I am working on a rather unique project, and one which I have become obsessed with completing.
It started with buying a late 1800's sewing machine. It is branded the "Sew Easy", a name that now taunts me daily. I thought I could just clean off the dirt and it would be fine. This has not been the case. It took several weeks of polishing and cleaning with half-a-dozen different products to finally remove what was approximately 130 years worth of grime. Then I got it into my head that the finishing touch it needed was a new coat of shellac. I had read up on the process and even watched videos of people re-shellacking old sewing machines. Most old sewing machines used shellac as a finishing coat when they were originally made. Unfortunately, my machine was probably not one of them.. I gave it a liberal coating, and then watched in horror as several sections of its gorgeous gold and green leaf motif melted away into nothingness.
Since then I have experimented with various suggestions for repainting the damaged areas. Nail polish, paint pens, enamel, etc. None of these materials was effective at all in replacing the rich colors of the original decorations. As sort of a last resort, I am wondering if oil paints could be the answer. I have read that oils can be painted over shellac, and I have seen so many detailed and vibrant paintings created with oils. I am an artist and I have painted with acrylics, but never oils. Ideally I could repaint the damaged sections with metallic gold and green oil paint, if such colors exist, and then seal over them with several more layers of shellac. I am not worried about adding more shellac since the machine now has a cured layer covering everything.
I suppose I am posting here for feedback on how feasible my idea is. Here is a photo of one of the damaged areas: