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Traditional Antique Finishes

MPFC repairs and restores original antique finishes of all types: shellac, French polish, jappan, lacquer and painted. Traditional finishes are quite durable, even compared to modern finishes; each has its pros and cons. Keeping the original finish intact is desirable whenever possible.

Kate Powell cleaning Marguerite McLoughlin's Chinese Lacquer Sewing CabinetThe first step is to clean the original finish, in order to fully assess the damage. Occasionally after cleaning a change is treatment is advised.

Further, traditional finishes are far less toxic and reparation is a far less toxic process that refinishing and utilizing modern finishes, making reparation a GREEN practice!

MPFC can often:

resinWe do not chemically strip finishes, which can damage wood and lift veneer, destroy historical information and pollute our environment. Our techniques save the original finish whenever possible, and work with restorative techniques and barriers which are era-appropriate, traditional finish methods or approved conservation products. Barriers are used to protect original finishes as necessary.

MPF Conservation creating shellac varnishMPF Conservation mixing traditional shellac varnish

We create our own shellac and resin varnishes, and many of our own waxes. Traditional finishes are made from organic materials: tree resins, waxes and oils. MPFC takes care to choose environmentally safe, GREEN, non-toxic, and sustainable products whenever possible.


Further, we have little to no disposal, as we make what we need for each project so do not have to send excess to the landfill.

MPFC is a GREEN company, committed to ecologically safe practices and recycling. Click here to learn more about our GREEN practices.


We offer a free one hour assessment in your home or office
toward the restoration of your antique, contact us for an appointment.

Contact Information

dkatiepowell [@] aol.com / mitchellrpowell {@} aol.com
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503.970.2509 / 541.531.2383

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