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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am restoring and refinishing an antique Singer sewing machine cabinet and then converting it to a TV stand for my daughter.

The problem that I have run into is some veneer breakdown on the top surface. Clearly I sanded down too much in trying to eliminate problems with the top. The highlighted area in the picture shows the problem. Since the top will not be “used” in the conventional sense (a TV will be resting on it) I only want to prevent any future issues with the veneer.

The advice that I am looking for is what is the best way to seal the veneer break down area to minimize any future issues? Will multiple (3 or 4 or 5) coats of Zinsser SealCoat diluted 50/50 with DNA (followed by 6 wiped on thin coats of MinWax fast drying poly diluted 50/50 with MS) do the trick.
 

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No need to do anything special. Antiques have been completely sanded before they finished them. You should avoid any sanding when stripping and refinishing but everyone grabs the sandpaper. If a little sanding is needed on dinged areas, never use a power sander. Don't go to extremes when finishing, you may create a lot of problems. I'd recommend using Minwax wipe on poly, only. Wipe it completely with each coat, no other sealers or thinners. 3 or 4 light applications will be easy, no runs, drips or errors.
 

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You might go ahead and try to color the dark spots showing the core veneer. I sometimes mix some paint the color of the wood and touch up a place like that. If you have gotten into "burn in", You could go ahead and start the finish and chisel out the dark core veneer and fill the void with the shellac sticks. Then some of the grain can be reproduced with graining pens. Even though the top may now be covered by a TV, it may not always.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No need to do anything special. Antiques have been completely sanded before they finished them. You should avoid any sanding when stripping and refinishing but everyone grabs the sandpaper. If a little sanding is needed on dinged areas, never use a power sander. Don't go to extremes when finishing, you may create a lot of problems. I'd recommend using Minwax wipe on poly, only. Wipe it completely with each coat, no other sealers or thinners. 3 or 4 light applications will be easy, no runs, drips or errors.
Hammer1, thanks for the input. This piece had too many issues to be able to avoid sanding. My standard finishing approach is the wipe on poly only with 5 or 6 coats. I still am not sure if that provides enough protection in this situation.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
You might go ahead and try to color the dark spots showing the core veneer. I sometimes mix some paint the color of the wood and touch up a place like that. If you have gotten into "burn in", You could go ahead and start the finish and chisel out the dark core veneer and fill the void with the shellac sticks. Then some of the grain can be reproduced with graining pens. Even though the top may now be covered by a TV, it may not always.
Steve, thanks for the feedback. I do have some veneer burn in here that I will attempt to fix using your suggestions.

Gary
 

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Steve, thanks for the feedback. I do have some veneer burn in here that I will attempt to fix using your suggestions.

Gary
Since you work on antiques, have you ever used "burn in". I think you would like it. They are hard colored shellac sticks that you melt in with a soldering iron with a wide blade. It's like a hot putty knife that melts the sticks. It's something you might use to repair some furniture without refinishing. I have a client that has a great dane that likes to nibble on her furniture. From time to time I have to go there and put the corners back on her tables. It's something I can do there in her house. Once the sticks are cool they are hard. It only takes a little practice to master. The only thing you have to watch is staying so long in one spot you blister the finish with the hot knive. I just bought the knife and some sticks and taught myself. I practiced on furniture I was going to refinish anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Since you work on antiques, have you ever used "burn in". I think you would like it. They are hard colored shellac sticks that you melt in with a soldering iron with a wide blade. It's like a hot putty knife that melts the sticks. It's something you might use to repair some furniture without refinishing. I have a client that has a great dane that likes to nibble on her furniture. From time to time I have to go there and put the corners back on her tables. It's something I can do there in her house. Once the sticks are cool they are hard. It only takes a little practice to master. The only thing you have to watch is staying so long in one spot you blister the finish with the hot knive. I just bought the knife and some sticks and taught myself. I practiced on furniture I was going to refinish anyway.
Steve clearly I am not familiar with burn in because I was incorrectly using the term. It sounds like it is a useful skill for me to learn but it will take some practice. Thanks.

Gary
 

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Steve clearly I am not familiar with burn in because I was incorrectly using the term. It sounds like it is a useful skill for me to learn but it will take some practice. Thanks.

Gary
If the veneer isn't peeling or delaminating, I would just leave it alone. Worn areas in the veneer can be colored/filled to become less obvious to invisible (depending on your skill).

You can do the touch ups a variety of ways, you could use dyes or stains, and a small artist brush. Most oil base stains don't work well out of the can to do touch ups on a finished surface that has some kind of topcoat. I've had some luck with letting some of the liquid sit wet on a rag, and letting it congeal somewhat from drying, and then use a small brush to artistically color in the area needing it.

For some areas that have some depth, the shellac stick method works very well, and is fairly easy to learn. The sticks themselves come in various colors. The idea is heating them to melt, and them applying the heated liquid to the area. You could use a burn in knife, which could take getting used to.

Or, you could use a small alcohol burner, that has a small flame, and you use a small spatula to heat the shellac, to apply. The spatulas come in a variety of shapes.







.
 

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Steve clearly I am not familiar with burn in because I was incorrectly using the term. It sounds like it is a useful skill for me to learn but it will take some practice. Thanks.

Gary
You might watch this video to get an idea about burn in. I watched some of it however my computer doesn't have sound so I can't say for certain I agree with everything he did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If the veneer isn't peeling or delaminating, I would just leave it alone. Worn areas in the veneer can be colored/filled to become less obvious to invisible (depending on your skill).

You can do the touch ups a variety of ways, you could use dyes or stains, and a small artist brush. Most oil base stains don't work well out of the can to do touch ups on a finished surface that has some kind of topcoat. I've had some luck with letting some of the liquid sit wet on a rag, and letting it congeal somewhat from drying, and then use a small brush to artistically color in the area needing it.

For some areas that have some depth, the shellac stick method works very well, and is fairly easy to learn. The sticks themselves come in various colors. The idea is heating them to melt, and them applying the heated liquid to the area. You could use a burn in knife, which could take getting used to.

Or, you could use a small alcohol burner, that has a small flame, and you use a small spatula to heat the shellac, to apply. The spatulas come in a variety of shapes.











.
Cabinetman, thank you very much for all the additional guidance. I don't have these skills yet but sure would like to.

Gary
 
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