Jelly Cabinet #1: The Finish

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Blog entry by MrHudon posted 03-03-2010 06:11 PM 3005 reads 3 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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From Jelly cabinet
(Antique Look Jelly Cabinet)
From Jelly cabinet
(Jelly Cabinet Inside View)

I posted this Jelly Cabinet in my projects and was asked to explain how I finished the piece. Thought it would be better to post it here then there.
It is Poplar and I usually paint pieces like this but wanted to try something different.
I don’t know that I could duplicate the finish on this piece and I’ll do my best to explain how I got the results you see here.
My goal was to make the piece look like it’s been around awhile, that look you see on antiques that have years of patina, dirt and grime.
Started by sanding it to 120 grit
Then one coat of Minwax Colonial Maple stain
From there it’s more trial and error over the next 3-4 days, allowing time to dry between coats.
I have these dry powder colors that I think have been around since before Minwax was in business. Pretty sure these were fairly common in the old days before premixed stains were readily available; you simply made your own stain. You can still purchase this stuff, but the ones I have are truly that old.
The next steps are layering color on top of the stain.
Since it doesn’t penetrate, if you don’t like the results just wipe it off with alcohol or thinner depending on the mix.
I mixed the color “Princess Metallic” with amber shellac and diluted it about 80% with alcohol. This can be tricky because it dries so quick it can leave lines and lap marks.
Keep layering this until you like the look and color.
Next step was to mix “Raw Umber” and varnish diluted with paint thinner. This layer gives the piece the dirty grimy look. I found that it went on much smoother then mixed with alcohol and it hid most of the lap marks from the previous layer. Next time I may mix both layers with varnish, but I do think that the amber shellac does add to the aged look. In the corners, around the hardware, and at the bottom I actually dab a rag into the powder with a bit of thinner on it, this gives you the caked up and dirt effect. Depending on how dirty you want the piece determines how much to apply.
From that point it needs something to bind it and tie it all together. I think a flat oil finish would be a good option if looking for a real authentic antique look. I went with a few coats of Minwax semi gloss wiping varnish; it gives it a little shine and makes it easier to dust, I think a good compromise for the modern home.
I hope I explained myself well enough, if anybody has any questions ask away.

-- Mark,

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