Hints and Cautions

When the surface is soft, it can easily pick up lint and dust. For that reason, use lint-

free cloths and work in an area where dust is not a problem. Both shellac and lacquer dry quickly, so the surfaces do not have to be protected for long.

For reamalgamation of shellac, use only pure denatured alcohol. Some alcohols are cut with water, and the water in these mixtures will cause the surface to turn white. In addition, work with shellac oil a day when the humidity is low or in an a£rConditioned room, since high humidity also can cause blooming.


Old furniture, and especially old furniture that has been stored for a long time, sometimes looks as though there were a haze over its surfaces. This haze may remain even after thorough cleaning. There are dozens of reasons for this, from absorption of moisture to exposure to the sun. Whatever the reason, the haze must be removed. Sometimes you can do it. and sometimes you can't. If you can't, then the best procedure is to strip the old finish away and apply a new one.

Fog on Lacquer Try reamalgamation. or try applying a new coat of clear lacquer, which will have the same effect as reamalgamation.

Fog on Shellac Try reamalgamation or a new coat of white shellac.

Fog on Varnish Rub the surface down with fine steel wool, on the theory that the problem is on the surface itself and that the finish under the surface is still sound. After the rubdown, apply paste wax to a small area and observe how the finish looks. If the fog remains, you can assume that the fogging has gone deep and that a new finish is required. See chapters 7, 8 and 9 for instruction.

HOW TO REPAIR There are two kinds SCRATCHES ON of scratches that THE SURFACE can plague you in furniture restoration. The first is the deep scratch, usually caused by something sharp dragged over the surface. The second is a collection of fine scratches, commonly caused by normal daily use, which create a matte or dull area on the surface.

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