LumberJocks

How do I revive old dried out wood on an antique

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by ToddJB posted 06-07-2013 05:36 PM 1160 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ToddJB's profile

ToddJB

2123 posts in 784 days


06-07-2013 05:36 PM

All,

I’m looking to freshen up the lid of this old Cuban humidor. The rest of the wood is in pretty good condition, but this looks like it’s been exposed for a very long time. I’m not trying to bring it back to a “new” condition, but I am looking to make it look less dried out. Lightly sand and apply some oil? If so what would you suggest?

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built


19 replies so far

View crank49's profile

crank49

3433 posts in 1625 days


#1 posted 06-07-2013 05:53 PM

Can you tell what it was finished with before?

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View ToddJB's profile

ToddJB

2123 posts in 784 days


#2 posted 06-07-2013 06:13 PM

I have no idea. This is something one of my wife’s coworkers bought in Cuba and I’ve been asked to “clean up”. From the looks of it it’s pretty old, I’d guess from the 40’s or older. Not sure what available finishes there were back then. It does not look like any heavy clear coat would have been used. The wood looks fairly natural.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

1185 posts in 950 days


#3 posted 06-07-2013 06:46 PM

They greyish areas might be from water damage, and if you oil those they might turn black. I’d give the whole thing a sanding with very fine sandpaper, start with a 1000 grit and work backwards if that isn’t aggressive enough. A couple coats of shellac followed by some paste wax would make it purty.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7554 posts in 2302 days


#4 posted 06-07-2013 07:10 PM

I think it might be finished in shellac. If you can get
a little piece to flake off, try dissolving it in alcohol.

You can dub off the corners of a razor blade and use
it to finely scrape the damaged areas to lift off loose
finish.

Shellac will go on top of and repair almost any finish – it
does take some finesse to do it so well you cannot tell
but you might be surprised at how good it can look
your first time out too.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View ToddJB's profile

ToddJB

2123 posts in 784 days


#5 posted 06-07-2013 07:16 PM

Should I reshellac the whole box then? Just the effected area? Or the whole lid? His biggest concern is to not mess up the flower inlay.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3360 posts in 1467 days


#6 posted 06-07-2013 07:24 PM

Not knowing the original finish, I wouldn’t be brave enough to apply shellac. If it were mine, I might just wipe some Howard’s Feed-n-Wax. It is available at Home Depot with the butcher block oils and furniture waxes.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View ToddJB's profile

ToddJB

2123 posts in 784 days


#7 posted 06-07-2013 07:26 PM

What would that result be?

I’m trying to stay away from the shinny look. It’s very old, looks very old, and should stay looking that way, but a better condition very old, if that makes any sense.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View FredZiffle's profile

FredZiffle

4 posts in 472 days


#8 posted 06-07-2013 07:45 PM

Maybe a little Old English furniture polish?

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

1185 posts in 950 days


#9 posted 06-07-2013 11:40 PM

So lightly sand and apply some wax only. Wax can be removed with mineral spirits. Oil, not so much. If that doesn’t richen it up enough then go to the shellac. It won’t look like polyurethane, it will be duller and look more hand applied. You won’t be killing any patina, only enhancing it.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7554 posts in 2302 days


#10 posted 06-08-2013 12:30 AM

I’d shellac the whole lid. You can strip it off with alcohol
if it looks bad (it really shouldn’t). If you buy more common
shellac, it has an amber color you may not want if you
want to keep the whites as white as possible. In that
can you need to find “super blonde” shellac or whatever
the current palest variety is.

I’d scrape, sand a little (very little) and pad the shellac
onto the problem areas until the ambering seems to
match the old finish pretty well, then lightly sand
with a block to level and then lay on a couple more
shellac coats.

A lot of people work with a 3lb cut, which builds fast –
I tend to work with around a 1 or 2 lb. cut. It builds
slower but the finish goes on thinner, which I like because
I “sort of” french polish usually and occasionally really
do a french polish, which is a technique of compressing
the layers of shellac together as more shellac is applied.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View jim454's profile

jim454

35 posts in 1067 days


#11 posted 06-08-2013 12:43 AM

Use a wood cleaner that is specifically designed for wood, One of the acceptable ways of preserving an antique finish is paste wax, rub it on the wood, let it dry but not completely harden, and then buff it off. The amount of buffing you do will determine how much of a sheen you’re going to have, whether it’s satin, semi-gloss or high gloss. That thin coat of paste wax will seal the original finish, but it won’t change the appearance of it dramatically. The other option you have, if you like rubbing on oils rather than rubbing out paste wax, you can go with Tung Oil.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7554 posts in 2302 days


#12 posted 06-08-2013 12:47 AM

yeah, sometimes waxing and buffing can make a beat-up
finish look pretty good. Try that a little.

Sometimes when it’s just something simple I’ve made
and I want it to stay looking like the real wood, I just
use paste wax. It’s quick and offers a nice look and
a little protection from scuffs and moisture.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10866 posts in 1344 days


#13 posted 06-08-2013 01:26 AM

I would rub some Zinsser Shellac/alcohol (1:1) with a t shirt pad on that piece.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View jimmyb's profile

jimmyb

172 posts in 546 days


#14 posted 06-08-2013 12:38 PM

Been loving the Howard’s Feed-n-Wax. Works great on many of my “vintage” wood revivals I have done.

-- Jim, Tinley Park, IL http://jbuda.net

View jimmyb's profile

jimmyb

172 posts in 546 days


#15 posted 06-08-2013 12:39 PM

Oh and I clean it first with mineral spirits to remove grime.

-- Jim, Tinley Park, IL http://jbuda.net

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase