“Can you make these new cedar beams look old?”, our client asked us. “The walls and ceilings turned out great, but all this new wood looks out of place.”
We knew that unfinished rough cedar is like a sponge: anything we put on it would soak in and we’d have little chance to blend it. Now most of our work for refinishing kitchen cabinets and other woodwork and trim we do over already finished wood. Of course we’ve done our share of working with raw wood. But rough cedar has it’s own set of challenges–it’s soft, rough, and grabs any liquid that comes near it.
So Brenda went to work researching the best way to give this woodwork a faux-aged look. She found several options to chemically speed the aging process. Vinegar with steel wool looked as if it had possibilities. Baking soda was another option she looked at. In the end she decided to stick with the process we know best–using glaze. The samples looked good and we got the colors we wanted.
The next step was to add the stain of age. Brenda excels at seeing a century of time pass in her imagination and applying the marks of age so they look natural.
The final step was to finish all the woodwork with a medium stain. Again, we used a glaze so we could control how much pigment was absorbed by the wood. We knew a “factory” stain right out of the can would give us a blotchy mess. Also, we use water base glazes. Putting an oil stain over the “aging” glaze was a recipe for disaster.
The results are fantastic. The beams and woodwork now fit with the look of the rest of the saloon.