|This chest is nearly done.|
Just like any other project, the quality of the finish depends greatly on surface preparation. In this case, I spent a lot of time with my Japanese burnishers in order to get a specific texture on the wood that I wanted to show through the milk paint.
I chose milk paint because it is a traditional look for tool chests, plus it is pretty easy and safe to use.
The brand of milk paint mix I use is Old Fashioned Milk Paint. There are others, but this is the one I know best. I used some home-made milk paint on the last chest I made, and I have to say this mix is much easier and more consistent. Perhaps I need to work on my home-made recipe a little.
Anyway, for quite some time I've really admired the black over red look that is often seen on Windsor chairs. Curtis Buchanan has some really great YouTube videos on how he makes his, and in one of them he goes over his method for achieving the look he gets with this finish. If you would like to watch it, search "Curtis Buchanan - 46. Preparing to Paint" on YouTube.
I've tried this before, and haven't really gotten the results I was looking for. This time I tried to do everything the same exact way he does, and I'm very pleased.
The first bit that I took away from his video, is the water to milk paint ratio he uses. For red, he uses a 2:1 ratio, and for black he uses a 2.5/1 ratio.
|Barn red basecoat.|
|Black over the red.|
|Maroon and gray 3M scratchy pads.|
|Underside of the lid. The ash grain is still obvious through the paint.|
|The front panel of the chest. The texture left behind by the Japanese burnishers looks beautiful.|
|Finished with burnishing, masking tape removed.|
|The finish is beautiful!|