Above is the chair in progress.
Now I think it's pretty obvious from this blog, that I don't have problem sharing information, but I am shy to admit that I had a brief moment where the notion of a "secret recipe" seemed appealing, but then I thought, "what if I get hit by a bus tomorrow?", it would be lost!
Then I thought, "wait a minute, Jeffesonville doesn't even have public transit!", anyway this went on for a few minutes and then I of course decided to share.
First, a quick word about surface preparation. As much as I like not sanding on the lathe, the burnished surfaces of a skew won't hold the paint well enough to pull this off. So take that perfectly skewed turning that you always make (right?!) and rough it up with some sandpaper. I know, sacrilege.
Like I said, I haven't found just mixing brown paint to be very attractive, layering a few colors is one of the keys. So here's what I did to get my results. First, the "secret" ingredient in the process is Van Dyke Crystals. These are basically processed walnut hull that dissolves in water to make a stain. I stained the entire chair with this first. Yes, I know, this is no breakthrough, lots of folks do that!
Here's where it gets different, mix some barn red paint from the Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company, but instead of water, use the stain. Yep, the stain. It makes sort of a rich, blood rich as a matter of fact, red. I thin the paint more than the direction recommend, basically just thin enough to pass through a paper cone paint strainer. Paint the chair as usual.
For the next coat, mix equal parts black and barn red, and once again, use the stain as the liquid. This is brown, not gorgeous, but a good brown. Paint as usual.
The third coat is plain old black, very thin. You can use the stain again or not. And here is where the subtleties of choice come in. You could use the stain and add some red to keep the chair a lighter brown. But I went for black.
It's vital to let each coat dry thoroughly to retain it's contribution. I burnished the chair with steel wool as usual and here's the final difference. Oil it with the Dark Tung oil from the good folks at the Real Milk paint company. I love this stuff. It colors any pores that were reluctant to take the paint, which is common in oak and gives a lovely warm cast to the paint. Also, it's not toxic, so you can use it with out a full hazmat suit. After a few coats, you might desire to use a harder finish, such as Minwax Antique Oil or just a varnish oil mix.
|A little extra rubbing with steel wool warms the surface color|
I haven't gotten that far because I can't stop rubbing it with the tung oil!
Van Dyke Crystals from Garrett Wade (I hope this makes up for my "gentleman gardener crack last year!). When viewed from across the room, the chair has a striking dark silhouette, but as you get closer, the variety of colors in the surface get warmer and more interesting.
Not my last experiment in the finishing arena, but a great start!