The finish on these doors is my attempt at patina similar to the real cabinet in a previous post (two below this one). Reproducing the aged finish on these doors was a bit of a challenge as they'd already been painted - originally dark green and then repainted in dark French grey. The first challenge was to cover the grey with a colour resembling raw wood, that was achieved with a mix of acrylic paint and wood stain. After that was dry it was covered with a thick coat of crackle medium which was left overnight to dry thoroughly. The top coat is a very pale grey, almost white. When that was dry on the surface, but not thoroughly right through, it was rubbed over with a damp cloth. In some cases the paint was almost removed, in others just the surface, and some places not at all. The same technique was used on the bench plus a coat of 'dirty wash' (a mix of mostly water with a little black acrylic paint added). The staining on the 'plaster' wall was done with fairly strong coffee - you might recognise the wall and floor- it's the brocante
, but not as clean looking as you've seen it before :)
Like most budget 'ready-made' furniture this chair started life stained and varnished. OK for some settings but of course I couldn't resist getting out the paint brush and giving it a bit of grunge/age. It was first sanded a bit then had a couple of coats of gesso followed by a few coats of light cream and then a thinnish grey wash. Wear spots were sanded then it got a 'dirty wash' made from a little dark brown stain and lots of water.
The cutlery tray is balsa lightly stained with a thin solution of a water based wood stain (before putting a water based stain onto a piece that has been glued together with a water based adhesive wait until the glue is well and truly dry or it will fall to pieces! - I found that out the hard way). This does raise the grain a bit but since we're looking for an aged look, not perfection, I don't think it matters. I guess you could give it a light sand if you want. It was then painted with French grey acrylic paint thinned with quite a bit of water (which will tend to raise the grain again so I suggest you just relax and live with it). A slightly thicker coat was added here and there to get 'grading' of colour which imitates uneven wear of the painted finish.
The stain on the back is fairly random. Extra dirty wash was 'painted' along the top where it settles into the valleys and then runs out and down the back.
Something a little prettier, the desk is another piece purchased already stained and varnished, it was treated in a similar way to the chair above but without the grey wash. This chair originally had a pine-look seat and dark green back. After a light sanding it was painted with a 2-3 of coats of dark brown followed by several coats of light green, each one a slightly different shade, then sanded at wear points and finished with the dark wood stain 'dirty wash'. I'm not sure if it will stay this colour or get a few coats of grey wash.
The roses are cheap ribbon roses, I'm sure you've seen bunches of them in craft supply stores. The original colour was a very bright pink. They've been painted with a thick coat of gesso, it soaks into the ribbon in a random way giving nice uneven shading. I think these make nice big shabby roses to add a little colour here and there. The basket was a natural colour that I covered with gesso. You've probably guessed by now that gesso is a favourite of mine!
I hope this will encourage a few of you to play with some 'cheap and cheerful' purchased or handmade pieces to create an individual look. They don't have to be grunged/aged as much as some of these, just go for colours and finishes that will suit your settings. Most of all just have fun!
~left click the pics to enlarge ~
The white journal on the desk is by Glenda at Peppercorn Minis - she makes them in various sizes and colours to suit different settings and scales, she sells them in her Etsy store (linked on her blog) for a very reasonable price.
The portrait on the desk is one of my maternal great grandfathers, 'keeping it in the family as usual :)