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Old 03-05-2011, 08:07 AM   #7
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Vermont
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Default ADDED - Adrian's (oinkitt) post

I have copied and pasted Adrians comments from another thread, even though this present thread is closed for additional posts (moderator privilege). Please read the original thread to put these statements in context and thanks, Adrian, for the additional comments.

An original finish should never be removed from any item. The problem is that most people donít understand this and proceed to remove it either chemically or mechanically. I have to be honest, when I got my first antique set of drawers 30 years ago I took it home, got my belt sander out, well you know the result. Half way through I learnt about patina, and sold the drawers unfinished. When I look back I think, sure I wrecked those drawers, but it was nothing of importance and learning that lesson saved all the real important furniture I got from that point.

As it says in the link in your post Ė wax and oil finishes went out when shellac finishes were devised in the 1700s. These finishes are extremely labour intensive to do, and chances are you will never come across one. I never have.

Thank you for bringing up the point re the decals. One should generally never coat decals or paper items with any lacquer product. I would carefully go around the decal with a small artists brush. Remember the thin shellac will bleed from your edge so donít load the brush too much. If you donít know what to do Ė DO NOTHING!!!!Think about it for a while, experiment on a similar scrap piece of wood. There is plenty of time to do something in the future. I have just finished a model boat I left for 4 years because I wasnít sure what to do with it.

I use the products that are in your link.

I generally use red button shellac or brown flakes. Choose the colour depending on the finish you are trying to create or recreate. All of the flake or button shellac is dewaxed and easy to use. I NEVER USE POLYURATHANE UNLESS DOING MODERN WORK.
Shellac can also be coloured with natural pigments to match any finish. These pigments are in powder form and come in an amazing colour range however browns and black are the main ones most people use. Remember when using pigments Ė a little goes a long way. Is better to slowly build up the colour coat by coat, you generally canít mix in lots of pigment and build the colour up quick. My prop was the exception to that rule. Remember each finish is unique.

The best solvent to use is denatured alcohol as it has no water in it so it evaporates quickly, itís a little hard to get so most people use methalated spirits which is nearly as good.

Itís hard to tell you how much flake to add to the liquid. I make 5 litres at a time. I make a pretty thick mix, when I use it I add liquid to thin it if necessary. A thin mix is little thicker than water, say 25% shellac, 75% metho/alcohol.

To apply the finish over an existing finish I generally use a very soft brush. I use depurfumed skunk hair brushes.

To remove dust us a soft brush or low pressure compressed air. Donít use alcohol or metho it will remove the existing finish. A damp cloth can be used if the finish is reasonably smooth.

I hope this has answered you questions.



Last edited by Dave; 03-06-2011 at 06:31 AM.
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