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        Reproducing the color and finish of the originals is the most challenging aspect of cabinet making. Originals were usually colored with vegetable or mineral stains, and finished with topcoats of either shellac or varnish, with vigorous hand rubbing between coats. I have been able to faithfully replicate the original colors with stains that color the wood without hiding the grain and figure of the wood. A moderately refined grade of shellac is used as a topcoat that adds a hint of color and accurately reflects the warmth of the originals. Dining tables are given additional coats of finish for durability. The finish coats are rubbed out and waxed/polished in accordance with original methods.

        One should be aware of replica pieces that are over or under finished. Originals were well finished, with full topcoats that coated the wood, not just a thin layer of finish to seal in the color. On the other hand, some makers over finish their pieces by building up a thick lacquer finish that is then buffed to a high gloss. My pieces have the look of the originals when they were finished by the original maker, that is they have full topcoats, hand rubbed to the appropriate satin luster.