Making 'real' antiquing acceptable

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I'm using this Juzek viola for practice with retouching and finish 'restoration'.  The spirit varnish has the normal dings of use by a clumsy player, and they stick out because they are lighter color.  Is there a trick to reducing how these stick out, but still keeping them as part of the 'old' look?  Layers of french polish?  Rubbing something (old dust/grime) in and then french polish?  A layer of spirit varnish, then a good rub-down with micromesh and rottenstone?  I'm not planning to refinish the whole instrument, I'd rather preserve what's left of the old than replace with new!



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Hi ViolinsRus,

This forum is full of a lot of pertinent and good information about retouching.  I'd look into it, and I'd suggest rather than trying to make the damage "antique" to do your best to learn the skills of retouching to deal with damage as presented. You are dealing with reasonably low risk on this instrument, even if you are off, taking the light spots out will make them less distracting to the eye.

With that being said, you might be surprised with a finish like this lightly sealing it with thinned retouching varnish might make the scratches look passable. (Sometimes even a brush that is lightly damp with alcohol or mono-ethyl ether will make whitish scratches on commercial finishes look good.)

Good Luck,


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