Monday, October 12, 2009

"I'm ready for my closeup Mr Demille"

Old woodwork and old Houses are a lot like good wine and great women - they get better as they age.

However, there are times that blemishes appear and must be taken care of. Am I right ladies(?) - you know what I mean.

Also, as women know, the right application of make-up and candle light can cover a lot of problems.

This post is proof positive that smoke-n-mirrors can take care of many flaws - especially in the world of home restoration.

One of the biggest problems that face woodworkers, and home restorationists, around the world are the little blemishes that show up after wood-stain is applied.

These blemishes can be caused by many things - wood characteristics, stripping chemicals, previous paints and stains, and wood fillers to name a few.

One of the biggest of blemishes is the 'doughnut' that can appear around an area where wood filler is used. There are chemicals in these fillers that make the absorption of the stain less than perfect.

I was not immune to this. In fact, one of the things that took the longest time in preparation was eliminating them. For the most part I'd say I was pretty successful at doing this, but there were a few spots that just didn't seem to want to go away.

In order to make these spots less obvious there are various tricks one can use. This is one of them.

Sorry about the picture being so bleached out, but you can see the 'doughnuts'.

I must have used about every trick I know on these spots, and several others, but they just did not go away. Once the stain was applied they were magnified.

Turning to one of my bag of tricks I thought I would try a little trompe l'oeil and see what would happen.

These colors are the basic ones I used.

Now, if this had been an extremely fine piece of furniture, or something that would come under a lot of scrutiny, I would have used different paints, brushes and methods. However, since this is something that is noticed, but not scrutinized, I chose simple hobby paints and brushes.

Also, keep in mind, the spots are noticeable from just about anywhere if not fixed. All you are wanting to do is trick the eye into not noticing the spots. Since these areas, in our case anyway, are not at eye level in our case, as much care as normal is not necessary. Keep this in mind as you look at the rest of the pictures.

Now here is the finished result.

Note that it isn't perfect - it's not intended to be. The intent is to camouflage and fool the eye.

Even though the spots are still visible at this close range they are a bit harder to detect.

Here they are at about 3' away.

Now they are getting even harder to see.

This shot is at about 4' away and at eye level.

The spots are just about impossible to see.

And here is the view from the center of the kitchen.

Can you see the spots, or any other blemishes?

Here is another sample of the spots 'before' from above the stove.

Again, for some reason this picture is bleached out too - sorry.

And now 'after'.

You can still see some of the spots and blemishes, but once the woodwork is buffed, and top coated, they should be virtually invisible.

However - that's a BIG however, the buffing and the top coat could take a turn for the worse and make the smoke-n-mirrors worse. Hopefully it will turn out as planned.

We will know by tomorrow.

Well, I'd better get back to work.

Till next time...



Flowers said...

Very well said "Old woodwork and old Houses are a lot like good wine and great women - they get better as they age." Enjoyed your blog very much.

Flowers said...

Very well said "Old woodwork and old Houses are a lot like good wine and great women - they get better as they age." Enjoyed your blog very much.

Sandy said...

I think you did a very good job! Looks great!

Omar said...

Wow looks great -- planning on eventually refinishing my wood trim in the formal rooms. They are still natural stained wood but have been sanded and restained (sloppily). I'd like to get the new finish to match the original patina, which there are still a few examples. This post will come in handy in the future. Thanks!