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ANTIQUE FURNITURE RESTORATION DISCUSSION BOARD

Re: Shellac Finish

Posted By: James Schooley <furnitureissues@earthlink.net> (0-1pool247-73.nas2.sioux-city1.ia.us.da.qwest.net)
Date: 8/1/5 22:16

In Response To: Shellac Finish (Chase Collins)

The practice of using shellac to seal prior to varnish is often used with good results. As for the grainy feel of the surface, that is also common, but good sanding with a light wetting to raise the points hidden in the fiber will help reduce this in the future. Then follow the wetting with a repeat sanding of 150 grit paper of a light endurance. Then vacuum off any dust and if avaible, compressed air at about 35 PSI, to clean out any remaining dust. Lastly, light sand each coat of finish with 320 grit open coat sand paper, till the last coat and this can be buffed to a satin sheen with 0000 steel wool, or left shiney. Once the last coat of finish has hardened off, say 24 to 48 hours. I do a few enexpensive finishes from time to time where the final coat is left to a final sheen with no rubbing, or what is called "off the gun". In this situation any sabding or buffing will change the sheen so I use what I call a razor plane, to remove any of the occasional nibs without scratching the finish. To make a razor plane, take a single edge razor blade and stick a piece of clear adhesive on each side, right over the razor edge, to leave a space open right in the middle. Then when you feel a point in the finish, gently slice it off with the adapted razor, using a diagional (skew) motion. The tape is equal to one thousandath of an inch, and the slice won't show, nor will you feel the nib any longer. But take care not to press too hard as this will bend the center of the blade into the furface, not good.

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