Tag Archives: varnish

Indian Varnish

In the seventeenth-century, highly fashionable imported goods from the East (such as printed fabrics and lacquered furniture) were often collectively referred to as ‘Indian’, no matter whether they originated in China, India, Japan, Korea etc. ‘Indian’ or ‘India’ varnish is … Continue reading

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Suitable Spirit for Varnish-Making

When making spirit varnishes for polishing furniture etc., the gums and resins (colophony, sandarac and shellac etc.) are dissolved in ethyl alcohol (ethanol) – or more acceptably, for safety reasons these days – Industrial Methylated Spirit (IMS or ‘meths’). Meths … Continue reading

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To Make Tortoise Shell Japan

Talking – as I was, with someone the other day – about the various methods I employed to simulate tortoise shell (and indeed, ‘tortoise shell’) on an earlier girandole and chest of drawers I made; I herewith append (as promised) William … Continue reading

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Seventeenth-Century Instruction on Varnishing

I say seventeenth-century; the following excerpt from William Salmon’s Polygraphice was published in 1701, but was plagiarised from Stalker & Parker’s earlier work, A Treatise on Japanning and Varnishing, published in 1668 (varnishing, varnish-making and finishing in general have long … Continue reading

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