Need guidance restaining two vanities to match - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 4 Old 02-12-2016, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Need guidance restaining two vanities to match

Hello all,

I am looking for a little guidance, and perusing the forum, it looks like I've landed in the right place. So, a little background on my project. We are building a house and I have found two identical wash stands/ vanities I want to use in my bathroom. The are well over 100 years old and in good condition. The problem is that they were stored in two different locations, so the stain/finish on one is lighter than the other. I hope to clean them and try to re-stain them to match. I am having some trouble figuring out what I have for a finish, and the best way to clean them. I wiped both lacquer thinner and denatured alcohol on some of the panels assuming I would need to remove either wax or a shellac/lacquer finish, but neither one of those products did much. I've used the turpentine/vinegar/linseed oil on other pieces in the past, but I assume if the DNA and thinner didn't work the T/V/L wouldn't either. Do y'all have some suggestions on how to proceed?
Thank you

Mudd
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post #2 of 4 Old 02-12-2016, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Mudd View Post
Hello all,

I am looking for a little guidance, and perusing the forum, it looks like I've landed in the right place. So, a little background on my project. We are building a house and I have found two identical wash stands/ vanities I want to use in my bathroom. The are well over 100 years old and in good condition. The problem is that they were stored in two different locations, so the stain/finish on one is lighter than the other. I hope to clean them and try to re-stain them to match. I am having some trouble figuring out what I have for a finish, and the best way to clean them. I wiped both lacquer thinner and denatured alcohol on some of the panels assuming I would need to remove either wax or a shellac/lacquer finish, but neither one of those products did much. I've used the turpentine/vinegar/linseed oil on other pieces in the past, but I assume if the DNA and thinner didn't work the T/V/L wouldn't either. Do y'all have some suggestions on how to proceed?
Thank you

Mudd
If its truly 100 years old, you should be OK. I would simply wipe it down good with Naptha, then go back over it with a deglosser or liquid sandpaper.....no need to sand if you use this product unless there are rough spots on or in the finish. The liquid sandpaper will etch the finish and will make any finish you put on it adhere. Then I would make up an alcohol dye stain and match each of the vanitys up with each other by "shading" the color in.

Usually I recommend a conversion varnish for all bathroom vanitys and kitchen cabinets, but in this case since its that old, i would simply finish them in a NC lacquer and call it a day. If you use a precat or any catalyzed system over the existing finish you have right now, it may crack unless it was originally a catalyzed system, which I doubt it is.
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post #3 of 4 Old 02-12-2016, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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I would have never thought about the liquid sandpaper. I was not looking forward to sanding all those nooks and crannies. I do believe the alcohol stain is above my skill level. Thank you for the tips.
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post #4 of 4 Old 02-12-2016, 11:07 PM
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I would have never thought about the liquid sandpaper. I was not looking forward to sanding all those nooks and crannies. I do believe the alcohol stain is above my skill level. Thank you for the tips.
The liquid sandpaper cleans it more than anything. You still need to scuff sand it if it has a film finish on it. A dye stain isn't difficult to do but you have to spray it on. The only thing you have to watch out for is it looks like nothing when you spray a coat on. It's easy to get the project too dark. The best thing to do is on a inconspicuous place spray the dye on and then topcoat it to see if the color is right. If it's not enough you can use two or more coats if need be. If you need to adjust the color very much then refinishing is in order. Too much dye and the project will start looking painted.
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