Woodworking Talk banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my daughter asks me to build a wall mounted quilt rack out of walnut....I say I can do that. She stopped by today to see the progress and was pleased with what I've gotten done so far. Then she says, "Dad, can you finish it so that it looks like it was 100 years old?"

Now when I think of antiquing I remember back in the 70's when the craze was to buy the antiquing kits with the paint and glaze...it still makes me shutter. I've seen 100 year old furniture, some I've pulled from trash piles and others were museum quality that look as good as it did when it was made. I'm just at a loss as to what direction to start looking. Any help on where to start would help. It's tough when my daughter isn't really sure what she means.

My daughter and son in law are farmers, so they have the typical farming décor in the room where the rack will hang.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,983 Posts
I've done a finish like that but it's been so long I can't give you specific products. What I did is muddy up some varnish with tinting color and finished the wood until I got an emulsion and let it thoroughly dry. Then I sprayed a coat of lacquer over the varnish and it wrinkled up the finish like age would but it was kinda white so I went over that with a very dark glaze and wiped off the excess. Then I finished over that with a satin varnish to set it. It's something that just takes a lot of tinkering to get the right blend of everything and since you are working with walnut you should start with a pastewood grain filler because walnut of that era would have been grain filled. There is no telling how many samples I made trying to make that finish and I believe I was about to the point of giving up when it worked. I had a chair that had a old crazed finish on it and half of one of the legs was broken off and gone. I ended up having to make a new leg and the customer didn't want to refinish the entire dining room suite because of one leg.

The finish in the picture is clearer than the one I worked on but has the same texture. I like it better. You just wouldn't muddy the varnish very much with this one.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I talked with her this morning and asked her to google some pictures of the finish she is looking her.
She sent me this picture and asked for something like this.

I realize that this picture may not be enough. Would NOT sanding out all of the imperfections in the wood aid in achieving this look?
 

Attachments

·
crosseyed & dyslexic
Joined
·
589 Posts
I'm not sure if sanding is really the key here, more like what type of finish you apply. Making something look 100 years old isn't just hammering on the wood or doing a half sanding job. Think about it for a second, what would a 100yr quilt hanger be subject to? Mostly sunlight I would guess. I would be thinking yellow, cracked shellac in a very low sheen almost matte finish.
That's just my thoughts. Good Luck!
 

·
Rick Mosher
Joined
·
1,010 Posts
Looks like she just wants a distressed finish. Very simple to do, just make some dents and dings, round over areas where normal wear would occur. Sometimes a dark glaze after sealing will color the dents and imperfections to mimic dirt and grime over the years. I usually finish these with a flat sheen finish and then rub out with wax so you get a dull look in the low areas and a hand worn polished look on the raised areas. Do samples first and show her before you do anything to the actual piece. Everyone has their own idea of how they would like this to look.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,983 Posts
Rick is right, that distressed finish is a lot easier to do. I've done entire kitchens with this tool. Having screws and bolts on a chain makes the dings come out more random which makes it look more like normal damage.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions...I'll run a few test pieces and she what she likes.

BTW- Steve and Rick...I knew a girl once with tools like that!
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top