Renew 1920's woodwork

lsohNovember 24, 2009

I purchased a 1920's home. Original windows and trim. The wood finish has naturally blackened with age. No problem there. But some areas are dull. It looks like the entire finish is gone in other areas. It would take years to strip and refinish. Any suggestions on how to freshen up this wood work? I'm not expecting perfection, just hoping for improvement.


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There is a high probability that a 1920's home was finished with shellac (unless refinished or more finished added over the years). Clean first with Dawn and water. Shellac is easy to re-amalgamate with denatured alcohol, then apply a fresh coat of shellac (I recommend buying a can of Zinsser Seal-Coat).

There is a possibility it has a varnish on it. Denatured alcohol will not dissolve it, but will help clean it a bit. You could also use the shellac over the varnish.

Here is a link that might be useful: Follow this link to >Classroom > shellac > repairing shellac

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 1:56PM
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