Tag Archives: spirit varnish

A Trio of Lath-Back Windsor Chairs – Part Three

The chairs were washed down with hot soapy water and then stained. When dry, I (spirit) varnished the chairs, during which, I gave them a little additional colour before finally waxing them (figs. 1-12). Fig. 1. Fig. 2. The pegs … Continue reading

Posted in Seating | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Ives, Diall’s & Co. Oil and Spirit Varnish Manufactory

Before the process of ‘French polishing’ was broadly adopted for finishing woodwork, a great deal of eighteenth-century furniture was simply, but skilfully polished with spirit varnish, laid on with a brush and then flattened. Colophony, copal, mastic, sandarac and shellac … Continue reading

Posted in Staining, colouring and polishing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

George II Walnut Ladderback Chair – Part Four

The use of spirit and oil varnishes is documented well before the second quarter of the eighteenth-century whence this chair hails from. However, despite the protection and gloss that varnish affords furniture, chairs of this period often received nothing more … Continue reading

Posted in Seating | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

A William and Mary Simulated Tortoiseshell Chest of Drawers – Part Six

Upon examining early japanned furniture, it becomes apparent why so much testudinally painted furniture was surrendered to japanners and other artists accomplished in chinoiserie. The least convincing simulated tortoiseshell finishes are bedaubed with a repetitive pattern more reminiscent of leopard … Continue reading

Posted in Case Furniture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

A George III Mahogany Kneehole Desk – Part Seven

After cleaning down the desk, I built up a faded mid brown mahogany colour on it and polished it with oil and spirit varnish. The handles were fitted to the drawers and, having finally made up my mind on the … Continue reading

Posted in Case Furniture | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments