Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Antique Cupboard

antique cupboard

I worked on my finishing/antiquing skills the other night and wanted to share the fruits of my labor.  In case you're interested, I've explained how I achieved this look and have included a couple more pictures below: 

This started out as a plain, unfinished wooden bookshelf that I purchased for cheap -- no door or little front panel - in fact you can see it in the background of one of the photos in my post, "New Lamp."  Anyway, I had the idea to make it an antique cupboard the other night, so I took some scrap wood, cut the panel and glued that on, then cut the door and attached it with some hinges I had.  I was sure to file, and "rasp" (with my X-acto knife) the edges, to make the cupboard appear uneven and somewhat hand-hewn.  I also used a woodblock carving tool to cut in some gouges.  I was impatient to get to the painting part, so I probably could've done a better job, but oh well.  :)  Oh -- and I also used steel wool and fine sandpaper on areas I thought needed a little smoothing out.

To paint -- I began with washes of acrylic craft paint in burnt sienna, black and highlighted areas with a very light yellow/cream color. Then I did some dry-brushing on of dark brown, black and burnt sienna.   After that all dried - and warped the door, thank you -- I dampened the door again on both sides, weighted it down onto a flat surface (the corner of my drafting table, so that I could hang the cupboard off the edge, while the door stayed flat -- I wasn't about to take the door off!) overnight and it was perfectly straight!  Then last night, after doing a little bit more buffing with steel wool, I brought in a fairly bright blue -- only dry-brushing, dabbing and such - adding in brown and black where I felt I needed it. Adding the blue over-top the other colors kept it looking more aged.  In some places I layered more blue to brighten it up some, but if it got too bright, I covered with some dry-brushed brown.  I then weighted the door again, just in case - and this morning I rubbed on some minwax clear finishing paste, buffed with a cloth and also some steel wool and voila!  Here she is!  

the knob is a wooden ship-building accessory
 I picked up at a hobby shop

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look! 


  1. This is absolutely fabulous, 'aged' to perfection. Great detail on the process you've used to achieve the patina. Hope you won't mind me Pinning it on my Miniature Tutorials Pinterest board. And I'm definitely going to take a good look around the ship building section next time I visit the hobby store, just love that handle.

  2. The cupboard is to die for. If you hadn't said before you were a painter I'd have guessed it just looking at how you finished this piece. Absolutely beautiful. And thank you for describing your technique. I'm so eager to learn from you.

  3. Gorgeous!!! I LOVE blue... and you have done an Awesome job of layering the colors... not to mention starting with the perfect rough old New England Cupboard!!!

  4. This is MARVELOUS! The patina on it both inside and out is filled with love and precious aging. Some of the best antique finishing I have ever seen in miniature! :D


    1. Oh my goodness, I'm very flattered. Thank you so much, Elizabeth, I'm glad you like it. :)


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