What Finish?

Have a questions on finishing, refinishing, or restoring <br />wood furniture or cabinetry? This is the place to ask!

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wmichaelb
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What Finish?

Postby wmichaelb » Tue Jul 28, 2020 5:08 pm

My wife and I would like to refinish our bedroom furniture, which looks like it dates to the 30's or 40's. The bed dates to before mattress sizes were standardized, and was modified to accept a full size mattress, just as a reference point. I did include a couple of snapshots, just o illustrate the style. We really, really like the tone of the stain, but the finish is worn. As a result, we'd like to simply clean and sand the surface, and then put one or two more coats on top. Stripping them would lose the stain tone. Does anyone have any idea what the most common finishes were for manufactured furniture in that time period? When did sprayed lacquer become common? Would it be safe to use a water based urethane, or would we need oil based varnish? Or ?? Any opinions would be welcome, and thanks in advance.

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Bob Boardman
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Re: What Finish?

Postby Bob Boardman » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:59 am

Lacquer was just coming into use at that time. The finish was probably oil based varnish. If sanding be careful not to sand thru finisih and remove color. It's common to add some dye or stain to the finish.

I'd light sand with a 400 grit paper, vacuum up dust, and, if practical, get a spray can of Sealcoat and apply it to the bed surfaces. Sealcoat is shellac, and shellac blends with either oil or water base finishes
Bob "Boardman" Borders

wmichaelb
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Re: What Finish?

Postby wmichaelb » Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:53 am

Thanks, Bob! We have a chair to start with and to test how it goes, but that sounds good.


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