Thursday, November 6, 2008

A 'Distressing' Post

Sometimes clients ask us to 'distress' or 'antique' a piece of furniture. At first I was hesitant, but now, I often get downright enthusiastic about it. It's a real 'arty' process. My enthusiasm usually depends on the, what I would call, 'countryness' of the piece. I don't recommend it on high shine or formal pieces, but it seems to age new pieces that have a certain country flair nicely. Mainly we use a bunch of homeless keys on a strong string and a broken brick. Occasionally if we want to mimic old nail holes, we'll heat a piece of sharpened 1/8" round steel in the forge or with a torch and poke/burn some holes in the wood. That works best if we're already using recycled wood and have to add some additional character or (ahem, cough) repair a mistake ... 'Whatever works' is more or less our motto ... Fear is your main enemy here .... sandpaper's your friend ... Have at it ... Make some samples .... Work in layers ... distress a little, sand a little, finish a little, distress some more ... Click the photos for better viewing ...

Close up of a piece we made for the Greenbriar Hotel

The whole deal ...

Birds eye view of an oval side table
The process below and the tools above .. keys on a string and a broken brick

Distress then apply your first coat of stain

sand aggressively then apply your second coat of stain

We often apply the first coat of finish to see what's up, whack it some more and then add a darker gel stain .. then topcoat over that, polish it up and ship it ... It usually works out ..

The 'Birds Eye View' of the oval table above is a finished view of the piece in the process pictures above ...

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