Thursday, July 21, 2005
Shellac, old houses (pic)
I love old houses but they have their quirks. I have an original kitchen pantry/cupboard/hoosier built-in that has its original finish, shellac. The first summer we were in this house I went to grab one of the coffee cups I had stored on the counter and it wasn't going anywhere. I gave it a good yank and it finally gave way...what the ****?!! I thought someone had glued the cups down. When talking to our neighbor, we laughed at his experience with their counter top...glued-down cups. With some investigation I found out the finish was shellac which was the common finish at the time our houses were built. It's about the prettiest finish there is but it has its drawbacks and stickiness during really hot, humid weather is one of them. Waxing with paste wax helps stop this tug-of-war. I didn't wax it this year yet and this week I've been wresting with the cups again. I don't want to mess with the nice finish on the rest of the cupboard but I think I'll be putting something else on the counter top or perhaps put down doilies first. I wonder if the use of doilies were more out of necessity rather than decoration in the "olden" days.