Thursday, June 23, 2016

Fake What You Can't Find! Aging Corbels

At TLC Vintage Collection in Des Moines, we love old, flaking painted things. There's that expression "fake it til you make it," so we did just that -- made a fake! Real aged chippy corbels are harder and harder to find -- especially in volume like our fortunate purchase below a couple years ago. And, certainly you rarely find them at a cost you like!  But as stock of those had run out, I leapt at the chance to buy some new ones made of composite material at the Habitat Re-Store.

                                                           Authentic Old Corbels

                                      New Composite Corbel Aged With Various Products

TLC Vintage Collection has everything needed to age a piece of decor or furniture at its location at 7519 Hickman Rd in Des Moines. So I took one of these corbels back into our open workshop where you can see us transform pieces six days a week, and set to work (ahem, I mean fun! Because it is!)

After knocking the dust and grime off the corbel, I pulled out a Fissure product made by Wood Icing, a company based in St Louis MO, owned by my good friend Rose Wilde. This product dries clear and will crackle water based paint applied over it. I put the fissure on with an old chip brush, but the brush does clean up with soap and water. To make cracks that don't run up and down, I pounced my brush on it while the fissure is still wet to give a more mosaic pattern of crackle, rather than running in lengths.

Next I pulled out one of my favorite stencils by Wood Icing, aspen leaves. I wanted a raised trailing vine look on the highest points of the corbel. So I laid out the stencil, taped it in place and used Wood Icing's Textura Paste applied thinly through the stencil. I moved the stencil around to get that trailing vine look. You lift off the stencil as soon as you have the paste on smooth and thin.

This is how the vines looked after drying, with rough raised edges. Normally on a piece of furniture or decor, I would then sand  off these rough bits with about 150 grit sandpaper. But I want this corbel to look rough -- like it had stood the test of time, so I let it remain rough til later.

Now I am ready to paint and enjoy the cracks that will develop. I chose Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® -- my go-to choice for most paint projects! Old White has the aged color that this piece cried for. I put the paint on thickly with one of Annie's great brushes. I made to cover the entire area as I went so I wouldn't need to touch up because the fissure will start activating almost immediately and I didn't want to disturb it.

Whoa! Now that is what I am looking for. Cracks that  look like a piece has been in the hot and cold of Iowa summers and winters for years!

Next I used Annie Sloans subtle Versailles, a light green and used an artist brush to paint the leaves and stems. I didn't need to be overly careful about where the paint went because our next step after it dried would be to sand it off so the leaves looked worn.

I took some 100 grit sand paper to take off the ridges of the Wood Icing raised relief and to distress the paint.

Next I used another brand we carry -- Artisan Enhancement's Scumble. Scumble is another name for glaze. Because my paint is porous, a colored glaze will sink in and not give me time to manipulate its look, so I put on what is called a "slip coat" of clear glaze first. I just use any old brush for this but once again, it washes up with hot soapy water. After the slip coat is dry, I added a little Annie Sloan Coco to a small amount of glaze and applied it with a sea sponge, which let me pull off some of the color here and there and leave it darker in some areas. It helps show of the crackle too! (Sorry, but I forgot to take a picture of this!)

Once the scumble is dry, I was done and we have a piece that looks like it has weathered on an old rural farmhouse porch!

I am hoping to find more of these corbels because I only found six together and think it would make an awesome workshop for my customers! Of course, these will be tagged that we "aged" them right at TLC Vintage Collection!

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