How to match old finishes ?

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Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:40 pm

How to match old finishes ?

Postby xtal_01 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:55 pm

Hello all!

I have collected a few old wall crank phones.

I have one with a problem ... the bottom piece on the shelf is missing.

No big problem ... just a single piece of wood ... stops things from sliding off.

Now the bigger problem ... how to make it look old and match the rest of the phone!

The phone was made in the 20's and I don't want to refinish it ... just get the new piece to match.

Any suggestions?

I have included a picture of the phone missing he part and one with it.

Thanks .... Mike
NE_phone_02.JPG (66.8 KiB) Viewed 717 times
NE_phone_01.JPG (71.82 KiB) Viewed 717 times

Refinish/Repair Wiz
Refinish/Repair Wiz
Posts: 1035
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:43 am

Re: How to match old finishes ?

Postby AsonnyA » Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:59 pm

The wood color looks kinna like cherry. The wood might be cherry. Cherry darkens over time. It doesn't appear to be walnut or mahogany, but with pics it's hard to tell.

If you could get some scraps of cherry, you could
1) test some finishes,
2) test some stains if need be or
3) possibly another option is to faux weather it, then apply some mineral spirits (giving it the wet look). The wet look will show you how it will likely appear when a clear finish is applied.

Using wood other than cherry: Find or blend a stain to match the old wood.

To faux weather any wood, soak some steel wool (SOS soap pad size) in 2 cups of vinegar for several days.... until the steel wool dissolves (stir occasionally). Use this solution to "paint" the cherry scraps.... wet the wood pretty good..... , then allow to dry. You'll see how it darkens or grays the wood. In warm sunny weather it will dry in 15-20 minutes. Once darkened or grayed, wet it with water or mineral spirits to see whether the color matches your old wood. If it needs to be darker, apply another painting of the steel wool solution. Do some testing. Faux weathering cherry might give it the aged/darkened patina look of old cherry. Again, I'm not absolutely sure your wood is cherry.


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