Repairing Enamel Finishes

Repairing Enamel Finishes

How to repair damaged enamel finishes on wood, the restoration of enameled wood finish.

Craftsman Style

¶ Taking the Pull Out of Enamel. When enamel pulls and is hard to spread, the first thing to do is to see that the temperature of the surface and of the enamel is between 70 and 80 degrees. If raising the temperature does not remedy the defect, or if it is not possible to raise the temperature of the surface the "pull" may be taken out of the enamel by the addition of 1 table-spoonful of water white kerosene. The ordinary kerosene is not suitable. Some finishers use olive oil, castor oil or glycerine, but the water white kerosene is better.

¶ Covering Capacity of Enamel and Underwaters. Some products, of course, cover more surface than others, just the same as is true of paints. And the character of the surface, the color of the coating and the ability of the brush hand govern the covering capacity of any coating. But you may figure that on an average 1 gallon of enamel will cover from 350 to 400 square feet, 1 coat.

¶ 1 gallon of factory-made undercoater will cover about 400 square feet, 1 coat.

¶ When Stains Bleed Through Enamel. Much of the wood trim which is eventually enameled has been stained, usually mahogany red. A few years back the para red aniline stains used were oil soluble and they bleed through or discolor any number of coats of paint and enamel, sometimes, giving a pink cast to the white and light colored enamels.

¶ The remedy for this difficulty is sometimes simple and then again the bleeding persists in spite of many attempts to stop it. A coat of pure shellac, orange, will often seal up the stain. In other cases it has been found necessary to strip off the old varnish and wash the stain out of the wood as much as possible with benzole, benzine or alcohol, whichever proved to be the best solvent of the particular red stain causing the trouble. Then the refinishing included a coat of pure shellac and the paint coats. Some finishers go so far as to apply a coat or two of flat black, drop black and turpentine, over the shellac. On the most persistent bleeding stains nothing but a coat of aluminum bronze thinned with the usual bronzing liquids of lacquer composition have been successful.

¶ Sagging, Creeping and Crawling Enamel. Usually this difficulty results from the application of too much enamel, the brushing of enamel on to a dirty, greasy surface, failure to remove the gloss from the old paint, enamel or varnish over which the enamel is spread or from a surface covered with the greasy film left in the form of finger marks. Cold surface and cold enamel may also cause the trouble.

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