Painted Finish With Age

~Enfield_ShakerCupboard_FeaturedIn the article just released to 360 subscribers, I build and finish a large Shaker Cupboard from the Enfield, Conn. community. The piece, which I can now cross off my bucket list, has a painted finish. When you hear “painted” you most likely think easier. While there are a few steps made easier, I think that an aged look in a painted finish is actually more work.

Yes, you don’t need to sand as far as you would if aniline dye was your finish. That saves some time. We still use aniline dye, but the liquid color is ragged on instead of the surface being flooded to achieve a more even tone. Ragging also keeps the mess on the outside of the cupboard and the inside clean. And shellac is still part of the finishing system. It, however, is restricted to two coats versus the six or seven coats regularly used.

Overall, I think all those time-savers are offset by the time spent painting the cupboard.The paint is not just slapped on. It’s brushed on then manipulated with wet rags, hide glue and propane torches. That’s right. I said propane torches. Burning some of the paint causes it to blister, then the small bubbles can be sanded or scraped off to reveal the dyed surface below.

If you were a subscriber to 360 Woodworking, you could go right to the article and not only read the building process, you could also watch a short video that shows the painted finish step-by-step. Click below to subscribe.

— Glen D. Huey

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