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ANTIQUE FURNITURE RESTORATION DISCUSSION BOARD

Re: checked varnish suggested solution

Posted By: Tim McCall (host-209-214-56-198.ard.bellsouth.net)
Date: 9/21/5 22:05

In Response To: checked varnish suggested solution (Raymond L. Watkins)

If checking has occurred in an oil varnish finish there is no way to really reamalgamate the surface - the checking is the result of chemical degredation within the film structure of the finish (which is a chemical oxidized finish). An evaporative or solvent based finish like lacquer will craze primarily due to loss of film flexibility (known as plasticiser migration!) which occurs after a few decades of life. Again, no real cure for this. Shellac and French polish crazing is often induced by the traditional method of using oils in the application process (a wholly unnecessary practise but recmmended in all the books for reasons I can't fathom - I haven't found oils to be required in the last 25 years of French polishing - goes to show you can't believe everything you read!). The expanding oil film and the shrinking shellac (crosslinking over the decades) create the fine checking on the surface.

Long and the short of it - I'd strip and redo unless... the finish is old / antique / valuable / historic.

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