lacquer or varnish

Old 12-18-05, 01:48 PM
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lacquer or varnish

I need to repair a small area of the finish of my dining room table which seems to have come off recently. (I don't know how or when the finish came off, but it is a square patch so it must be something that was sitting on the table.) I don't know how to determine if the finish is lacquer or varnish. It is a circa 1920's table, which is why I guess it is not polyurathane or shellac. I bought the lacquer (semi-gloss) since I also can't really tell what gloss the finish is, but thought I'd get a second opinion before I open it and can't return it. It is an old piece and has not been refinished. thank you for any opinions on how to determine the finish, or more experienced guess.
Old 01-05-06, 07:37 AM
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Dampen a rag with rubbing alcohol and rub a small spot on a hidden section of one leg. IF the rag starts to stick, the finish is either shellac or lacquer.

If not, it's varnish

Modern day lacquer is compatible with either lacquer of shellac older finishes.

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