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Re: antique wardrobe

Posted By: James Schooley (0-1pool247-116.nas2.sioux-city1.ia.us.da.qwest.net)
Date: 6/30/4 01:11

In Response To: antique wardrobe (Katrina)

There are many threads on this forum that detail this topic but I can give you the brief concept. First you need to go to the library and find a good book on refinishing, like "the Furniture Doctor" or Bob Flexner's "Weekend Refinisher", many questions you will need to have answered, if you wish to do the job right.

There are many good strippers and some lousey ones too. the best ones have metholene chloride in them and the "safe" ones are slow and end up costing a lot more in money and your time. Fresh air and shade are important, no fans, as they slow down the stripper. Heavy gloves and safty googles are a must. A putty knife with the corners ground off for scrapeing, and a cheep brush.

I am reminded to tell you all to take the furniture apart first, but you probably knew that. Put the stripper on heavy and let it work, an old finish will come off easy so a liquid stripper will do, I prefer Old Masters TM1, for old shellac and lacquer which is most likely what you have. Once you have cleaned a practical area, 12" x 12", down to to bare wood, rinse it with a solvent like denatured alcohol, or lacquer thinner and a coarse rag or 0000 steel wool. BOTH ARE HUGHLY FLAMABLE After all the finish has been removed you will need to rinse again.

As for the finishing, expect to sand lightly with 150 grit sand paper and avoid those nasty electric sanders, they only leave a mess of scratshes. Sand with an penetrating oil like Watco stain, in a color like the original. The original finish would have been shellac befor 1945, and so I would find a good wax free brand that has a two year or less shelf life. Sand lightly between coats with 320 grit sand paper and after three coats buff to a satin sheen and wax with a good quality toluene free furniture wax. Don't get too hung up on the exact wax, it's not a permament feature.

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