Thursday, February 28, 2008

Modern Shellac Finish

Care: Much old furniture may have a shellac finish, probably refinished at home. Keep moisture away from it; water or a damp environment, as in humidity, makes shellac sticky. Test in an inconspicuous spot with denatured alcohol; shellac will dissolve quickly.
Regular Cleaning: Vacuum and/or dust with a soft, dry cloth; do not use oiled or treated cloth.

Special Cleaning: Protect finish with a liquid furniture wax or cream polish that gives the desired gloss. If dirty, clean with either a cleaning/polishing wax for furniture. Following the directions on the label for cleaning; or use a solution of equal parts of boiled linseed oil and mineral spirits. Moisten a soft cloth with cleaner and rub briskly, changing cloth when soiled. If surface is very dirty, process may have to be repeated. Use 3/0 or 4/0 steel wool to remove stubborn soil and smooth roughened places. If finish is in poor condition, use denatured alcohol to remove, and refinish with modern finish.

CAUTION: When using mineral spirits or other solvents, follow all label directions and warnings. They are flammable, so don't use near flame or spark or pilot light, and don`t smoke.

Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands, and dispose of them afterward or wash with hot suds and let them air dry thoroughly before storing. Work in well- ventilated room and avoid breathing fumes. Air-dry cloths used to evaporate solvent before disposing.

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