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Thread: Circa 1850 Antique Paste Varnish question

  1. Default Circa 1850 Antique Paste Varnish question

    I have never heard any one talk about this product. Has anyone ever used it and what were your thoughts on it? I tested the varnish on some scraps today and found that the application is just to easy, a true wipe on wipe off application. I found that in did not sink in much and that concerns me (but then I'm used to wipe on poly) especially on the end grain, so if it does not sink in much I wonder how much protection in can offer, other that that it leaves a nice subtle finish.

    Brian



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Ottawa
    Posts
    774

    Default Re: Circa 1850 Antique Paste Varnish question

    I've used gel varnishes off and on for years - most recently on some oak trim around a couple of doorways two or three years ago. Still looks good. Easy to apply. Wipe on, buff. Nice amber finish. Tried it on a table top once, however it set up too quickly and the results were less than spectacular. Fwiw


  3. #3
    Peter in Hawkestone Guest

    Default Re: Circa 1850 Antique Paste Varnish question *PIC*

    For what it's worth, I have talked of this product before on a few occasions. I found the same, too easy to use to be true. I have finished numerous items with this including an oak dining room table with excellent results. Like most things, sharp edges will leave a scratch. The product films, rather than penetrates. The first coat may have a small amount of absorbtion but the second coat finishes the film. I have found no more than 3 coats have yielded the best results. The 2 finishes of choice for me are oil, mostly Watco and this gel varnish.
    The pic is of a solid teak table, the top is finished in a 50/50 mix of gel varnish and Watco. I'll try and dig out a pic of the dining room table.
    For whatever this is worth, when I asked Roman what he thought of the product, he spoke highly. I have given Gord a can to try...you might ask his opinion too.



  4. #4
    Peter in Hawkestone Guest

    Default the dining room table *PIC*

    this table is 68 inches across. 4 coats of Circa1850 gel varnish.



  5. #5
    Eggboy Guest

    Default Re: Circa 1850 Antique Paste Varnish question

    I used it on a walnut table and found it was pretty jelly and seemed to want to start setting up before I could smooth out the all the jelly lumps after swirling it around also my silly cheese cloth left some lint in the coat( not folded properly) anyways after sanding I thinned it down to almost a wipe on poly thinness and it worked really nice and had a nice amber colour. I figure I am to blame and not the product but I don't think I will use it again -Andy


  6. Default Thanks for the info, much appreciated

    Today is my first day experimenting with paste varnish, I can hardy wait for tomorrow to give the scraps another coat. After viewing your photos I had no idea that a lustre like that could be achieved with such an easy to apply finish.

    Wonder why Jack had problems on a table top but not you. It's real dry here right now and I found that I had to work fairly fast in applying the finish.

    Thanks

    Brian



  7. #7
    Peter in Hawkestone Guest

    Default a couple of points...

    I like the product so much because I need not worry about dust settling into the finish, and in my environment that is a concern. A light sanding after each coat should result in a glass smooth surface. I just used rags from a box I got in the paint department of HD.
    If you try the varnish/oil combination, it's nice because it will flow and self level. BUT!!!! You may want to consider adding a drop of Japan dryer to the formulation. I didn't know about Japan dryers at the time I finished that console table. The finish took almost 60 hours to become tacky and almost 21 days to dry suitably to touch. Lets just say a tormenting experiment with an expensive board that turned out for the better.


  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Circa 1850 Antique Paste Varnish question

    You should thin it a fair bit. It does set up to quick and leaves no room for error, but it does have a nice warm glow.

    Paul


  9. Default Thinning?

    I presume paint thinner or mineral spirits would work for thinners?

    Brian



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Ottawa
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    Default Thin with mineral spirits *NM*



  11. #11

    Default Re: a couple of points...

    Peter, pardon me for asking such a simple question, but what was the purpose of the oil in the oil/gel varnish mix?

    Was it simply to thin the gel?

    Or was it to also add something .. color, grain enhancement, etc. .. to the finish?

    Or a combination of both?


  12. #12

    Default Re: Circa 1850 Antique Paste Varnish question

    What did you thin it with, eggboy, and what ratio?


  13. #13
    Eggboy Guest

    Default Re: Circa 1850 Antique Paste Varnish question

    I just used a all purpose paint thinner (HomeHardware) about 50/50 mix or till it seemed thin evough to drip off my screwdriver (mixer) -ratio really doesn't matter more or less -Andy


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