Perhaps you can clear something up for me. Most of the floors (oak) in my 1901 house have (what appears to be) the original finish on them, which we believe to be shellac - denatured rubbing alcohol makes the surface sticky, and then a cloth gets lots of yellow/orange gooey stuff on it. Is this likely to be shellac, or is it varnish? What exactly IS varnish?
All I know, is that most of the floors (even the ones that have practically no finish left in traffic areas) look really good still. Whereas my kitchen floor (maple) was obviously refinished about 20-30 years ago with a urethane of some sort, and looks really lousy in the worn areas.
So, are we crazy to consider using Shellac to refinish the oak floors? How would varnish (and exactly which kinds) be different or better?