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ANTIQUE FURNITURE RESTORATION DISCUSSION BOARD

Re: Alligatoring

Posted By: James Schooley <jschooleyfamily@earthlink.net> (pmspen1-172.rconnect.com)
Date: 5/18/3 14:11

In Response To: Alligatoring (John Cole)

The solution for this problem is severe either way, as restoration in the true sense is not quite possible. If you strip this finish you will get the best looking results. You can remove the old shellac with a mixture of 1/3 lacquer and 2/3 denatured alcohol, so you don't ruin the delicate pieces of inlay and veneer. Unfortunately this will sort of distroy the original finish. However a more tricky restoration-like repair can be made. The idea is to use a re-amalgamater, the shellac can be carefully disolved and redistributed as a cleaner smother and less thin coat of shellac. I would clean very well with naptha and a scouring pad to remove as much dirt and wax as possible. Also a white vinegar scrub will get at a lot of the dirt. Next you will need to pick up an old aligatored item at the used furniture store to experiment on. Using denatured alcohol and a good brush lay down an even coat of the alcohol on a 12" square area, let this soak in a few minutes and using a light touch and a wet brush, start brushing over the top of the finish and wipe the resulting sludge off the tip of the brush into a seperate can. As you work you are removeng the old polluted top of the shellac and leaving a thinner cleaner film behind. Try to spread an even layer with out thick areas, this is the tricky part, keep adding more alcohol and wetting down the hole mess so that you end up with a nice wet coat you can brush out. Work as big as you can and still keep an active wet edge. Later light sand wuth 220 grit sand paper, wipe off any dust, recoat with a couple new coats of 1 1/2 Lb. cut fresh shellac. Sand between coats with 320 grit sand paper, wait a week buff wuth 0000 steel wool, and use a good toluene free wax to buff up to a satin shine.

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