We are preparing to prime interior walls using a shellac-based primer, followed with a setting compound mud. Will the mud stick adequately to the shellac-based product or do we need to use another type of primer over the shellac primer?

  • 5
    Why would you prime prior to mudding?
    – DA01
    May 29, 2012 at 17:05
  • 1
    Because there was a long history of smoking in this house and we want to permanently 'bury' any odor. Our understanding is that shellac primer is the only one that will achieve this goal.
    – RET
    May 30, 2012 at 14:09
  • So is this existing sheetrock? If so, what are you mudding on the exiting sheetrock?
    – DA01
    May 30, 2012 at 14:12
  • 1
    The walls are currently painted, and have lath and plaster. Our end goal is to 'bury' any odors with the shellac, then mud (skim-coat) over the walls to create a different texture to the walls.
    – RET
    May 30, 2012 at 14:38
  • 1
    If the walls are already painted, that's an issue right there. You'd likely going to have to go with a quality primer first. Something that will allow the mud to nicely bond--but even then, you're somewhat at the mercy of the existing layers of paint bonding well. So, prime, skim coat, THEN shellac. (Actually, if you go with a really good primer, you might not even need the shellac).
    – DA01
    May 30, 2012 at 16:06

2 Answers 2


Yes. This fine plastering expert actually recommends it:

If the surface is new, eliminate any possibility of coating failure by priming the surface in an oil primer, B-I-N SHELLAC BASE is preferred.

Here is another expert plasterer doing the same.

  • I am attempting an identical project (nicotine stained walls and shellac). My email is on my profile if you would like to discuss your experience.
    – skybreaker
    May 31, 2012 at 1:45
  • My experience is that priming before you mud makes the mudding job much better. The mud will dry more evenly.
    – Edwin
    Jun 28, 2013 at 8:15

I’ve done a lot of small projects doing this exact thing but never whole walls. However, I would do at least two coats of primer (natural Shellac is best) and then sand (220 grit) and wipe the walls down with a damp (not soaking wet) cloth and then allow to dry well before plastering. *You may need to rinse / wring the cloth a few times depending on how much dust you’re picking up.

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