I am trying to match a hand-rubbed lacquer finish to a Stickley furniture finish. I will be custom making the side rails and footboard of a Stickley spindle bed and applying them to the existing headboard, so I will need a precise method in matching the sheen. I would greatly appreciate any advice for techniques and finish materials needed to achieve the desired result.
From contributor R:
1. Lacquer was never used.
2. Original finish never used wax.
3. Fuming was done, a very important step to tone the oak.
4. Watco oil or Danish oil is not even close to what was originally used. The application and results will not match.
5. Shellac was not used.
One thing about the hand-rubbed Stickley pieces is that they rub with the grain on stiles and stretchers. Use 4F pumice followed by steel wool and water. On curves and small areas, use a rubbing brush (a good quality shoeshine brush works) with the pumice. Call the factory and see if they'll share info. Some manufacturers do and some don't (Henkl-Harris is a closely guarded secret).
Various stain mediums were used, from water based powders to your basic oil stains to the solvents. The coatings were nitrocellulose lacquers and the finishes looked beautiful.