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China Cabinet, what stain and varnish?

Wouldy
Experienced Contributor

China Cabinet, what stain and varnish?

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This is my new project. Just restoring it. I stripped the veneer off the top last night. I also took out the broken glass panel from the door and the smaller broken panel on the left side. 

 

I'm just wondering what stain and varnish to get for the finish? Below is a chart for wood types. I'm look for a light yellow birch finish. I think that is the closest match to the color. What do you think? 

 

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There are some minor scratches and scuffs on other parts of the cabinet. I am actually reluctant to touch it. No sanding back if not needed. I'm wondering if I should use a mixture of actually just rubbing some if the scratches out with a microfibre cloth and a liquid solution I have here? 

 

For the deeper scratches and scuffs I'm not sure what to do yet. Any suggestions? Remember it is veneer. Thank you. 

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: China Cabinet, what stain and varnish?

Hi @Wouldy,

 

You'll find a lot of antique furniture is French polished with a shellac-based product. Are you looking to match the un-coated timber colour or the existing colour on the unit's front? If you want to keep the timber's natural colour, you will apply an un-tinted clear coat similar to Cabothane. This process would involve sanding the existing coating off the entire unit before coating. This will ensure all finishes are uniform. If you don't want to sand the heavy scratches out, you can try Waxstix to disguise them.

 

To restore this unit to original, I believe the method would be to sand the entire cabinet with a 180/240 grit sandpaper and then apply a French polish.

 

Let me mention @APEX_Restore to see if they can offer any advice.

 

Mitchell

 

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Wouldy
Experienced Contributor

Re: China Cabinet, what stain and varnish?

Hi Mitchell,

 

Thank you for all this info. I've worked out which way is preferable for me to go with this info and will do the job very nicely I believe. I am looking to match the existing timber on the units front. 

 

I stripped the veneer last night off the top and am going to sand back today. 

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MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: China Cabinet, what stain and varnish?

That's sounds great @Wouldy.

 

I would advise doing a test section with a small amount of product in an inconspicuous location whatever finish you choose. If the stain isn't what you wanted, you can return it and select another one.

 

Please keep us updated, as I'm sure our members will be interested to see how your project turns out.

 

Mitchell

 

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Wouldy
Experienced Contributor

Re: China Cabinet, what stain and varnish?

I actually haven't worked out which stain yet @MitchellMc .Sometimes I get things delivered to my house so I have to select online. 

 

I will definitely do updates. 

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redracer01
Trusted Contributor

Re: China Cabinet, what stain and varnish?

Hello @Wouldy 

 

Looking at the top of the cabinet I can see some light oil stains from possibly candles and lotions that were placed on top of this unit. Perhaps a light furniture cleaner to perhaps remove the stains and to at least bring uniformity to the finish to the top of the cabinet. Very practical suggestions from @MitchellMc I would test before committing.

 

Red


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Wouldy
Experienced Contributor

Re: China Cabinet, what stain and varnish?

Cheers @redracer01 

 

Wouldy

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Wouldy
Experienced Contributor

Re: China Cabinet, what stain and varnish?

I did a spot test with some timber protect golden oak stain and varnish I had. Had to do a few coats. It has come close but it is not a match. I have a feeling that I may need to mix two stains together to get a match. Is that doable? This is the difficult challenge out of the whole project I think. 

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Wouldy
Experienced Contributor

Re: China Cabinet, what stain and varnish?

I think I am going to try this product from timber protect.

 

Timber Protect 250ml Oil Based Light Walnut One Coat Stain And Varnish (bunnings.com.au)

 

I can then put a French polish on top and see how it turns out. For me sanding back the entire thing wasn't really something I wanted to do as there are parts that are in pretty good condition. May still apply wax stick. 

Also when I removed the veneer last night, I decided against the wet towel and iron method to soften the glue and make the veneer easily removable. It can make the wood bow and I really did not want that. I did not have a heat gun and I didn't want to automatically sand it. I removed the veneer on the top with a simple screwdriver and rubber mallet. It was a fair bit of work. Today, I sanded the top back  using 80 grit. I am yet to go over it with 120 grit. I have to also use  wood putty in some parts. 

That is how far I have gotten with the project. 

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MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: China Cabinet, what stain and varnish?

Hi @Wouldy,

 

You can mix stains and varnishes if they are both water or oil-based. You can not mix them if one is water-based and the other oil-based.

 

It would be worth looking at Cabot's range of stains and varnish. Our team can tint the Cabot's base colours sold on the shelf into hundreds of different colours. Here's the Cabot's colour visualiser where you can see some options.

 

Please keep us updated as I trust our members will be interested to see the finished result.

 

Mitchell

 

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