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Workbench Blog

Oak Clock to the Jersey Shore

Posted on April 3, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Sometimes it is possible - and desirable - to refinish furniture without first stripping the old finish.  This refinishing project from the South Jersey Shore is one of those projects.  The original finish was in good condition and the desired color was darker than the original white-washed oak.  The clock case was rather delicate and somewhat intricate so we opted to not strip it.  After dis-assembly a good cleaning and light scuffing got things started.

Then, a light coat of amber toner (a very thin finish with color mixed in it) was sprayed over the scuffed surface.  The back of this clock is mirrored, so the backs of all the frame pieces had to be treated as evemly as the rest.  The toner coat set the background color of the new finish.

The toner acted like a basic stain, adding color and richness to mask the bland original color.  To complete the color, a van dyke (dark chocolate) brown glaze was applied over the tone coat.  Think of glaze as a thick slow-drying stain.  It was wiped back with rags and feathered out across the wood surface with brushes.  The basic glaze process took three hours.  Once the clock was completely glazed, one of the dirty brushes was used to 'dry brush' some color variety onto the surfaces.  The glaze and dry brushing developed the final color and character of the finish, adding depth and interest.

Next, a durable satin clear coat by Valspar was sprayed over the glaze.  The topcoat locks in the glaze, protecting the earlier steps from wear.  It also provides clarity and sheen. 

After assembly and installation of many pieces of bevelled glass, this refinished clock sporting a new mellow, vintage finish is ready to deliver.  It will be heading to Linwood, NJ in Atlantic County.

By James Conklin


Categories: Furniture Refinishing, Projects, Atlantic County