im trying to create an old looking box

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Forum topic by Feyo posted 09-25-2010 08:06 AM 3267 views 1 time favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 2226 days

09-25-2010 08:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing sanding art project project aging balsa balsa wood box old

so for an art project in school, we were given a small box about the size of a standard bible. we have to age it and make it look around 50 years old. we’re also painting photos and putting them inside (also aged) and back then photo’s were pretty rare, so we’re trying to give this box a “IM HOLDING SOMETHING PRECIOUS BUT IM OLD” look.

the box is most likely made of balsa wood and is rather smooth. this is what kind of box it is, minus the color and the design, it is just a plain wooden box (i could not find another image :P).

so i’ve decided to stain and try to age my box. here’s some links of what i want it to look like approxomatly (mainly just the color and ware):

i’ve gotten a whole lot of advice from a friend of mine (he’s a woodworker) and online and here’s what i’ve come up with (most of these are just notes to myself, but hopefully you’ll get the idea of what im trying to do.):

1: use rough sand paper (60-80?) on the wood on all sides, especially the corners, edges, and the lip of box (use a finer sand paper for the lip), WITH THE GRAIN. So that the stain will better absorb into the wood.

2: use a blowtorch to darken certain areas of the wood`(knots, corners, edges…) and possibly use boot polish to darken as well (brown preferably)

3: use wax on corners, where there would be a lot of handling (bottom, opening, some of top.) (once i layer the stain on and possibly the finish, i’ll rub where i’ve put the wax and it will give the wood a distressed look. or so i’ve been told)

4: get rid of any grit or grease on the wood with a damp cloth.

5: rubber gloves + brush, apply stain WITH THE GRAIN

6: once dried, i’ll use a fine sand paper and sand down some of the stain in certain areas to create a lighter, worn look.

7: use a satin finish (i’ve been told it wont be shiny afterward)

8: once it’s dried, dent the edges of the lip, opening, corners, and scratch (using the edge of the flat end of a nail or actual fingernails) along the opening and sides. DONT GO CRAZY as this is a precious box, it is well used but not overly so.

so i have a few questions:

1. what do you think? let me know if i should add or change something.
2. i need to know what grade of sand paper to use. i need a rough sand paper, and a fine sand paper. judging from what i want in the photos, what grade would you suggest?
3. i need to know how long to keep the stain on for, again judging from the pictures, how long would you suggest?

i am of course going to experiment with a scap piece of wood, but i dont have the money to keep experimenting dozens of times, so i want to get it right within the first few tries, so any help/advice is appreciated.

thank you so much in advance!

-- i will always prefer a heartache caused by truth than one by secrets...

2 replies so far

View bill merritt's profile

bill merritt

203 posts in 2713 days

#1 posted 09-30-2010 10:19 AM

I like the look of the last one,they are all nice looking “old” boxes. Good job.

-- Bill Merritt -Augusta Ga. woodworker

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2570 posts in 2728 days

#2 posted 09-30-2010 11:38 AM

This sounds like an interesting project, good luck!

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

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