Decisions/Decisions-What finish?

Old 05-03-02, 07:38 AM
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Decisions/Decisions-What finish?

Like Marta below, I'm refinishing several pieces of old furniture and have now completed the stripping portion of the process. I have two new questions I hope someone can help with.

1. The old finish was actually removed w/lacquer thinner. Do we need to apply/clean w/any sort of neturalizer before applying the finish?

2. The pieces are a pie safe, a buffet, and a large wardrobe . . . what finish should be used . . . polyurethane, lacquer, or some other product?

Thanks so much!
Old 05-03-02, 03:48 PM
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Peggy Sue:

Lacquer thinner is a 'cleaner' I use after using a methylene chloride stripper. It neutralizes the stripper action and helps clean the last remaining debris off the surface. If you used lacquer thinner to remove the finish, you don't need anything else for neutralization - .

A word of caution, however, before we proceed to finishes. You ened to be absolutely certain every trace of the original finish was removed - IF you plan to use either polyurethane or a standard varnish in your refinishing. Neither of these two finishes is compatible with lacquer.If there's any of the original finish left in place when you apply the poly or varnish, it won't set up - and won't dry.

Having said that, the choice of finish is really up to you. If the piece is for show (mostly) and will see little wear, I'd go with lacquer. It's easier and faster than most other finishes.

Polyurethane and standard varnish are more durable than lacquer.

To get a nice 'finished' look without a lot of effort, you may want to consider tung oil, or one of the other 'wipe on' varnishes. They dont' afford a lot of protection, and they DON'T fill the grain (so you can't get a really smooth finish), but they're dirt simple to use. Wipe on, wipe off, repeat as needed.

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