How to test furniture for a shellac finishcomments (3) August 6th, 2010 in blogs
I started my career in woodworking by refinishing furniture. The antique furniture craze was at a fevered pitch and I found that I got a chance to mess around with furniture by restoring the old clunkers, and I could actually make a pretty good living doing it. One of the first problems I encountered was finish compatiblity. Some finishes don't adhere well to others, so it's important to know what finish you're dealing with before starting a refurbishing process. And removing a finish is a lot easier, and potentially less toxic, if you know what solvent will easily dissolve the old gunk.
One of the easiest finishes to discover is shellac. Simply dab some alcohol on a less-than-prominent area of the piece and wait for it to dissolve the finish. If it does, you have shellac.
Roland Johnson is teaching a class on finishing September 13 - 17 at the Northwest Woodworking Studio in Portland, Oregon.
posted in: blogs, finishing, shellac, varnish, lacquer, brushes, stain, dyes
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