And, yes, we have discussed the concept of rubber gloves. It's hopeless.
With such demonstrable ineptitude, it's rather ironic that several of my recent tutorials have included painting techniques. After thinking this over, it seems to me that distressed finishes suit the fact that I'm a perfectionist who has absolutely no hope of ever achieving a perfect paint job. On the other hand, with my background in marketing, I'm perfectly (hee) able to rationalize anything - and with shabby and distressed finishes being so au courant, that makes it a piece of cake to find excuses for my lousy finish work.
Uneven coverage? Yeah, I planned that so it would look old. Missed spot? Uh-huh, you're seeing the distressed finish. Streaks and drips? Why, thank you, that's a shabby chic white wash. (This talent for rationalization is why many people like to shop with me -- I can find a variety of exceptional reasons to buy or not buy -- just let me know which side you want me to argue.).
Of course, the knockoff I found doesn't come close to the real deal, and the light color doesn't help. There's no character, no experience. And that starfish glued on the side. Ya-ick. Now, I certainly can't recreate an actual lighthouse basket (and, gosh, you'd rightfully pay handsome prices for either true antique baskets or handcrafted contemporary baskets). I can, however, show you how to faux-age your new purchase to show a bit more personality and distinction.
New basket after antiquing
Here's my tutorial on how I did it. We won't cover how I got the starfish off. I didn't need that fingernail anyway.
Antiquing a cheap new basket
by Jude at www.dolcecapecod.blogspot.com
Gather your tools and materials
Inexpensive unfinished basket
Wood stain in a desired finish
(I used several and mixed them)
Lemon oil or beeswax
Sponge paint brushes
Several small containers for paint
Mix the stain with a small amount of water until it's the consistency of paint.
With the sponge brush, cover the entire basket, inside and out with the stain mixture, trying your best to get into all the crevices. You want to cover as much of the basket's woven strips and get as much into the woven areas as possible.
Let the basket dry several hours, then repeat the staining process.
You can use a different shade of stain if you like.
Pour a small amount of black paint in a container, and add a bit of water. Stir well.
Soak one rag in water, and wring it out so it's just damp.
Bunch rag up in your hand, and dip it in the black paint mixture. Dab it on a dry rag or paper towel to remove the excess, and wipe it across the surface and edges of the basket. Use the dry rag to blend and burnish the paint into the surface.
Now, listen! The lathing strips for these cheap imported baskets are not made from a high quality wood. Even if you were trying to create a perfect finish, it wouldn't be possible. You'll see that some areas seem to soak up lots of color, and others seem to say, "Uh, no thanks." But that's what happens with aged wood, anyway, and that's what makes this so easy, so fun and so darn infallible. The imperfection is the perfect finish!
Okay, enough about imperfection and back to the tutorial.
Let the basket dry thoroughly. Apply a liberal coating of beeswax or lemon oil, and buff it in well according to the instructions on the container.
I used an old shoe polisher to buff.
And since the "Nantucket Basket" was still drying, in this photo, I'm giving a fresh coat of bees wax to a basket I antiqued last fall.
Here's the finished Faux Nan-basket. Hope you like it!
Did you buzz over from a great party like the one below?
Glad to have you - and it's so sweet to read your message!