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Pro Restoration of Antique Wood Furniture

Pro painter Nick Slavik shows you how to spruce up an antique that is covered in thick shellac

Historic Vestment Cabinet Restoration! Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA) This Old House

Posted by Nick Slavik on Monday, January 7, 2019

In this video, pro painter Nick Slavik is working on a vestment that is at least 80 years old. A vestment is a special cabinet where supplies for religious services are held. For this project, Nick has been asked to “tastefully clean and restore it” while keeping the patina.

Nick explains that because most shellac finishes are alcohol based, you can “re-wet” the shellac with denatured alcohol, making it easier to get off. After pouring some on a cloth, Nick wrings it out over the area he wants to work on and gently works the area. He rubs the alcohol lightly in circles on the surface with a very fine grit sandpaper. This is so he can loosen up the old finish without losing the stain. If you’re doing it correctly, the surface should become uniquely sticky. Once this happens, just take a rag and wipe off the finish. Once all of the old finish is gone, Nick says he’ll apply an oil varnish over the top.

Nick Slavik is the owner and proprietor of Nick Slavik Painting & Restoration Co. in New Prague, MN. He's the newest member of the TOH family, providing pro painting content for sponsors like Behr Paint.