mix. Then, spray it on the area, maintaining a distance of 2-3 inches from the silicone surface. After the application of the shellac primer, allow it to stay undisturbed for 45 minutes before moving to the next step.

5) Testing compatibility

Before applying the varnish to the entire surface, it is a good idea to test a small, inconspicuous area to ensure compatibility and proper adhesion.

6) Applying the varnish

For compatible varnish, you can proceed to apply it. Start by stirring the varnish thoroughly to ensure an even consistency. Using a clean, soft brush or applicator, apply a thin and even layer of varnish onto the silicone surface.

Apply the varnish in smooth, even strokes to minimize the formation of bubbles and brush marks. Also, follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the number of coats to apply.

7) Drying and Curing

Allow each coat of varnish to dry and cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This may involve keeping the area dust-free, well-ventilated, and undisturbed for a specific period of time. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the drying time.

Using shellac spray primer to prepare a silicone surface for painting

Painting a silicone surface can be challenging due to the smooth and non-porous nature of silicone. However, with proper preparation and priming, it is possible to paint a silicone surface.

Here is how to use shellac spray primer to prepare a silicone surface for painting:

  • Gather the materials needed
  • Clean the surface
  • Make the surface rough
  • Apply shellac spray primer
  • Apply paint

1) Gathering the materials needed

Here are the materials needed to prepare a silicone surface for painting:

  • Washcloth
  • Mild soap
  • Water
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Napkin
  • Fine grit sandpaper/ plastic mesh pad
  • Shellac spray primer
  • Masking tape
  • Oil paint

2) Cleaning the surface

Before you proceed, you want to ensure that the surface is clean and free of stains, dust, oils, and residues. This step is crucial to achieve proper adhesion of the primer and paint coat to the silicone surface. Use a mild soap, a non-abrasive sponge, and water to get this done. After cleaning the surface, leave it to air-dry completely.

3) Roughening the silicone surface

One of the top qualities of silicone is its water resistance. As a result, it has a very smooth surface which is rather counterproductive when it comes to painting. The paint will simply form beads that will roll off the surface.

Hence, one way to increase the chances of the paint coat sticking to the surface successfully is to get rid of the smoothness. You can remove the smoothness from the silicone by soaking a cloth in denatured alcohol and rubbing it over the surface. You can also sand the silicone with fine-grit sandpaper or a plastic mesh pad.

4) Applying shellac spray primer

After sanding the silicone surface, get a good shellac spray primer and apply it. Start by shaking the can to mix the primer properly. Then, spray the entire area while keeping the can 2-3 inches away from the silicone surface.

Use masking tape to cover areas you do not intend to prime or paint. Once the shellac primer has been applied, allow it to sit for 45 minutes before proceeding.

5) Applying paint

Once the shellac primer is dry, you can proceed to apply your desired paint. The primer will facilitate better adhesion and help achieve a smoother, more even finish. Although shellac primer is compatible with all kinds of paints, use oil-based or acrylic paints but not water-based paints due to the hydrophobic property of silicone.

Considerations about painting silicone

Most silicone caulks are not paintable and even if the paint stays due to the application of shellac spray primer before painting, it might not last long. Silicone has a smooth and repelling surface that doesn’t allow pigments to stick. Although roughening the surface and priming it can create a way around this issue, we generally advise against painting regular silicone if durability is important to you.

Another reason why painting silicone is not the best solution is that it can readily contract and expand based on temperature changes but paints cannot. Hence, the contraction and expansion of silicone will result in the paint cracking over time and sadly there is no way around this shortcoming.

Hence, we advise against painting over regular silicone even if you use a shellac primer.

Nonetheless, the advancement in technology has brought about the innovation of paintable silicone products. And your best bet is to use these paintable silicone sealants in situations that require painting. Doing this will ensure you benefit from the qualities of silicone like flexibility and waterproofing while also being able to paint over it to create a neat finish.

Meanwhile, if you have used a regular silicone caulk previously, we recommend that you replace the old caulks with paintable silicone caulks before painting. Better still, before sealing with silicone, choose a sealant that matches the color of the surrounding area so you won’t need to paint at all.

Features of shellac spray paint

1) Versatility

Shellac spray primer can be used on a range of silicone surfaces, from kitchen utensils to bathroom fixtures and sealants.

2) Adhesion Enhancement

Shellac spray primer is specifically formulated to improve the adhesion of varnishes and paints to silicone surfaces. The unique properties of shellac help overcome the challenges of silicone’s hydrophobic nature, allowing other finishes to adhere more effectively.

3) Quick Drying

Shellac primers generally dry quickly, which is beneficial when working on time-sensitive projects. This quick drying time allows for faster application of subsequent coats of paint or varnish.

4) Compatibility

Shellac spray primer is compatible with a variety of topcoats, including oil-based and acrylic finishes. This compatibility widens the range of finishing options available for silicone surfaces.

5) Sealing Property

Shellac has natural sealing properties that help create a barrier between the silicone surface and the topcoat. This barrier prevents bleed-through, stains, or interactions that could compromise the final finish.


When it comes to priming and enhancing silicone surfaces, shellac spray primer emerges as an excellent solution. Its versatility allows it to adapt seamlessly to all kinds of silicone surfaces as well as other types of surfaces. It has exceptional adhesion that creates a robust foundation for subsequent paint or varnish coats while ensuring a lasting finish.

Its sealing property guards against stains and discolorations. Also, its quick-drying quality allows for fast application of paint or varnish coats. Meanwhile, its compatibility with various paints and varnishes gives it a wide range of finishes to choose from.

However, painting regular silicone surfaces can pose challenges due to expansion, contraction, and hydrophobic properties. Thankfully, technology has given rise to paintable silicone sealants, bridging the gap between flexibility, waterproofing, and paintability.