A client wants a finish for cabinetry which is mostly white or mostly black, dull to satin, with heavy distress marks and the appearance of sand-throughs which reveal layers of color beneath - specifically red and gold – basically, a beat up door with red and or gold showing through a white or black top coat.
I have 2 questions:
1. We typically use MLC post cats. I'm not sure if the client wants real metallic gold or just a gold paint color. If they want gold paint color, I can have that mixed into Resistant. If they want metallic, I need some suggestions. I know that there are metallic gold spray cans at Home Depot etc. but I'm unsure of their place in a post cat system, i.e. adhesion, wrinkling etc.
2. This is how we thought we would get the look:
Clawloc the raw doors with red and gold, here and there until fully covered. Let it cure, sand, and then go over the whole thing with either black or white Amazing Glaze. Scotch Brite through the glaze to the red and gold and topcoat with Krystal.
Is there a potential adhesion problem with having 80% of the door covered with Amazing Glaze and then top coating? I want to use the glaze because it’s fast and really easy to sand. Otherwise, I am faced with a full coat of Resistant which must be sanded through very carefully.
Does anyone have any suggestions before we start testing? In this particular case we're not trying to make art but just match a plain and fancy finish with the client's own odd tastes thrown in but I want to avoid any call backs.
From contributor A:
How are you going to make the Amazing Glaze work on top of Clawlock? Will that work? Have you tried it before?
1. Red/Gold Clawlock on raw wood
2. WW Vinyl sealer
4. Clear top coat
The Resistant is hard to sand through so you have more control and the Vinyl is something you can 'feel' when you hit it before you get to the Clawlock. I'm going to try this method.
The post cat finish you are using now should pose no problem as a barrier coat. I wouldn't concern myself with using a sealer. Crackle medium when used with waterborne finishes will give you a leg up when it comes time to do the rub through/sanding or pull method. It acts as a release agent and leaves an irregular pattern that can be sanded smooth at the edges for a clean effect. I do not like the look of a sand-through finish like the one you describe, but adding a crackle will help you clear the field for a more interesting sand through effect.
A simple method is to go acrylic all the way. What you suggested doing as your first step is workable (one color over another) but I would substitute your product with acrylic, preferably flat, and preferably anything that dries within four hours for recoat. Apply your dominant color, for example, red.
Secondly, apply the gold using the method you describe. Since you want to rub through this as well, I might suggest you use a sun burst technique in laying this down. The idea is to give you areas that will rub through easily and of course giving you some areas that have tooth and are therefore hard to rub through. With that said, I might want the effect to be more interesting and easier to remove, and I would try a different approach. Before applying any gold I might lay down a crackle medium in areas I plan on sanding. This can be done directly over the red. Once this is accomplished, I would apply the gold. There is no need to allow the crackle to dry. Once you have covered the areas with crackle, lay down the gold.
You must plan this in such a way as the whole thing is not cracked; only the areas you want to release. The same thing applies to the red areas you intend to expose. I forgot to mention that your base color must be dry - at least four hours.
Once you have applied the gold and the crackle medium, apply the top coat - black? Allow the whole thing to set up, maybe an hour or two. Then, using a card scraper, go over the entire door. You should notice the gold peeling away from the red and leaving behind it even greater or lesser amounts of gold, depending on how you applied the crackle. The black should do the same, but if not, apply more pressure as you scrape. When you are satisfied with the results, allow the paint to set, four hours or more, and then do your sanding to finesse the edges. One or two clear coats should finish it.
Comment from contributor V:
I have done this technique many times using artist acrylics. Golden Acrylics is an excellent brand. You can add acrylic retarder to slow the drying time and make it more easily workable, and then go over it lightly with a hair drier once it's painted on to speed drying.
Golden makes a wide range of metallic paints. Their gold is really nice and convincing, as is their iridescent metallic. I've used their iridescent silver paint, and people always think it is either silver leaf or cast aluminum. If you use a fine Taklon brush (from an art materials supplier), brush-stroke is very minimal, and practically non-existent with practice.
The acrylic retarder also adds to the creaminess/workability and smoothness of the final finish. You can put a coat of paste wax over acrylic paint for a final protective layer. The wax adds a lot of depth to the look and feel, and brings out a richness of color.
Many people also do this same technique with milk paint. For best results with milk paint, add acrylic matte medium to the paint. This will allow it to bond to any surface, which can be a problem with just straight milk paint, and would allow you to use metallic acrylic gold along with it. Top coat it with bees wax (the traditional technique) or paste wax. Milk paint is a very tough finish, and a little harder to sand than acrylic, but it has a nice, natural look and feel, which goes well with the "beat up" look.