Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Augustine Silver Bookcase

You thought I was kidding when I said your mom wanted furniture for Mother's Day. Ha! So did I...until my own Mom saw the post and decided "OK, smarty pants, where is my gift?"

Notice the Kung-Fu grip.  I am not leaving until this project is done!

I must say that I should do something nice for my mother.  Not just because she gave me life and all that but more because she put up with me.  I made her name into a song and taught my younger brother and sister to sing it...constantly. "Velda LaVeda is the name of our mom, spell it right and you'll never go wrong."  Yes that is her name and no, she didn't knock my head off.

In gratitude for the opportunity to grow-up, I did this bookcase project for her.

My parents had one old oak bookcase in my Dad's office and two smaller matching pine ones in the living room.  I suggested finishing all 3 to match and attaching the two smaller pieces on each side of the larger bookcase creating a wall unit for the new piano/sitting room. Mom is thrilled.  Dad is a "why would you paint over natural wood?" kinda guy.  We just ignored him.

Seriously, does this look like a fine quality antique-possibly from the Civil War? I didn't think so either.

The finish on one piece was water-based and the others had an oil topcoat, so all 3 pieces were sanded and then primed with a Zinsser Primer. One coat is sufficient. This was followed by 1 coat of Neutral White Setcoat.  Because I am doing a crackle finish, I need the undercoat well sealed so my crackle size does not suck into the frame.

For the Augustine Silver Finish, I am doing a double layer of a small even crackle.  I've experimented with several ways to get this look and found that the following steps and products work really well.

First, I use a black sponge roller to apply an even coat of Faux Effects Porcelain Size. This is slightly milky in appearance compared to the other FE size.  Let this tack-up (about 20-30 minutes) and then use a black sponge roller to apply a coat of Wunda Size.  The sequence of the two products does make a difference.

As I roll the Wunda Size, I come back with a dry brush and flatten the bubbles that you tend to get with a rolled application. Wunda Size will not dry until something goes on top of it.

I have also found that the Faux Effects Designer Foil size will also produce a lovely small crackle.  Roll a thin coat and let it tack up (30-40 minutes).  Roll a second coat and let it set another 30-40 minutes and then apply your crackle medium. The size needs to be tacky or the crackle medium won't crack!

I use a lot of the FE Fine Line White Crackle for furniture.  Thin 10% with water and roll on with a small fuzzy white or pink roller. The cracking begins quickly and I still get excited when it happens.

OMG-It's cracking!

I use a damp scrubbing pad, and take away some areas of the crackle to create voids. When the crackle medium is dry, I roll a coat of Colorseal Gloss or Satin to isolate this layer.  Using a more aggressive top coat may cause the crackle medium to lift. Colorseal dries slowly.  I crackle in the morning and seal the project in the late afternoon giving the topcoat time to dry over night.

The next morning, I roll a coat of Wunda Size over the entire piece and let it set about 30 minutes.  Then I roll another coat of Fine Line White Crackle thinned 20% with water to make it more sheer.

This creates a tighter crackle over the first layer.  As this layer dries, I also remove the crackle in areas-some areas I reveal the first crackle and in others I use Blending Solvent to go through both layers of crackle.

Put the Blending Solvent on cheesecloth and lightly scrub.  You could use Denatured Alcohol but it is more aggressive and doesn't smell as nice as Blending Solvent-which makes me think of summer!

BS never smelled so good!

Over the dried crackle medium, I applied a glaze of FX Thinner and Wheat Metal Glow.  When this was dry, I applied my antiquing glaze of FX Thinner and American Walnut Stain & Seal letting it settle more in the edges of the piece.

Since this is more a decorative piece, compared to Kitchen Cabinets, I used the Colorseal again as my final topcoat.

For the sides, I tinted StucoLux and troweled it on using a broken motion with the blade. When this was dry, I used the StucoLux Sealer tinted with Wheat Metal Glow and tight troweled over the plaster. Then I used my Walnut FX Thinner base and buffed it into the finish for a polish.

I thought it looked like petrified wood.

Unfortunately, I didn't take the cabinet placement into consideration and you don't see much of the sides once we had the entire piece in the room.

Oh, well.  Mom is happy and so is Dad.  She even wrote a song: "My daughter RJ is a faux painter, she finished my job and I don't have to pay her."  See it runs in my family!

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