The creamy, antique look

CEFreemanMay 31, 2012

Hi all!

I have a bunch of furniture and cabinets I want to antique. I'm not fond of the paint-it-on-sand-it-off look, nor artfully applied crackle paint. (Altho that might be another post.)

I'm a rank beginner at finishing, so I'm also interested in looking at the steps.

I'm recovering from a fire, so my home is being made of recycled materials, cabinets, doors, furniture, etc., from reuse centers, donations, piles of stuff on the side of the road. Some I've made. When I can get some $$ together, I'll buy a good piece.

I would like to create some uniformity with all these different finished and unfinished pieces. I realize I'll need to prime, and with some of the really grainy oak, I have Pore-o-pack to fill in the grain. I'm fond of the smoothness of maple.

Then, the colors throw me off.

Do I paint a cream color, then wipe on something to wipe off again?

What would I thin the wipe with?

How would you recommend I create that fabulous, cream-in-coffee feel?

I've read all 18 threads with the keyword "antiquing" in it. I keep seeing burnt umber mentioned. Would this be the standard? Is it something that works with most-to-all colors? Then I see black also mentioned. But that feels to contrast-y in my head.

Anyway, I have over 250 lf of cabinetry to finish. Then I have furniture.

U should see my back porch ceiling. I'm taking apart my fence and it's being put up like one would lay hard wood floors. The grays are Fantastic!. That's another finishing question... Gray.

Thanks for any ideas. I appreciate the help.

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I'm not really sure on furniture. You may want to check out the Paint forum. They may be better able to help you!

Here is a link that might be useful: Paint forum

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 12:02PM
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Fancy meeting you here!

I've antiqued a few things, with mixed results. The one project that worked best was to paint the furniture in a cream color and let it dry thoroughly. I did use burnt umber acrylic craft paint, but with a tiny drop of black, just to muddy it up. I thinned that with a little water- not so much that it was translucent, but thin enough to not be entirely opaque.

Working in small sections, used a small paintbrush to apply it in all of the nooks and crannies, then gently wiped it off with an old t-shirt.

For me, it took practice to get the look and technique right. How much of the contrasting paint to add and how much you wipe it off is just so foreign to my usual way of painting that my first attempts were pretty sad. I would do a few practice runs on some old baseboard trim or cheap picture frames (something with nooks and crannies) before you take a brush to the kitchen cabinets.

And this is something to keep in mind...the way that actual antiques collect dirt and grime. A vertical piece, like a cabinet face, is going to collect more grunge at the corners and the bottom, than at the top. I think when people antique things too uniformely, it looks fake.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 2:26PM
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Yes, as a matter of fact, it does.

I've been reading a lot and watching a lot of youtube videos about antiquing and distressing wood. Lots and lots of neat ways, but I think yours using a small brush makes sense.
It seems more controllable.

I've got some all ready white stuff, and I'm thinking about staining and distressing a lot of paint grade maple I have. I like the wood, paint grade or not, so I'm thinking of trying that first. If I don't like it, paint & more distressing!

Thanks a lot. :)

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 2:34PM
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