Advanced Painting Techniques: How To Create And Apply A Farmhouse Finish

There is something nostalgic about the beauty of a farmhouse finish. It’s rustic, aged look, harkens back to the days of apple pie at grandma’s house, the warmth and coziness that is associated with it, the worn, painted woodwork of a country farmhouse. This is a finish that can be applied to woodwork and cabinets; it is not recommended for ceilings, walls, or wood-veneered furniture or cabinets. The farmhouse finish can be used for unfinished or previously varnished wood, you can use this finish to give your wooden cabinets an authentic country look, or for shelves, peg rails, gallery railings, etc.
Start by mixing equal parts of denatured alcohol and clear shellac in a jar or can that has a re-closable lid. Next, you add Aniline Stain Powder, which you can find and purchase online from any woodworker’s supply store. This mix, called Aniline Tinted Shellac, is first brushed onto the wood surface, and then followed by latex based paint. Next, apply the De-natured alcohol after the paint is dry. Then, rub the surface with a lint free cloth and/or sandpaper; this will dissolve the shellac, mixing the paint with the aniline tinted shellac. You can determine the wear of the finish depending on the amount of rubbing or sanding. The amount of aniline shellac you will have to make depends on the size of the project, the recommended amounts are 1 cup for small projects up to 1/2 gallon for large projects ( such as kitchen cabinets.) To obtain a good contrasting color, use a light paint color over the dark tinted shellac, or a dark paint over a light tinted shellac. Remember, always test your technique on scrap lumber first to allow for trial and error, and acquire the color and look you want to achieve.
Materials.
1) Latex Paint. 2) Denatured alcohol. 3) Clear Shellac. 4) Aniline Stain Powder In Your Desired Wood Color. 5) Natural-Bristle Paintbrush. 6) Synthetic Paintbrush. 7) Re-closable Jar Or Can. 8) Rubber Gloves/Painter’s Mask. 9) 100 Grit, 220 Grit Sandpaper. 10) Tack Cloth.
Instructions.
Step 1. Mix equal parts of denatured alcohol and clear shellac in a re-closable jar or can. Then add a small amount of aniline powder to tint the mixture, and test the stain on a piece of scrap lumber to determine the color you want. Add a small amount to the mixture until you achieve your desired color.
Step 2. Begin applying one or more layers of the aniline mixture to your project using a natural bristle brush. Remember, the more layers you apply the darker the stain will be. Allow drying time; aniline shellac dries fast.
Step 3. Apply a moderate to heavy coat of your latex paint over the shellac using the synthetic paintbrush. Give the paint time to dry thoroughly after application.
Step 4. Wet the tack cloth with denatured alcohol, and rub the painted surface wearing rubber gloves and a mask. To obtain a more rustic, aged look, rub the surface with the 100-grit sandpaper and then lightly sand with the 220-grit paper.
Step 5. Sand and rub the edges and prominent details of your project more than the rest of the surface to give the appearance of natural wear. Wipe the surface clean using a tack cloth.
If you enjoy the sentimental look of an old country house, then the farmhouse finish is for you. The warm and inviting appearance it has makes people feel right at home, so don’t be surprised when you come home and find Grandma cooking in your kitchen!

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