I need help identifying how this buffet was finished.

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Forum topic by Jim Cronin posted 08-01-2011 07:46 PM 983 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim Cronin

5 posts in 3016 days

08-01-2011 07:46 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing

My wife loves this look and wants me to start building some furniture with a similar style and finish. I would really appreciate it is someone had some sound advice on how to achieve this finish color and texture. Thanks in advance!

-- "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" - Abraham Maslow

5 replies so far

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3302 days

#1 posted 08-01-2011 09:03 PM

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Jim Cronin

5 posts in 3016 days

#2 posted 08-01-2011 09:36 PM

Thanks for the link – hadn’t thought of that. Done. Fingers crossed that I get a constructive reply.

-- "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" - Abraham Maslow

View AaronK's profile


1507 posts in 3706 days

#3 posted 08-01-2011 09:57 PM

Jim – it looks like it’s old wood, what with the pits/nail holes and all. The stains around the holes might be tough to reproduce, but the rest of it shouldn’t be too hard. I’ve never done any distressing, but it’s common enough (google “how to distress wood” etc). Usually this involved whacking it with chains :-)

The rest of the texture comes from not removing mill marks. The top looks like it has marks from a large circular saw/table saw. various other members have ripples remaining from a power jointer or planer. So this means, keep sanding to a minimum. There’s tearout too – probably from the planing. They don’t appear to have removed it either by sanding or filling.

The color comes from a variety of stains, as they indicate further down the page. The names of these will vary from brand to brand, but you can test them out on scrap. I’d start with something that has a medium brown with reddish orange tint to it – like “cherry” stains often do. It doesn’t look like they’re using a sealer first, since I observe some stain blotches, which might help give it a more rough look.

Finally, the top coat itself. This is most likely a sprayed on finish, not sure what kind. They’re armoire has some close up pics that show it better. I’ve seen it extensively on store bought furniture though. In my opinion this finish looks too modern and is at odds with the design and construction of the piece. Shellac, just oil and wax, even a few thin coats of wiping varnish would all provide a more authentic or rustic look to the whole thing.

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 4065 days

#4 posted 08-01-2011 11:41 PM

This one shouldn’t be to difficult. Planing the wood smooth would be first and foremost. To achieve the texture a few good whacks with a chain of larger links would be sufficient. A scratch awl would be most useful to achieve the small worm like holes. A stiff wire brush come in handy in a few areas. Once you think the distress is sufficient next we move on to stain. A golden oak stain is a great starting point then add some Dark brown or van dye brown tint to your base stain to achieve the right tone your looking for, but note that these tints are strong and will move the golden oak to a darker tone in a hurry so go light a couple of drops at a time. The finish on your cabinet photo appears to be a satin polyurethane. Also note that the poly will give the golden oak a yellow amber affect to the cabinet as well so go easy on the tinting. This should help you get on your way, any question pm ….good luck Blkcherry

View Grandpa's profile


3261 posts in 2917 days

#5 posted 08-01-2011 11:50 PM

I used a stain that was about that color. It was either Zar or benjamin Moore. The color was “Gunstock” Just take a print to the yard and check colors until you find the one you want or buy tints to add.

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