Re: Deteriorating door finish
Perfect example of a well-alligatored finish. My pet theory is that a varnish was applied later over an original shellac, perhaps with a layer of wax or furniture oil/polish in between, so the subsequent over-coats have crawled.
You can scr ape off the worst of it (very carefully not to gouge or scr ape to wood) then with fine sandpaper get down just as far as the oldest coat of finish (shellac) and then re-coat with more new shellac. Zinsser Sealcoat is best. It may cause the old finish to craze at first, but let it dry, sand again with 220 or 320, and keep applying more new shellac and it will be all right.
I restore old furniture finished almost as bad as this, and use a wet-sanding technique and then pad the shellac on, but this is architectural, no reason to French Polish the woodwork.
Last edited by Sombreuil_mongrel; 09-25-2011 at 12:40 PM.
Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.