Just after the popcorn texture was removed.
Same corner after
Close up before
Once I was ready to actually refinish, I used the following process.
- Applied Transtint Golden Brown dye stain. Diluted according to the directions with equal parts denatured alcohol and lacquer thinner.
- Brushed on 2 coats of Zinsser Amber Shellac. I read a lot of different things about making your own shellac from flakes versus using the premade stuff. The amber Zinsser stuff contains wax which supposedly makes the finish less transparent. The bigger issue is finding premade stuff that is actually fresh. The date of manufacture is printed on the top of the cans. Based on books I have read, I try to make sure the shellac is less than 6 months old. This usually means going on a wild goose chase to find the freshest stuff.
- Applied Old Masters dark walnut gel stain. I spent a disturbing amount of time and money trying to find the right glaze. In my opinion, Old Masters dark walnut looks like a mix of Van Dyke Brown and Black. It has a fairly long drying time. Basically, I painted the gel stain on section of molding at a time, and then wiped off as much excess as I could. Abbott Paint in St. Paul and Lathrop Paint in Minneapolis carry Old Masters.
- Applied one layer of shellac to seal in the glaze.
- Applied a final coat of dark brown Briwax to give the molding a satin finish.
In the end, I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out. Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg and I have all the remaining woodwork in the dining and living rooms left to do.