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Repairing damaged finish...ebonised?

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RogerS

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LOML bought this pair of antique tables online - advertised as ebonised. Unfortunately the muppets packed them by inverting them to protect the legs (plus point) but didn't provide any padding to stop the tables being jammed together in transit (mega-minus). Result - you can see where one of the legs on each scraped away at the finish.

So best way to touch up this area. Question - Is it really ebonised? I have no experience but always thought that ebonising went quite deep and the bare wood looks unscathed to my inexpert eye. If so the I don't need to 'learn' about ebonising for those small areas. Any suggestions ? Black shoe polish springs to mind!

The dealer suggested he'd send some enamel paint !



 

MikeG.

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That absolutely does not look ebonised to me. Drop a PM to MrPercySnodgrass. He's the expert furniture restorer here, I reckon.
 

mrpercysnodgrass

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Ebonising is anything that resembles Ebony so the wood can be stained with spirit or water based stain then polished with shellac with pigment added or varnished. It can also be black paint, blackboard black works very well if it is cut down flat and waxed, black spray paint also works very well. The biggest problem you have is 'black' as a colour does not exist. When you are looking at what you think is black you are in fact looking at either red blue or green or a combination of those colours. (Black only exists in the absense of reflective light) This makes matching the ebonising a little tricky as you need to have a pallet of colours, start with a black then adjust with red blue green and white to get a good match. If you do not have a pallet of spirit and earth pigments to hand you could buy a starter set of artist acrilic paints and mix those .
I would be inclined to mask off the edges with the damage, cut them back with 240g then colour the whole front edge on both pieces, that way if you do not get an exact match it will not show too much as the light will be reflecting off different planes.
 

oakmitre

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Brian Clegg Indian Ink is very cheap for 500ml. You can find it for around £8 delivered.

I'm not sure what is in it, but I would think it is a mixture of water / alcohol / carbon / shellac.

I've mixed it at 10% with water based poly (Ronseal) to produce a very dark black coating.

Not suggesting that you use it on antique furniture, but just thought I would mention it.

You can also throw in some standard talc to control the level of matt.
 
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