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If anyone has any good experiences or questions regarding wood finishes to share, I'd love to get a discussion going.  There is nothing more elusive than the perfect wood finish.  I understand that Gustav Stickley spent the remainder of his humble days up in his daughter's attic experimenting with wood finishes.  I've experimented with ammonia fuming, nitric acid, lye, and making my own varnishes from madder root and exotic rosens.  Let me know what you have done and what works!

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Brad, nice work.  Shellac is a very nice product. I can see you did a beautiful job, you put a lot of effort into your work.  Shellac is a quick drying finish, penetration is limited, which comes in handy with some applications.  

You sound like a bloody dag Randall, I could talk restoration with you all day long
any time mate.  

Rory Alexander Bremner said:
You sound like a bloody dag Randall, I could talk restoration with you all day long

Thanks Randall.  It is a lot of work and that Crotch Makore definetly does not make it easy.  

 

While we are on the topic of finishing I was wondering what you use to remove paint from door hardware?  I am re-finishing an old door for a friend and another friend suggested using airplane paint remover since it is less agressive.  The problem is that is not too easy for me to find in my area.

 

Thanks

Randall Marder said:

Brad, nice work.  Shellac is a very nice product. I can see you did a beautiful job, you put a lot of effort into your work.  Shellac is a quick drying finish, penetration is limited, which comes in handy with some applications.  

I've never tried it but some of my customers boiled their hardware in water.  I always used a chemical stripper.  I usually drop the hardware into a bucket and let it soak.  Use a soft brass toothbrush or fine steel wool to help remove paint from the hardwares stamp detail.  Since water is not a factor, you can hose them off. I would recommend you run some tests to see what under the paint, to see what finish or patina is existing.  Maintain the patina whenever possible.  

Use gloves, safety glasses, and contain your runoff when washing off the stripper.  


Brad Shipton said:

Thanks Randall.  It is a lot of work and that Crotch Makore definetly does not make it easy.  

 

While we are on the topic of finishing I was wondering what you use to remove paint from door hardware?  I am re-finishing an old door for a friend and another friend suggested using airplane paint remover since it is less agressive.  The problem is that is not too easy for me to find in my area.

 

Thanks

Randall Marder said:

Brad, nice work.  Shellac is a very nice product. I can see you did a beautiful job, you put a lot of effort into your work.  Shellac is a quick drying finish, penetration is limited, which comes in handy with some applications.  

I don't think I will experiment with boiling.  I am using a chemical paint remover for the painted wood areas and it would be handy for me to use the same on the hardware.  Do you use the same stripper on hardware?  The friend that suggested the airplane stripper happens to have automotive body repair experience.



Randall Marder said:

I've never tried it but some of my customers boiled their hardware in water.  I always used a chemical stripper.  I usually drop the hardware into a bucket and let it soak.  Use a soft brass toothbrush or fine steel wool to help remove paint from the hardwares stamp detail.  Since water is not a factor, you can hose them off. I would recommend you run some tests to see what under the paint, to see what finish or patina is existing.  Maintain the patina whenever possible.  

Use gloves, safety glasses, and contain your runoff when washing off the stripper.  


Brad Shipton said:

Thanks Randall.  It is a lot of work and that Crotch Makore definetly does not make it easy.  

 

While we are on the topic of finishing I was wondering what you use to remove paint from door hardware?  I am re-finishing an old door for a friend and another friend suggested using airplane paint remover since it is less agressive.  The problem is that is not too easy for me to find in my area.

 

Thanks

Randall Marder said:

Brad, nice work.  Shellac is a very nice product. I can see you did a beautiful job, you put a lot of effort into your work.  Shellac is a quick drying finish, penetration is limited, which comes in handy with some applications.  

I have always used the same stripper.  Not home depot products.  Check around to see if anyone is still making commerical stripper thru paint suppliers.  Being a professional and the liabilities I have to avoid, I been using SoyGel, a green commercial stripper.  Just Goggle SoyGel 


Randall Marder said:

I've never tried it but some of my customers boiled their hardware in water.  I always used a chemical stripper.  I usually drop the hardware into a bucket and let it soak.  Use a soft brass toothbrush or fine steel wool to help remove paint from the hardwares stamp detail.  Since water is not a factor, you can hose them off. I would recommend you run some tests to see what under the paint, to see what finish or patina is existing.  Maintain the patina whenever possible.  

Use gloves, safety glasses, and contain your runoff when washing off the stripper.  


Brad Shipton said:

Thanks Randall.  It is a lot of work and that Crotch Makore definetly does not make it easy.  

 

While we are on the topic of finishing I was wondering what you use to remove paint from door hardware?  I am re-finishing an old door for a friend and another friend suggested using airplane paint remover since it is less agressive.  The problem is that is not too easy for me to find in my area.

 

Thanks

Randall Marder said:

Brad, nice work.  Shellac is a very nice product. I can see you did a beautiful job, you put a lot of effort into your work.  Shellac is a quick drying finish, penetration is limited, which comes in handy with some applications.  

Hello,

I spent 3 years stripping and refinishing my woodwork.  For my method and stain mixture, visit my website

http://www.oldhouseguy.com/woodwork 

 

and to see before and after photos  see the My Restoration page.

Good luck, Ken

 

sorry about the bad link - here it is


http://www.oldhouseguy.com/woodwork.php

 


Randall Marder said:

here's a formula to play with.  Take white vinegar, pour into a jar, throw in some steel wool, place a cap on the jar and put it away for some time so the vinegar can dissolves the steel wool.  Never tried it, but after the concoction is ready apply the liquid to oak.  It suppose to turn oak black as ebony.  It suppose to be the technique that Mackintosh used when he turn his high back oak chairs black.  I hope my memory is correct on this concoction.
I like the look and feel of a Danish oil finish.

Dear Paul, Randall, and others...

These restored doors are simply lovely.  I am working on exterior windows from 1925 - does anyone have suggestions?  The windows were painted - inside and out, and I'm planning to paint the outside, but would like to go back to wood finish on the inside.  I saw the stipper than Randall Marder is now using, and I will certainly check that out. 

Any suggestions of products to use to finish the inside wood once it is rid of the paint?  I really don't like polyurethane, so I'm open to suggestions.  The finish will need to be weatherproof in case these 8 over 1 double hung windows get left open by accident. 

 

Looking forward to your comments. 

 

Cindy by the Sea...

 

 

 

Please do not dip strip them.  The solution will destroy the patina and glue.  Do not use water base chemical stripper, only oil base.  Water base will discolor the patina.  If you do not want to use any chemicals or as little as possible you can remove the paint by using screw drivers, chisel, or a piece of metal.  I know this may seem crazy but it works.  Take your tool of choice and hold the toolx at a (approximately) 90 degree angle to the surface.  Pull the tool towards you and a fine layer will be cabinet scrape away.  Practice to get a feel.  On round surfaces do the same approach in a straight line.  Adjust to the curvature and repeat.  This does work and will remove the paint with out disturbing the wood and patina.  If you decide to use an oil base stripper, first apply the stripper and wait either over night or at least a few hours.  Latex paints will be the easy layer to remove, it is old paint that will be slower.  Let the stripper do the work.  DO NOT APPLY THE STRIPPER LIKE YOUR PAINTING< DAB ON SWIRL DAB.  Sorry for the caps, caps are effective.    The picture of the french door and the Victorian door, the finish was removed with out any chemicals and the owner did the work with my guidance.  

One more thing, if you have to use a chemical stripper, and you do it right, you will not have to sand or barely sand.  The next set of pictures show a set of pocket doors painted 4 coats of paint.  I hand stripped the entire room.  The stain color you see is the original color discovered under the paint.  The only sanding I had to do was some light sanding using only 220 grit to soften the edges so no one would get a splinter. 

all picture are copyrighted 7 15 11

In regards to finishes, I make my own oil base finishes, the same finishes I rediscovered when saving and restoring the Gamble House Museum woodwork and furniture

Good luck, be safe, have fun (it's work)

Randall

www.rmdesignconst.com

 

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