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Reckotch

Question: repair/restore. Chipped and matte varnish on an old violin, applying new varnish

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Hello! I am in the stages of repairing a violin for the first time, purchased cheaply at an auction simply for the joy of learning.

The violin is about 100 years old and was caked with dirt, I have lifted off the worst with cotton sticks and saliva. I will attach a photo of the current state of varnish, pictures taken with flash to better show the contrasts. 

The varnish is mostly matte, and chipped off or scuffed in many places, and dirty in others. I have come to understand that spirit varnish is mainly used in repairs, but I have not been able to tell yet if the original is oil- or spirit based.

My question is: is it best to apply new varnish without any further big preparations of the current state? Or is it better to lightly sand down the worst scuffs to a more even structure and cleanliness before applying new varnish? 

Some scuffs are basically down to the wood, how would a base coat react to the varnish around it? 

My first plan is to leave as much as possible intact and only lightly sand the surfaces before applying varnish, but I am unsure how well it would attach on top of "dirt". The goal of this violin is not to make it look brand new, I would very much like to have it show its history but to be protected.

Please give me your thoughts on the steps how you would restore the varnish :)

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