Thursday, 23 October 2014

Can you make a new table look like a painted antique?

Yes and it's not nearly as difficult as it looks. 

Here is a good example. This table belonged to Danish sculptor and folk artifact collector, Gunnar Hammerich (1893-1977).  Whether he painted this table, is not clear, but it is the focal point of this living area where he entertained many friends in his time. The ceramic mugs above the table are part of a large collection. Every time a visitor came to stay, he would make a mug with the visitors name and the date on it, to commemorate the occasion.

In 1967 he presented his house, Hammerichs Hus, and it's contents to the town of Ærøskøbing, Denmark and it is now a museum. 

To recreate the finish of an old piece like this table, is a journey of discovery. Studying the surface would be the first step in your journey. You need to look very closely at the piece to "see" it's history.

In this case it is a kitchen table that was used regularly.  It took a lot of  wear. What do the marks look like? Where are they the most prominent? Note that the paint is almost entirely worn off on the top.

Then analyse the colours. How many different colours were used through the years?  How did the colours fade? Mix the paint and make up a sample. Once you are satisfied with your finish, you are ready to tackle your piece of furniture.

This is the fun bit. Take your time and let the surface come to life right before your eyes. It is an extremely satisfying process and quite addictive.

So even if your table is newly made from a different wood, your marks and paint will be as authentic as the original.

Happy Painting!


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