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Classic Painted Wood Finishes for Refinishing Furniture and Dollhouse Furniture


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Apply the Top Coat Color to Your Miniature Painted Furniture
A beige undercoat with a pale orange tinged top coat applied to create a classic painted finish.

An orange toned top coat is stroked over a beige undercoat to create a classic painted finish on a piece of dolls house furniture.

Photo ©2008 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

Mix the Top Coat Color from one of the recipes following with water until it is the consistency of milk

  • Swedish Blue is a pale grey blue glaze made by mixing white and Prussian Blue with a touch of lamp black. The resulting pale grey blue coat is the blue grey in the creases.
  • French Cream is a warm white color made by mixing white acrylic with a bit of raw umber or ochre and a tiny bit of lamp black. The color of French Cream should be just slightly darker than the original undercoat color.
  • Pickled Wood Finish This finish is created by mixing white with a small amount of raw sienna or brown, and a bit of orange to make a color that looks like raw wood.

Apply the Top Coat Wash a thin layer of top coat over the base cream coat with a firm brush (to allow brush strokes to show). Allow this coat to dry slightly then wipe it off the surface of the furniture, leaving the second coat in the detail of the furniture. For pieces where there are large flat areas (the tops of counters) brush lightly across the surface in one fluid stroke leaving lines that resemble the fine lines in wood. All of these finishes can easily be corrected while they are still damp, just wipe them off with a damp paper towel and start again. Remember the second coat will dry a bit darker than you see when it is wet. The three main painted furniture finishes listed here were all common in the 18th century.

When the finish is the way you want it, allow it to dry. If the final finish appears too shiny due to the formulation of your acrylic, rub some talcum powder over the finish, or use rottenstone powder (from the hardware store) to take off the gloss. Wax your furniture if you wish. Reupholster the furniture if necessary.

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