Removing Alligators from the Cross House. PART II

Recently, I did a post about removing the old alligatored finish on the pair of beveled-glass inner entry doors of the Cross House.

Under all the old, dark shellacked finish was a gorgeous and much lighter finish. Experience has shown me that the revealed finish was likely the original finish.

Today, I surprised myself with a confirmation about this.



One of the inner doors, now about 90% stripped of old shellac. Note the contrast between the dark finish and the much lighter finish, the latter of which I believe to be original. In order to complete the stripping, I needed to remove the fabulous Yale & Towne hardware.



The hardware is just incredible. This lockset is on the OUTER entry doors, which were refinished in 2014. Note the filigree top/bottom of the door plate.



I removed the hardware on the INNER door, and applied some denatured alcohol. Then I realized something. UNDER the hardware was the original finish, which perfectly matches with the newly exposed finish ABOVE the hardware. You can appreciate the contrast with the old finish (not original) UNDER the hardware.





  1. Miss-Apple37 on May 13, 2016 at 6:05 am

    Ross, once you have removed the shellac, do you apply a finish product on the wood to protect it or do you live it bare?

    • Seth Hoffman on October 20, 2016 at 11:39 pm

      I’m curious too. Will you be using untinted shellac? I’d guess that may have been the original topcoat.

  2. Jhofffman on September 19, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    I miss the shellac.

  3. glenn on April 22, 2017 at 10:16 am

    unfortunately, the rosette isn’t centred on the lock stile.

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