Distressed Finishes A Few Trade Secrets Revealed

There are several other ways to obtain antique or distressed finishes to areas which have been gilded, or have had a crackle finish applied to it.


gold leaf finishWhen you are laying the leaf, gently twist the pad as you press down gently to get the gold to adhere, this will have the effect of breaking up the gold in irregular areas, such as is shown in the picture on the left, you can also scrape of areas of the gold before the size has dried with a cocktail stick or small slip of wood. These types of distressed finishes can be applied with any metal leaf.



 crackle glaze

When applying a crackle glaze to a paper surface you can rub in some raw linseed oil after the crackle has been achieved, this will dull down the surface giving a mat appearance, make sure you rub the oil in well and remove the surplus with a cotton cloth, this will speed up the drying time.

This picture shows this method of distressing a piece to good effect.




distressed finishes


If you want something that looks truly ancient after using a crackle glaze and antique glaze plus the coating of raw linseed oil, I suggest you place the object in either strong hot sunlight for about 24 hours, or failing hot sunlight, place the object in a pre heated warm oven (gas mark 1-2) for about 3-4 hours, this will cause the crackle to lift in an irregular manner, see the picture below. I cannot give hard and fast rules about this process, therefore I advise that you check the work periodically.





distressed finishes

This is a close up of the picture above it was achieved in 5 steps.

Step 1 The application of the crackle base coat.

Step 2 The application of the crackle top coat.

Step 3 The application of the antique glaze.

Step 4 The application of the Linseed Oil.

Step 5  Place in warm oven or strong hot sunlight.



gold leaf crackle glaze

You can apply this trick of the trade to most gilded finishes with good effect, but check the piece occasionally as this is a trial and error process for which hard and fast rules cannot be applied.

All the recipes and process's are contained in a detailed manual entitled How to Achieve Antique & Other Distressed Finishes to Imitation gold Leaf


So far we have looked at the various distressed finishes that can be applied to gold leaf, but these same simple finishes can equaly be applied to painted surfaces of all kinds to create shabby chic furniture.









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