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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:07 pm 
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Nounou Moai
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I got my new tiki bar yesterday. The white Formica top is in immaculate shape -- the bamboo is also in excellent shape but the varnish needs to be redone. There are places where it is worn. What's the best way to strip and refinish bamboo without dismantling the whole bar?

And I was thrilled to discover that the dining chairs also swivel!

Here are a couple of pictures -- the vertical bamboo isn't bad, but is scuffed and peeling in a few places. The worst wear is on the foot rail and the "arm rest" around the edge of the Formica. I want to do this right so am open to suggestions.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:26 pm 
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Nounou Moai
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Looks like it might be rattan rather than bamboo? If that's the case maybe you could sand off the varnish and give it a good rub down with some linseed oil. I've never done it before, so I'm sure others will have better ideas.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:37 pm 
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Kere
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It does look like rattan..... And that makes it a bit easier overall to work on, less chance of splitting anything.

Spend some time (lots of it) and sand everything down pretty and smooth. Then go over it with an amber shellac. It will be beautiful and still have a patina of age.

takes lots of pix throughout the process!

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:58 pm 
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Honui Moai
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It is rattan.
Follow Chipster's advice.
You will be most pleased with the result.
You might want to take the bar apart if possible.
Those crevices are hard to reach.
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That's what she said.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:20 pm 
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Nounou Moai
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Chip and Andy wrote:
Spend some time (lots of it) and sand everything down pretty and smooth. Then go over it with an amber shellac. It will be beautiful and still have a patina of age.


I picked up some old rattan furniture, and that's what I was planning on doing.

I don't see any rattan caning on that, but you could always add some if you wanted it:
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Here's one of the places to get it:
http://www.franksupply.com/

When I said I was going to use amber shellac on my chair, T.Skip warned me against it because he said lots of contact with skin oil and sweat will melt it. I contacted the Zinnser company that makes the amber shellac, and they recommend a top coat of spar varnish over the shellac in that case. They said not to use polyurethane over the shellac because it's not compatible, but old fashioned varnish would work fine and add extra durability to high contact areas, like the top railing around your bar.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:35 pm 
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Nounou Moai
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Oh, and you might get some of this to replace the cloth portions:
http://www.franksupply.com/pressincaning.html#webbing

Or some Lauhala matting
http://www.franksupply.com/tropical_matting.htm

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:50 am 
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Nounou Moai
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D'oh! My brain knew it was rattan but my fingers still typed bamboo... :roll:

Thanks for the advice. I'll take lots of progress pics. I'll be starting this weekend.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:01 am 
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Fellow Moai
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I guess it depends largely on the look you are going for, the environment the piece will be in, and the maintenance you are willing to put up with...

Sand, sand, sand, as said before, but do not dig too deep into the material. Just eliminate the finish. Shellac and varnish are a good combo, however they will seal the material (which can be good or bad). You may want this look, but it does tend to be a little shiny. I'm not into the whole shiny shiny look, except on mugs. In your environment it might be the best option.

Oil or wax are other options. They need to be maintained but give a rich, natural look. You can cheat by using a product called "Liquid Gold." Its simple, easy, fast, but not the most healthy for the rattan/wood. Don't get it on walls, fabric, etc.


If someone ends up finding something important from the 30s-50s, avoid too much restoration. On those pieces the finish shouldn't be fussed with, just protect what's there and prevent splits.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:21 am 
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Nounou Moai
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There is something to be said for the patina that this piece of furniture has going for it. Depending on the surroundings, you could just use a protective coating like clear or amber sparr varnish and keep the rustic look!

Cool find!!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:32 pm 
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Nounou Moai
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Tiki Fink wrote:
amber sparr varnish


Is there such a thing? I have looked and couldn't find any. I called Zinnser Paint Company, and they told me that it just wasn't possible to recreate the look of Amber Shellac in varnish or polyurethane. That's when they told me to use clear varnish over the shellac. All of the tinted coatings I could find were in some kind of wood color and didn't come close to the amber color I was looking for.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:37 pm 
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Nounou Moai
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SpaceBoy64 wrote:
When I said I was going to use amber shellac on my chair, T.Skip warned me against it because he said lots of contact with skin oil and sweat will melt it.

I didn't know that sweat would melt shellac, but I do know that alcohol will. Deifinitely not a good idea to have shellac'd items in a bar prone to spills of precious liquids.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:02 pm 
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Nounou Moai
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Scottes wrote:
I didn't know that sweat would melt shellac, but I do know that alcohol will. Deifinitely not a good idea to have shellac'd items in a bar prone to spills of precious liquids.


Good point. Shellac is alcohol soluble. I think a couple of top coats of varnish would protect it though.

I remember a lot of the chairs in our house having problems with melty finish on the arms. I'm not sure what it was. I don't think it was shellac, probably varnish, but after years of contact with human skin the wood finish began to look like a partially melted Clark Bar.

I know there are chemical resistant bar top finishes out there, but I think they're all some kind of polyurethane.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:24 pm 
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Nounou Moai
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Trust me. Spar varnish is good with the booze! I have pics to prove it. And yes, they make tinted spar varnish.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:02 pm 
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Nounou Moai
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Tiki Fink wrote:
Trust me. Spar varnish is good with the booze! I have pics to prove it. And yes, they make tinted spar varnish.

From everything I know, trust him.

About the spar varnish, that is. :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:09 pm 
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Nounou Moai
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Tiki Fink wrote:
And yes, they make tinted spar varnish.


Which companies make it? and where is it available? I went to Home Depot and Lowes, and the local True Value store. Everything available there was some kind of wood color, no amber that I could find.

Thanks.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:58 am 
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Nounou Moai
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Spar varnish as in the vertical spar of a sailing ship? Why would a spar need to be alcohol proof? Unless it's so the matey up in the crow's nest can still drink is grog, even in rough seas. :roll: :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 3:04 pm 
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Nounou Moai
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I always wondered about that myself. Here's the answer:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varnish

Quote:
Spar Varnish

Spar varnish (also called marine varnish) is high quality, waterproof, and sunlight-resistant varnish named for its use on ship or boat spars and other woodwork where a glossy finish is desired. Modified tung oil and phenolic resins are often used. Better grades of spar varnish have substantially higher amounts of uv-absorbers added.


Quote:
Shellac

Main article: shellac

Shellac is a very widely used single component resin varnish that is alcohol soluble. It is not used for outdoor surfaces or where it will come into repeated contact with water such as around a sink or bathtub. The source of shellac resin is a brittle or flaky secretion of the female lac insect, Kerria lacca, found in the forests of Assam and Thailand and harvested from the bark of the trees where she deposits it to provide a sticky hold on the trunk. Shellac is the basis of French polish, a difficult technique that produces an inimitable sheen, and which for centuries has been the preferred finish for fine furniture. Specified "dewaxed" shellac has been processed to remove the waxy substances from original shellac and can be used as a primer and sanding-sealer substrate for other finishes such as polyurethanes, alkyds, oils, and acrylics.

Shellac varnish is typically available in "clear" and "amber" (or "orange") varieties. Other natural color shades such as ruby and yellow are available from specialty pigment or woodworker's supply outlets. "White pigmented" shellac primer paint is widely available in retail outlets, billed as a fast-drying interior primer "problem solver", in that it adheres to a variety of surfaces and seals off odors and smoke stains. Shellac clean-up may be done either with pure alcohol or with ammonia cleansers.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 12:07 pm 
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Nounou Moai
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Eric asked a question I couldn't answer. Won't sanding, even using a fine-grit paper, ruin the natural texture of the rattan? Wouldn't I be better off using a chemical stripper? (OK, that's two questions, but both are worth pondering.)

I appreciate y'all's help.

I've found some great vintage barkcloth to replace the blue fabric, but I ain't posting yet because it hasn't shipped to me, and I don't want anyone to buy it out from under me! :shock: :roll: :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 3:12 pm 
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Nounou Moai
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I have been working on restoring the old papa san chair that I found. I used sand paper on it, and works fairly well. It's surprising how much the rattan is like any other wood. I'll post some picture soon.

Fine sand paper will smooth it out and make it look nice. But if you like the way it looks now and want to keep it looking old and kind of worn, maybe you should just give it a coat of spar varnish.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 1:19 am 
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Nounou Moai
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I've tinted every kind of varnish at my paint store for various contractors that like to promise clients unlikely things.

I use our "844" Alkyd tints, instead of the water-based colorants though. Between the Orange and multiple yellows, faking an amber shellac or "aged" finish is not too hard.


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