Refinishing ansonia clock

Parsons

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Oct 7, 2020
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Hi,
Recently acquired a partially stripped ansonia clock and am wondering the best way to restore to the original dark color. I believe this is the Arlington model. Never did this before so any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

20201029_111421.jpg
 

Rockin Ronnie

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You could leave it as-is. I have a Waterbury parlour clock that is two-toned and rather than surmise that someone tried to work on it or the crown is a replacement, I think that's the way it came out of the factory. Or, you could strip and refinish but you would have to stain the entire case. It is a lot of work and you may or may not like the final result.

Nevertheless, here is an Arthur Pequegnat gingerbread clock that was completely stripped (using a commercial stripper) and refinished with shellac.
Ron

RS Pequegnat fan top (12).jpg RS on display.jpg
 

Parsons

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Oct 7, 2020
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You could leave it as-is. I have a Waterbury parlour clock that is two-toned and rather than surmise that someone tried to work on it or the crown is a replacement, I think that's the way it came out of the factory. Or, you could strip and refinish but you would have to stain the entire case. It is a lot of work and you may or may not like the final result.

Nevertheless, here is an Arthur Pequegnat gingerbread clock that was completely stripped (using a commercial stripper) and refinished with shellac.
Ron

View attachment 620539 View attachment 620540
Hi , looks like your clock came out great!
The person I got my clock off verified that her grandfather started to strip the clock and didn't finish. Says it was passed down in the family and all original. I have no reason to doubt it so i will have to go with that info. I would like to refinish to the dark color of the original. Would using lacquer do that or would I end up with a lighter color. Would I have to use an oil instead?
 

gleber

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If it was mine, I think I would get the best and most even results stripping the rest of it. I had one Gingerbread the had a badly alligatored finish like Ronnie's. I set up a baking tray with a small pool of lacquer thinner (I tilted the tray so the pool puddled in one corner). I then used a toothbrush to dip and then brush the finish, letting the runoff drip into the tray. I only used a small amount at a time and replenished it frquently. It worked well. It is best to remove the door, glass and movement. Be careful to provide a lot of ventilation (flammable and toxic fumes), and if you have one, use an appropriate painters mask. It doesn't take long. I would then use the darkest stain and you may need several applications to restore the same shade (best if you could soak it). Mine was done in lighter oak.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Tom
 

Bruce Alexander

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I agree with what has been said. You'll really need to finish stripping the remaining original finish to get a smooth and even final color/finish. To refinish, I think I would try using garnet colored Shellac.
 

Parsons

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I agree with what has been said. You'll really need to finish stripping the remaining original finish to get a smooth and even final color/finish. To refinish, I think I would try using garnet colored Shellac.
Thanks guys.
All this info is awesome!
Great application info and I like the garnet colored shellac suggestion.
It's going to be a few weeks before I can get at it but the more prepared i am , the better result i will have. Definitely reposting my finished job.
 

Bruce Alexander

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Hi Parsons,

If you decide to go with a dark shellac like garnet, it is recommended that you first put a clear blonde sealer coat first, then the garnet, topped with another clear coat.

I have purchased flakes from this supplier a few years ago and I was happy with them. <!--45-->With Shellac, it is all about the Finish.

Your mileage may vary so go with what you know. :)
 

Parsons

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Hi Parsons,

If you decide to go with a dark shellac like garnet, it is recommended that you first put a clear blonde sealer coat first, then the garnet, topped with another clear coat.

I have purchased flakes from this supplier a few years ago and I was happy with them. <!--45-->With Shellac, it is all about the Finish.

Your mileage may vary so go with what you know. :)
Hi Bruce. Thanks for that. I wonder though if the wood is sealed first would it prevent the shellac from penetrating the wòod? Asking because I have no idea.
 

Bruce Alexander

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The suggestion to first seal with clear (or blonde) shellac is to prevent blotching or uneven coloration by the garnet coat. The additional coats will bond to the underlying coat as shellac is very soluable in alcohol.
 

Parsons

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The suggestion to first seal with clear (or blonde) shellac is to prevent blotching or uneven coloration by the garnet coat. The additional coats will bond to the underlying coat as shellac is very soluable in alcohol.
Oh, okay that makes sense thanks!
 

hambyl

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I would refinish but would not use a stripper. Depending on when it was made and a couple of other things, it is either a shellac or lacquer finish, probably shellac. Unlike varnish or poly, shellac (denatured alcohol) and lacquer (lacquer thinner) dissolves in their thinner. Also shellac darkens to almost black after sunlight and 80 or 100 years. This clock was probably the color of the top originally.You might try denatured alcohol on a spot and see if the finish dissolves. If so remove the finish that way. Is I were doing that I would do the top at the same time so some of the alcohol/shellac would soak in, return some patena to the wood and make it all look the same. Then finish with clear shellac. I think kitchen clocks were normally light if oak and dark if walnut. Let us know how it turns out and what works for you.
 

Parsons

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Oct 7, 2020
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I would refinish but would not use a stripper. Depending on when it was made and a couple of other things, it is either a shellac or lacquer finish, probably shellac. Unlike varnish or poly, shellac (denatured alcohol) and lacquer (lacquer thinner) dissolves in their thinner. Also shellac darkens to almost black after sunlight and 80 or 100 years. This clock was probably the color of the top originally.You might try denatured alcohol on a spot and see if the finish dissolves. If so remove the finish that way. Is I were doing that I would do the top at the same time so some of the alcohol/shellac would soak in, return some patena to the wood and make it all look the same. Then finish with clear shellac. I think kitchen clocks were normally light if oak and dark if walnut. Let us know how it turns out and what works for you.
Hey thanks! That sounds like good info
I think I'd like the dark look so I will probably try the garnet shellac on it I think
It will probably be a few weeks yet but definately post when done!
 
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