How do you apply and buff the Renaissance wax? I have been
using dilute liver of sulfur to obtain a range of colors but find
that using the wax takes the patina back at least one color and
severely lessens the color intensity...Am I missing something?
Should I take the patina beyond the color of choice and put up with
the immediate loss of color intensity?
Are you using ammonia and salt with your liver of sulfur as to act as
mordants? This may help. These mordants help retain the colors, as
well as give you more true hues. I apply the wax with just my clean
fingers, by rubbing a small amount onto my fingers first to warm the
wax, and then apply it to the metal. It doesn’t take much, and a
thinner coat is better than thick. I wait 5-10 minutes, until the wax
loses its gloss and is dry. Then I buff with an old soft tea towel.
This wax has a tendency to pick up oils from the customers handling
the pieces, dulling the finish, but a quick rub with a soft cloth
restores the luster without anything further applied to the metal.
The lacquer finish has a tendency to intensify the color however,
similar to the effect you get when wetting rough rock, but you need to
keep several things in mind when using this application: First, use
high cabinet grade lacquer. This is difficult to find, and you’ll have
to go to a specialized woodworker’s supply to get it. Personally, I
get mine from Woodworker’s Supply of Wyoming/New Mexico/North
Carolina, 1-800-645-9292. Look for a lacquer that is almost clear in
color, rather than the typical amber color you expect with lacquer.
Second, you need to thin it considerably, even though it may seem to
be thinner than most lacquers. I typically thin it at least 50/50 with
lacquer thinner, but usually a tad more. This mixture will need to
have the thinner replaced occasionally, as it’s highly votile and
Do not make the mistake of getting just any old lacquer. This stuff
will yellow and flake. Tell your customers there is a lacquer finish
on it, so they may tell anyone who has to make repairs or alterations
in the future. It makes an awful mess if it’s burned. I’ve had this
cabinet grade lacquer on some pieces given to family members for
several years without problems with yellowing, dulling colors or
flaking, and these are pieces worn quite a bit. There has been some
wear around the edges or high spots, removing the lacquer completely,
but since they’re worn frequently, these areas stay tarnish-free from
abrasion. It doesn’t flake off from the worn areas, but has a gradual
thinning towards the edge.
The difference between the wax and the lacquer finishes is in the
appearance. The wax gives a soft, subtle satin finish, which is nice
for highly textured items like torch texture, reticulation and
sugaring, and serves to add the necessary contrast between light and
shadow. The lacquer finish is glossy and highly reflective, which is
better for items having smooth or sharply delineated surfaces, like
bright finishes, etchings and repousse’. I find I use both, wax for
one type, and lacquer for another type, according to the overall
appearance of the requirements of each individual piece.
I hope this helps. Usual disclaimers here. K.P.