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ANTIQUE FURNITURE RESTORATION DISCUSSION BOARD

Re: China cabinet

Posted By: Roger DeMuth <fero@sbcglobal.net> (adsl-68-72-222-236.dsl.akrnoh.ameritech.net)
Date: 3/3/5 19:56

In Response To: Re: China cabinet (James Schooley)

Kelly, Any relation to A. Cassell above? James is absolutely right about the cautions about lead paint. Its really nasty stuff. My experience is that prople in the 1920s went through a phase whena painting over beautiful wood was popular, and it was at that time always lead paint. No need for me to re-hash the cautions.

Oftentimes when they painted furniture they didn't strip the old finish off which leaves basically a sealer coat of shellac or lacquer between the wood and the paint. That prevents the paint from getting into the pores of the wood. Bottom line is use a chemical stipper to see what you have under all that paint. Lead is a problem when you sand but not when you strip chemically. My advice is take it to bare wood with a stripper and see what you have. If you still want to paint that's fine but take it to the bare wood anyway.

Just remember that preperation is paramount. A clear coat of varnish or polyurethane or lacquer will not show as many mistakes as a painted finish. There are three rules in finshing - preparation, preparation, and lastly - preparation.

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