refinishing cracked shellac surface

Old 03-23-05, 07:47 PM
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refinishing cracked shellac surface

I have an old (60-70 year) item that needs some refinishing. It appears to be cherry veneer but some of the clear shellac topcoat finish is cracking. Is there a way to remove the old shellac without harming the finish underneath, and then applying modern poly?
Old 03-23-05, 09:38 PM
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If it is shellac. Take a cloth dampened in denatured alcohol and touch it to an inconspicuous place and see if it softens the spot. If so, it is shellac. It may be lacquer, softened by lacquer thinner. It may be tung oil, affected by pretty much of nothing.

If it is shellac, the finish can be renewed, then topcoated with polyurethane. It may be best to find out what the finish is, first.

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