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Spruce up old wood trim?

Posted by fori (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 17, 11 at 13:00

I am tempted to commit the crime of painting my wood doors and trim. They are 50s veneered slab doors and mahogany trim (according to a cabinet guy familiar with the neighborhood--I have no idea what it is). It looks bad. It's light, as though it's got old wax or something in the pores. Sort of a driftwood look, but uglier. But it's not sun faded--it's the same inside closets. I can make it less bad with tinted poly but was hoping there was something else to try.

See the whitish scum? Not very well, I know. They look like they were painted then stripped almost, but they weren't. Any suggestions? I can only get that nice goldy orange color to come out with a flash, but I'd like them to look nice in real life!

Also, does anyone have a good source for veneered slab doors similar to these? Some of them are beyond redemption.


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RE: Spruce up old wood trim?

If you have wax on the doors, clean that out before you try anything, or youll end up with a big sticky mess. Try TSP or mineral spirits to clear off the wax (if thats what it is, test an area with turpentine)

Once clean you can shellac them, that will give you that glowing old orange color fast. Use orange shellac flakes (the premixed is more expensive in the end and has wax in it which causes that sticky mess if not applied and cured properly.)

Id recommend not using poly - it will look like plastic and you will have a tough time removing it. Try the classics first (like shellac) and you can always add finishes over that, but cant over poly.


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RE: Spruce up old wood trim?

Thanks, J i m. I'll try that.

And thank you for not laughing at me for wanting that orange glow so many people hate. :)


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RE: Spruce up old wood trim?

that orange glow is what "educated" folk call "patina" and in most cases, the only way to get it is shellac (ok, and sometimes linseed oil, but thats messier and takes long to dry and smells and new studies show it turns black over time, a fault most attribute to shellac, even though most shellac finishes were oiled first ...)

anyway, you need to have a great home that you love - and thanks for trying to maintain the wood and not paint it (ok, if you do, check out colors, so many out there, not everyone needs to use white)


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