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ANTIQUE FURNITURE RESTORATION DISCUSSION BOARD

Re: making furniture pieces match

Posted By: roger demuth <fero@sbcglobal.net> (adsl-68-72-211-162.dsl.akrnoh.ameritech.net)
Date: 3/13/5 14:50

In Response To: Re: making furniture pieces match (Greg Scholl)

I think some of us are dipping into the spirits a little too much!

As to the leather top. If the old finish was shellac (and it must have been if alchohol removed it), you can test to see if there shellac on the leather. Carefully and very lightly rub a tiny bit of alcohol on the leather. If there is shellac on it, it should get sticky. Just don't take too much off - just enough for a test. If there is no finish on it you can treat it just like any leather - with leather cleaner. I would suggest shellacing the leather when you refinish to protect it better. If there is shellac on itI would not recommending trying to strip it with alcohol. Clean it well with mineral spirits and lightly sand it smooth with very fine sandpaper or synthetic steel wool. By very fine I mean like 400. Then you can procede to finish the whole piece, including another coat or so of shellac on the leather. I have a leather top table in my shop right now and that is how I am proceeding with it, only I am using shellac as a sealer to be folloewed with lacquer.

Generally I don't recommend shellac as a top coat to my customers because most of the furniture I do is for everyday use - often with kids in the house. Lacquer or poly are better choices for non-antique pieces as they do hold up better. Shellac makes for a beautiful finish but to my way of thinking it is appropriate mainly for valuable old antiques where you want it to look as original as possible. I don't get a lot of real antiques, so my business is more refinishing than restoration.

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