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Comparison of Selected Properties of Shellac Varnish for Restoration and Polyurethane Varnish for Reconstruction of Historical Artefacts

Department of Wood Products and Wood Constructions, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, Prague 165 21, Czech Republic
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2018, 8(4), 119;
Received: 12 March 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 24 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Varnishes and Surface Treatments of Historical Wooden Artworks)
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At present, many historical artefacts and furniture are only reconstructed and not restored. They are preserved in terms of material reparation, but their historical value decreases significantly. This work is focused on the comparison of the resistance of high-gloss polyurethane varnish with traditional shellac varnish. The varnishes were applied to oak wood and exposed to interior artificial accelerated ageing in Xenotest. Before and after ageing, cold liquid-resistance tests were performed on the tested specimens and gloss, colour, and adhesion were also evaluated. The structures of the surfaces were also analysed using a confocal laser scanning microscope. As expected, polyurethane varnish was much more durable than shellac varnish. Interestingly, shellac varnish was fairly resistant to water at the beginning, but this resistance was greatly reduced after artificial accelerated ageing. This illustrates the importance of sheltering the shellac treated artefacts in stable temperature-humidity conditions with the least possible effect of solar radiation. View Full-Text
Keywords: historical furniture; varnishes; shellac; durability; artificial ageing historical furniture; varnishes; shellac; durability; artificial ageing

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Šimůnková, K.; Pánek, M.; Zeidler, A. Comparison of Selected Properties of Shellac Varnish for Restoration and Polyurethane Varnish for Reconstruction of Historical Artefacts. Coatings 2018, 8, 119.

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