Finishing the woodwork, part one

Stripping the woodwork was intense but well worth it. The original finish being Shellac really helped out the process of stripping and refinishing. I brushed on a sprayable methylene chloride stripper (lays on more evenly than paste strippers), then clean up the residue twice with denatured alcohol, which is shellac’s natural solvent. Months later, when it came time to finish the doors, all I need to do was  quickly wash off the dirt and coat with a fresh coat of de-waxed shellac. No sanding… gotta love it! Since shellac is what is called an evaporative finish it ‘melts’ into the existing shellac.

I’ve recoated the stripped door with shellac. The bottom left vertical board is in the process of being finished. Shellac has wonderful clarity and is great first coat or ‘seal’ coat.

Before putting on the varnish, we sand between coats with 280 grit sandpaper then do a touch-up round with an artist’s brush and artists paints.

It’s now a good time to reintroduce Walt…

Walt in the process of touching up the woodwork.

Walt was living in this house with his girlfriend Heather when I first purchased it. There’s a picture of them and part of the their story on the ‘The house’ page. He’s been a house painter all his working career. Since his wife passed away a couple years back, his life hasn’t been easy. I was hesitant to get him involve but so far its worked out well, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by his care, skill, and eagerness.

My touch-up kit

The light dots you see here is the original nail hole putty. They would have been closer to the wood’s color when first installed a hundred + years ago, but most wood naturally darkens over time, also they used a dark amber-ish shellac somewhat hiding them. Unfilled holes don’t bother me but the light putty does.

Small dab with the brush and some color makes them be gone!

About mdejong11

Residential contractor/artist
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3 Responses to Finishing the woodwork, part one

  1. Andrew says:

    Looking good

  2. Remco says:

    Loox good Marky warky.

  3. I would say great finishing more than anything else.

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