dcsimg

Reviving dull finish on antique oak medicine cabinet

A meeting place for regulars to discuss the lighter side of old-houses.

Moderators: oldhouse, TinaB, Don M, Schag

Reviving dull finish on antique oak medicine cabinet

Postby Queen Anne Victorian on 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?
1894 Marshall Woodard House
Queen Anne Victorian
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:38 am

Re: Reviving dull finish on antique oak medicine cabinet

Postby angolito on 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.
Image
angolito
 
Posts: 3891
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:57 am
Location: st. joseph MO

Re: Reviving dull finish on antique oak medicine cabinet

Postby sooth on 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).
JC
1923 Foursquare
Clockmaker, & Old House Enthusiast
http://my1923foursquare.blogspot.com/
Image
sooth
 
Posts: 1277
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:17 am
Location: Cornwall, Ontario

Re: Reviving dull finish on antique oak medicine cabinet

Postby jeepnstein on 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...

Image

I always thought Formbys' was snake oil. It'll get the job done.
"Pure Stinking Genius, that's what that is. Hey, can someone get me a fire extinguisher?"
jeepnstein
 
Posts: 2196
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2004 10:16 am
Location: Sciotoville, Ohio

Re: Reviving dull finish on antique oak medicine cabinet

Postby Don M on Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:08 am

Wow that's a nice table; what a great find!
1840 Limestone Farmhouse
Image
Don M
 
Posts: 6965
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2003 11:35 am
Location: Boiling Springs, PA

Re: Reviving dull finish on antique oak medicine cabinet

Postby Queen Anne Victorian on 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!
1894 Marshall Woodard House
Queen Anne Victorian
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:38 am

Re: Reviving dull finish on antique oak medicine cabinet

Postby cdnikoloff on 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.
cdnikoloff
 
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 5:24 pm
Location: Middletown - PA

Re: Reviving dull finish on antique oak medicine cabinet

Postby YinzerMama on Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:56 pm

I can't see the picture! :wink:
Image
1938 or '39 craftsman-like bungalow-like kinda thing
YinzerMama
 
Posts: 1487
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2008 8:52 am
Location: Pittsburgh, PA


Return to The Hangout Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron