Thick layer of wax on 1940's bedroom set?? Please help. crosspost

detroit_burbNovember 30, 2012

I am trying to prepare this set to be used for my daughter. There is a thin top layer of amber shellac which sands off very easily, and then under that the finish looks dull. When I sand, the dust is all light yellow, I am not sanding any wood away. It seems that under this dull haze is a layer that is more glowing, the layers can be seen in these pictures. Towards the top is the shellac shiny layer, to the left is the dull layer, and to the right is the glowing layer. Is the dull haze a thick layer of wax?? Initially I thought it was original finish, now I'm not sure. Is sanding the right thing to do?

Thanks all!

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bobismyuncle

Old finish, particularly lacquer, will get like this.

Sanding is OK to abrade a finish to rough it up, dull it, or remove superficial defects.

You want to completely remove the failed old finish and the best way to do that is with a chemical stripper. Your new finish will never be better than what's underneath and you will not be able to completely remove it by sanding, unless you start taking off lots of wood (like in floor refinishing).

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 2:27PM
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detroit_burb

bobsmyuncle,
I am concerned about overdoing it, the piece is oak and is blonded or pickled, I'm not sure what to call it. The underside of the vanity stool has evidence of light yellow paint applied before the ultimate finish, if I chemically strip it, I am concerned that I will lose this effect.

What process/products do you recommend for stripping? could this be done indoors?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 3:54PM
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