View Full Version : Finish on old cocktail cabinet

1st Jun 2008, 02:49 PM
I just bought an old - art deco? - cocktail cabinet.
It has figured veneer on the front, with a drop down front, and mirrors inside. The ends have curved glass display cupboards.

The veneer is in good condition except one edge is slightly chipped.

The top appears to be some sort of lacquer / varnish /shellac. It has several scrathes, plus where my husband taped the door shut to move it, he tape lifted some of the finish.

My questions are: how should I repair the chipped edge of the veneer, and how do I find out what sort of finish is on the top?
From reading this forum, I realise that the top cannot be repaired unless I know what the finish is.

I would really appreciate any advice/help as I am such a novice at this.

1st Jun 2008, 06:51 PM
Welcome Shiba, You could try and fill the chips and deep scratches with
wax pencils in a colour to match (if they still exist Stimpson in Glebe sell same or Mother of Pearl in Paddo. I would advise you to try and clean the finish first. Above firms sell a commercial lines. I lent a book with a recipe you can make yourself very cheap and bloody good but I have to many senior moments now so will email friend and try get the recipe and advise you later if you like. Good luck .:)

2nd Jun 2008, 06:58 PM
Gday Shiba, herewith the recipe for cleaning your cabinet. It is well worth the try and could save you a lot of time;
one cup vinegar
one cup turps
one cup BOILED lindseed oil
quarter cup metho
one teaspoon ammonia
Mix all in a screw top jar shank well , apply with paintbrush or rags leave for short time ( 5mins) and wipe off.Hope this will help;:):)

2nd Jun 2008, 07:18 PM
That sure is some cocktail billym. :)Have made a note of it for future use.

7th Aug 2008, 07:52 PM
Hi Shiba,

Are you still needing some advice on your cocktail cabinet? I do these art deco style cabinets alot these days, and can advise you to the best of my recently-garnered knowledge!

1st things 1st, take a cotton bud, dip in metho and rub on the finish in a place you can't see. If the finish 'melts' or gets sticky, it's a shellac finish. If it is shellac - BillyM's Reviver recipe is just what you need!

Rhianna :)

7th Aug 2008, 10:47 PM
It will probably be a nitro cellulous finish, this will go crumbly with meths.
If its a nice cabinate , I'd strip the lot and re shellac. nitro cellulose goes baby poo brown with age, and ther's often really nice timber under it that would have been exposed when the finish was new.