Patina? Question...

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Forum topic by Mark posted 08-22-2011 10:40 PM 1187 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mark's profile


1801 posts in 2691 days

08-22-2011 10:40 PM

I have to make this short and sweet because I’m in a rush but, I have an antique given to me via client and she wants it refinished, yet keep the patina to it…Tell me what you think? Possible?

Thanks for your time sorry I had to make it so short

-- M.K.

10 replies so far

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

8981 posts in 2337 days

#1 posted 08-22-2011 11:08 PM

Hi, Mark:
I am by no means an expert on finishing but I thought that the patina was the aging of the finish. While it is possible for you to replicate a patina, I don’t think it is possible to preserve the patina if you are refinishing. I will be interested in seeing the other answers you get from here.

Good luck, Sheila :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View tbone's profile


273 posts in 3102 days

#2 posted 08-22-2011 11:23 PM

I agree with scrollgirl. You could suggest to your client that a thorough cleaning might be the answer, but I think the ‘patina’ is earned through the years—not brushed on in a refinishing shop.
If the object is truly valuable, I don’t think I’d do ANYTHING to it that might lessen it’s value.

-- Kinky Friedman: "The first thing I'll do if I'm elected is demand a recount."

View glue4you's profile


162 posts in 1898 days

#3 posted 08-22-2011 11:31 PM

“Wash me, but don’t make me wet!”

I’m with scrollgirl and tbone.

about imitating patina: I’ve recently watched a NYW recording where Norm played around with glaze, and coloured waxes that he left in certain spots. Can’t remember what exactly it was though. I think probably some kind of table with turned legs ???

Maybe somebody else knows?

-- Alex ----- Bavaria in Germany

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3311 days

#4 posted 08-22-2011 11:36 PM

I’m going to disagree. The patina, is the colour wood turns, over time due to the oxidation process from tannins in the wood. So long as you don’t sand the raw wood down, it shouldn’t affect the patina.

The finish, especially old finishes like shellacs and varnish’s, will also darken with time but that is not considered the “woods patina”


-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View bent's profile


311 posts in 3087 days

#5 posted 08-22-2011 11:46 PM

typically, any form of restoration work lowers the value of an antique piece. i’d recommend that you make sure your client understands this before you do any work on it.

glue4you: i think it was the episode for the tap table (small 4 legged pub table).

View grizzman's profile


7780 posts in 2721 days

#6 posted 08-23-2011 12:05 AM

oh mark…be careful with this one buddy, the others are right, the patina is what it looks like right now with the aging and dents and dings…i think you should send a pm to poopiecat, he know what hes doing on that , he could give you some good advice, but i wouldnt touch it until you sure about it all…..good luck with it…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View glue4you's profile


162 posts in 1898 days

#7 posted 08-23-2011 12:22 AM

Moron – I quickly checked different websites and the basic keynote is that patina usually refers to wear, imperfections, changes of colour and build-up of dust or chemical processes on surfaces.

But I guess you’re on the right track. Who would be so stupid to have something refinished that he want’s to stay as it is. It’s probably the “wood’s patina” of which I’ve never heard so far but I don’t own any antiques and don’t have anything near a cabinetmaker’s experience. Talking about a piece of cherry and considering the colour changes for example I understand what that would be. Sanding that down on an antique ….. outch!

bent – cheers!

Mark – I just wondered: If that “piece” (what is it? type of wood?) was finished with shellac – like many antiques – you’d be lucky. Make sure your client doesn’t simply want the whole thing waxed and polished. You know like my wife when she calls my tools names. Lately she spoke of my festool router as a drill … a driiiiiiiiiiiiiiiill !!

-- Alex ----- Bavaria in Germany

View canadianchips's profile


2307 posts in 2415 days

#8 posted 08-23-2011 12:36 AM

Patina defination: A sheen on wooden furniture produced by age, wear, and polishing; or any such acquired change of a surface through age and exposure. Patina also refers to accumulated changes in surface texture and colour that result from normal use of an object such as a coin or a piece of furniture over time.
Figuratively, patina can refer to any fading, darkening or other signs of age, which are felt to be natural or unavoidable (or both).
When building “replica” of old furniture you can use a finish to look like patina, When its old its “patina” when its done recently its called “Distressing”
Explain to your client what you are doing to refinish the piece and make sure that is what they really want !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Mark's profile


1801 posts in 2691 days

#9 posted 08-23-2011 01:30 AM

Wow okay! Thanks everyone :) I gotta talk to her tonight so I’ll let y’all know how it went.

-- M.K.

View tom427cid's profile


294 posts in 1888 days

#10 posted 08-24-2011 08:35 AM

Hi all,
Interesting topic. I frequently have to repair finishes. Couple of things I have learned(the hard way). Color matching is a black art. That said, when trying to match old color start light and understand that one application of color will hardly ever match. As you go along either a wash coat of shelaq or laquer will act as a barrier coat for the next layer. If the second application doesn’t work use a different solvent to wash it off such as mineral spirits. When you get close to the color you want you can tint the top coat. An orange hue helps mimic the effects of age on a finish. If possible a small sprayer or air brush is an ideal choice. And finally,probably the most important,the topcoat should not be glossy.The final coat should be somewhere between satin and flat. The reason for this is that a dull finish can be polished and made to have a nice”glow”. A glossy finish cannot be dulled,this is because the solids in the finish reflect light.
The finish on the banjo is a new finish

-- "certified sawdust maker"

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