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I am making a 42" x 84" wood penninsula counter out of some very nice 8/4 quilted / curly maple. To pop the figure I'd normally sand to a high grit, put on BLO and then a high gloss finish. But would like it to have a soft warm bit of distressed / antique look. In more of an antique pine color, or at least more warm than the clear. And maybe more of a satin gloss?
Is it possible to have the best of both on this? Pop the grain and color with some technique with dye and BLO? Ding it up a bit for the distressed look and use some dark brown glaze in the dings and edge detail? Will the satin gloss still show the pop on the grain?
Do any of you experts have any suggestions or comments?
I'd check, there may be a law against distressing quilted maple by "dinging it up a bit". There would be around my place!
agreed......Figured maple distressed would be an abomination...lol
Agreed, but there is nothing like an older piece of wood that one examined, shows exceptional grain or other characteristic. A smooth, satiny piece of Quilted invites touching. Even rubbing. Watch people interact with it if you get a chance.
My thought exactly. This is not a showpiece but a kitchen peninsula counter. Wants to be warm, friendly and inviting.
The nice part about low tech finishes (none?) is that they are easy to renew. If you watch, people will always gravitate to the table with the old wood showing - rings, dents, gouges, lack of obvious color and coating. The high tech table may get the wows, but the obvious natural wood gets the use. It makes people comfortable.
Try hand scraping which should provide enough character, treat with Aqua Fortis, then pop color with BLO, and clear finish of choice. For a more authentic clear finish you could even use a beeswax infused tung oil such as Millie’s All Purpose Oil by Sutherland Wells.
I've done this before on curly maple, basically the same process you are talking about.
I prepped the wood surface with an orbital sander up to 220 grit.
Over the course of a week, I'd apply 1 coat of thinned boiled linseed oil (thinned with mineral spirits about 30%) and use that solution to wet-sand, by hand, in the direction of the grain.
Each day I'd step up in grit, 220/320/400/600.
In all honesty it may be overkill but it was fun, and the final product had a more vibrant curl than anything I've ever seen.
I cured the linseed for a good week after that, scuffed GENTLY with the grain with 320, and put two light coats of satin-sheen polyurethane on it.
By the way, you referred to "satin gloss"--- those are two different terms. It's either satin, or it's gloss.
Gloss is forbidden on nearly anything I make--- it turns everything it touches into cheap plastic looking sillyness. Satin is the highest sheen I would normally use.
Please post pics when your done or during the process as well..... It does sound like a fun project your working on. The bulk of us don't see center pieces with nice tops as often as we'd like... Gets old with working with the same old stuff all the time... Sometimes I see mahogany for months and months on end with large commercial projects.
Mat, must be tough getting the customer to wait that long and accept the cost for a countertop. Two weeks and all that labor for the finish?
Rich, it all depends on the market you're in and you client, and how you run your shop.
When I did the finish listed above, I was at a shop that had no trouble doing that sort of thing (although it was NOT the norm), and it isn't as laborious as it sounds reading it on paper. On a 26X96 countertop, it would take maybe an hour each morning (max) to wet sand it and leave a slight linseed slick on it. The worst part is having it sitting around.
You are right, it is tricky, you could drown yourself in it if that's the only sort of project you took on.