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Restoring antique mahogany chest of drawers.

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Ollie78

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Hi,
I have a project to fix up a large chest of drawers. I have no problem with the carpentry side of the job , replacing a few mouldings and veneer and sorting out the badly fitting worn out drawers.

My problem is in the tidying up of the finish. I have ascertained that the finish is shellac/ French polish by testing a bit of meths on the side of the piece.
So I have cleaned it twice with sugar soap to remove any grime.
I am now left with a mixed result in some areas it appears very clean and feels smooth to the touch, in others there is still some residue which feels slightly waxy and if rubbed hard with my finger sort of rubs off.

This cleaning appears to have removed the white water spots that were there before.

Should i sugar soap it again or do I risk damage ? and if so do I need to apply new french polish or can I just wax it ?

The client does not want to spend much money on it and was primarily interested in getting the function of the drawers working and the other repairs. However I would like to send it back looking as good as possible.

Any advice appreciated.
Ollie
 

Chrispy

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I seem to remember using something called reviver for this kind of thing. A mixture of white spirit,linseed oil and vinigar to clean and polish old french polish.
 

twothumbs

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Smith & Rodgerwww.frenchpolishes.com used to have very effective remedial materials much used by the antique trade I seem to recall. May be worth a try as the results were good on early mahogany.

I should have added that a warm iron on clean paper may remove water marks. I sometimes works with care. Use the iron gentle and keeping checking to see how the marks are disappearing. Only takes a mimute to do.

Good luck.
 

Roxie

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I use a mixture, in equal parts, vinegar, white spirit, meths & either danish oil or linseed. Apply using 0000 grade wire wool. This mixture, because of its component parts, will remove the wax, grime and the oil will lubricate the wire wool. I have also been successful in removing "white marks" rubbing more vigorously to create a little warmth.
Hope this helps
John
 
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