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ANTIQUE FURNITURE RESTORATION DISCUSSION BOARD

Re: Clear finish on walnut desk

Posted By: roger demuth <fero@sbcglobal.net> (adsl-69-221-164-162.dsl.akrnoh.ameritech.net)
Date: 4/23/5 13:49

In Response To: Re: Clear finish on walnut desk (James Schooley)

Are you sure its circa 1951? I suppose under the right conditions (heat and sunlight) the finish could crack in 50+ years but I don't recall seeing crazing on a piece that new.

I would proceed as James said but I want to emphasize the use of the naptha he mentioned. New lacquer will stick to old, but not to old waxes, etc, so you must remove contaminents with the naptha. The thing that would most concern me is if the desk has been dusted for years with Pledge or one of its foul cousins. Pledge is loaded with silicone and almost no finish will stick to it, nor have I ever found anything to remove it. This is one of the reasons I seal all old furniture with shellac before putting on the final finish.

I'm currently doing two tables for a customer. When I arrived to pick up the tables she was diligently dusting with Pledge! As expected, when I put on the final finish I ended up with the worst case of fisheyes I have ever seen! So now the tables have a thin coat of shellac sealer, one coat of polyurethane, another coat of shellac and another coat of poly! To make it a decent job I'll be putting on one more coat of poly. It is more finish than I prefer but the alternative was stripping down the top and starting over. It won't be my best work but the blame can be firmly resting on her and Pledge!

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