Full Chisel Blog

May 8, 2011

First Review of Shellac, Linseed Oil, & Paint…is in.

Filed under: Finishing,Historical Material,Of Interest,Publications,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 10:10 am

“I cannot wait to tell my art conservation colleagues and students about this superb new book!  Stephen Shepherd’s publication is filled with useful information on historic wood finishes– so much of which has been forgotten.  His book is a great resource for a wide range of people, including: artists, cabinetmakers, wood workers, restorers and conservators.  Shepherd’s long years of practical shop experience enables him to explain the subject’s vast historic literature with authority.  He writes with an easy narrative style that is also illustrated with personal drawings.  This creates a text that is easy to follow, no matter how complex the subject.  His ability to interpret the historic recipes comes from years of practical experience and personal zeal for compounding mixtures from their most basic elements.  Years of teaching as a historic craftsman/demonstrator contribute to Shepherd’s remarkable ability to present his subject engagingly.  I have never seen various finish processes so clearly described.  This book, Shellac, Linseed Oil, & PaintTraditional 19th Century Woodwork Finishes covers a great deal more than the title implies.  It removes the mystery, trial and error and frustration of working with what some consider unforgiving finishes without spoiling the joy or magic that comes from the correct use and understanding of traditional artists’ materials. 

This book is essential for anyone interested in historic wood finishes.”

Theresa Fairbanks Harris, Conservator and Lecturer at Yale University


  1. so where can we get this book? i’m experimenting right now with milk paint removal and tung oil, i could use some new messes to get into 😉

    Comment by elithea — May 9, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

  2. elithea,

    Welcome, Joel at Tools for Working Wood in New York will be selling the book. Should be available soon.


    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — May 9, 2011 @ 6:39 pm

  3. Congratulations. That’s quite an impressive and glowing review. Look forward to getting a copy.

    Comment by Tico Vogt — May 9, 2011 @ 8:01 pm

  4. Congratulations! Now the world knows what we already did, what a terrific teacher, historian and just plain interesting fellow you are!

    Comment by Tracy — May 10, 2011 @ 6:54 am

  5. I’m really excited about this book! I can’t wait to read it.

    Comment by Caleb Schultz — May 10, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

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