A meeting place for regulars to discuss the lighter side of old-houses.
Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:22 pm
I recently acquired a fabulous oak medicine cabinet from the 1920s with its original dark stain. Although the finish is dull, the stain is intact except for a few areas where there is water spotting. It has been kept in a barn for the past two years and the wood is quite dry. What would be my best course of action for reviving this piece without stripping and refinishing?
Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:54 pm
check with denatured alcohol in an inconspicuous spot. if it comes off easily there are a plethora of threads here as to how to clean it. if it is shellac i usually just make a light wipe with a fine steel wool pad soaked in DA to rejuvenate old pieces which i wnt to retain their patina.
Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:36 pm
I would think that the original finish is still shellac, so you can easily just add a few thin new coats, and buff-it out with #0000 steel wool lubricated in paste wax. This is how I refinish my antique clocks (the ones that are too far gone).
Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:07 pm
My wife recently "found" an old table sitting by the side of the road. It was in horrible shape. So one night I got bored and instead of torturing the household with my guitar playing I went down to the shop and had a go at it with some Formby's furniture refinisher. It worked wonders on the thing. I refinished with two coats of amber shellac and a bit of spar varnish on the top.
Here it is in progress...
I always thought Formbys' was snake oil. It'll get the job done.
Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:08 am
Wow that's a nice table; what a great find!
Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:27 am
Funny you mentioned Formby's - that's what I ended up using on the cabinet and it looks great. When we are ready to actually install it as a working bathroom medicine cabinet I will need to put a coat of varnish on it to protect it. Thanks for all the suggestions!
Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:32 pm
I just read this for the first time. I would love to see a picture of the medicine cabinet. I was wondering if the one in my bathroom could be oak. I have never seen one like mine that was not painted. All of the woodwork in my house, including the bathroom and water closet is oak. So I though maybe the medicine cabinet might be also.
Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:56 pm
I can't see the picture!
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