Author Topic: Tips on restoring blonde cabinets???  (Read 2081 times)

vintage cltr

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Tips on restoring blonde cabinets???
« on: June 04, 2015, 09:13:16 AM »
I was seeking a couple opinions on restoring a couple of blonde cabinets. One option I heard was strip the cabinet down and go over it with a few coats of Amber shellac???

Loud and Vintage.... any questions?


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Re: Tips on restoring blonde cabinets???
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2015, 11:27:14 AM »
It depends on how poor your finish is. If it's just scratches and dull spots you could do really well just touching up the spots with stain pens or stain from a can. Minwax has several light colors to choose from as do other brands. You might need to do some tests with different colors as your finish may have faded more or less than someone else's. For example I often use "cherry" to repair "mahogany" due to fading. A tired finish can also be brought back to life with Howards Restor a Finish or Watco Danish Oil. I've used Howard's many times with good success, you just need to repair any missing stain first as it won't add a lot of color.

If the cabinet has major issues stripping the finish is a big job and the veneers are delicate and easily damaged. Some of the guys have done it and can offer their experiences. As far as shellac I would be cautious, my experience with furniture from the 50's and 60's is that the factories used lacquer which dries fast on the assembly line. Shellac is more common on older furniture. I would definitely avoid polyurethane unless you are doing the entire cabinet. Do some reading on these finishes as there can be compatibility issues, each has it's advantages and disadvantages.

Motorola Minion

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Re: Tips on restoring blonde cabinets???
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2015, 10:50:34 AM »
I have an otherwise very nice 1959 Zenith with the "limed oak" finish known as blonde. It looks like paint with woodgrain printed, then all covered with lacquer.
There are some very small impact marks that knocked paint off due to careless handling but the finish is otherwise very nice and not yellowed excessively.

There was a nice selection of touch-up pens at a woodworking store but none even close to a cream color.
I fear the only option I have is to have a chip duplicated for custom paint color. Blend it in, and print on the woodgrain with a gold-brown pen.
What ever I do, I will post before and after in the Zenith tube HiFi forum.
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