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Cleaning 1915 Unpainted Oak Trim

Posted by marita40 (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 17, 14 at 12:54

I've just bought a 1915 house with original unpainted oak trim, including box beams and built-ins. Can I assume the finish is shellac? If so, what is the best way to clean it? I've heard conflicting things--paint thinner, Murphy's oil soap, etc.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Cleaning 1915 Unpainted Oak Trim

You can't assume anything. It may be shellac, but someone in the 1970s could have applied a layer of polyurethane or Bona Wood floor finish. Or it could be no finish at all.

Test the finish:

Then look up the recommended cleaning method for that finish.

RE: Cleaning 1915 Unpainted Oak Trim


For an inexpensive and harmless fix, I'd hit it with Scott's Liquid Gold.

RE: Cleaning 1915 Unpainted Oak Trim

Check out the link posted by lazygardens. If you don't find all the answers,follow up on Wood Magazine's online help.
I have subscribed for years and find their articials first rate.
Painting and refinishing is 90% prep and there are no wham bam short cuts to get good results.

RE: Cleaning 1915 Unpainted Oak Trim

Pictures please! :)

RE: Cleaning 1915 Unpainted Oak Trim

I'm not in the house yet jmc--that is, not closed yet--but will send photos soon!

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