I have a desk that a customer has asked me to refinish. It was made back in the 50's. It is a mix of solids and plywood. I thought the top was solid until I got it off and sawed the bottom surface and found it was a different species. I then sawed the edgeband and it appears to be a natural shellac finish. I scuffed a section and rubbed it down with denatured alcohol. The customer wants me to dye it a Jacobean color.
My question is; how can I get the shellac out of the pores of the oak veneer so it will take the dye? I am going to lightly sand the desk down and then "wash" it with the denatured alcohol but Iím not sure if this will be enough and I also don't want to have the veneer delaminate. I will be finishing with a water soluble analine dye, dewaxed shellac and then target oxford wb lacquer.
From contributor J:
Denatured alcohol will remove the shellac, but it's slow. I prefer a paste stripper or something like the liquid "refinishers" out there because they remove the old finish better. Get the wood to the point with the stripper and light sanding where it will accept water when you dribble some on the surface and it doesn't want to bead up. Rather than use the dye with 100% water add about 25% denatured alcohol to it so it "bites" into the stripped wood better. Then continue with the rest of your products.
Second there were some "sweat" rings from the condensation off glasses. Again scrubbing with the spirits and sanding the top when I wiped it down a final time with denatured alcohol and then with water and there was no evidence of them. Once I applied the dye they re-appeared. Again dealing with veneer and it being so thin and so old I was hesitant to go any further with it and they were pretty faint. The customer actually liked them and said she wanted the piece to look "old and well loved" so it worked out for once. My only concern is how to correct that in the future as I am sure not everyone will feel the same way.