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Re-creating an old finish on a stripped clock

Copperdragon3

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Aug 20, 2020
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Is there a way to re-create the antique look and patina on a clock that someone has stripped and refinished? There’s a beautiful Ingraham walnut kitchen clock I know of that I’m thinking about buying but all the age, patina and dark finish is gone. It looks dull now, especially since all the black in the engravings is gone. Is there a way to put the black back into all the engravings and get the stain and finish darker again, so it looks aged? Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
 

J. A. Olson

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Dec 21, 2006
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When I refinished the ornate crest on a wall clock, I put a small drop of thin black acrylic paint and stamped it around with a paper towel to create a weathered look. It takes a few tries but eventually a nice, weathered finish was built up atop the silver crest. A very thin film of varnish followed this to ensure the 'weathering' didn't come right off. It was the same technique I use to weather various recreational models - works like a champ.

Photos of the work being done:

DSCN6454.JPG Case Cleanup.jpg

Some of these German household cases had metallic painted wood crests which make a habit of losing their paint with age.
The crest panels tend to have a slightly rough surface as opposed to the smooth polish of a crest that never got painted.
The crest also nicely accompanies the leaded glass paneling which serves as a window for the pendulum.

On your Kitchen case it would be ideal to gently line inside the engravings with a similar 'weathering' or dark staining. A fine brush would be ideal for application. Don't cake it up or it will look strange. If the wood finish is too bright and shiny, rub it down so it doesn't glare too much.
 

Copperdragon3

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Aug 20, 2020
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Awesome: thanks for the tip! Should the case be gently rubbed with very fine steel wool first?
 

J. A. Olson

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Dec 21, 2006
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You can try rubbing it with very fine steel wool first. Cheap steel wool that's not fine enough will chew up the wood surface.
Practice on a scrap piece of wood if you can, that'll be the way to ensure it all works out.
 

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