Jamaican Dogwood Carving Rescued by Unicorn SPiT- Faux Patina Tutorial

3 Materials
6 Hours
We love collecting and restoring imported wood carvings from all around the world. Sometimes we keep the pieces and other times we sell them at our store in Fort Worth, Texas. With this particular vintage Jamaican dogwood piece there was little hope of restoring it to original condition due to severe wear, excess tannin stains and accumulated sap residue. No worries though! We knew that our favorite magical go-to product known as Unicorn SPiT could make our carved Jamaican dogwood carving into a gorgeous work of art again!
We scored several Jamaican hand-carved dogwood masks from an Estate and put our special patinas on them! Here's a quick tutorial on the first one!
Part One: Cleaning and Prep

We cleaned the carved wooden piece with Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Pure Castile Oil Liquid Soap and warm water, then allowed to dry. Once completely dry, we carefully peeled off some of the sap residue from the facial area, leaving a few scattered sap residue pieces in the crevices for character and aged effect.
Part Two: Color-Washed Stain Base Coat

We applied a diluted 50/50 wash of Blue Thunder and water to the entire wooden carving using a medium round brush. The SPiT color looked spectacular and blended nicely with the existing tannin stains. Once dry, we added a second layer of 50/50 wash of Zia Teal and water to the entire wooden carving using a medium round brush. The dogwood soaked up the pigment of the Unicorn SPiT with a faux airbrushed-looking effect without any extra steps!
Part Three: Highlighting, Contouring, Blending and Fine Detailing

Once the wood was completely dry, we performed facial contouring with a small flat chip brush by dry-brushing full strength Blue Thunder around cheekbones, nose, chin and lips.

We also used full strength Blue Thunder on the dreadlocks and facial hair for a darker effect. Once dried, we also dry-brushed on Purple Hill Majesty full strength around the dreadlocks to highlight the intricate carved lines. For the beard area we applied with a small flat brush and then blended via a dry round brush to the almost dry area with the following alternating colors separately in 50/50 washes: Zia Teal, Dragonsbelly and Blue Thunder.

We highlighted with a thin coat of diluted 60/40 wash of Zia Teal blended with water over some of the face giving a faux patina aged effect. For the eyes we used one layer of full strength Navajo Jewel, allowed to dry, then a coat of full strength Midnight Blackness with a topcoat of 50/50 wash of Zia Teal once dry. Those mysterious eyes were really popping out after this technique!
Part Four: Conditioning and Sealing Dogwood Pores with Tung Oil

We applied Watco Tung Oil with a large waxing brush to get the tung oil saturated into each crevice. The tung oil brought out the artisan-carved details of the piece, complemented the aged wood's imperfections, and brought out the beautiful hues of the SPiT's amazing 3-dimensional shine!

Once dry, we applied two more coats of tung oil because dogwood isn't really known for longevity and we wanted our artwork to be preserved for a long time!
Part Five: Final Wood Finish and Poly Sealant

We applied a coat of Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane in clear gloss with hard pressure, allowed it to dry, then applied a final second coat of poly. We did not distress or sand the piece at all, as we wanted to keep the discoloration and rubbed off areas that occurred while applying the poly hard with a chip brush.
We are really pleased with the results of this faux patina, and it only took several squeezes of Unicorn SPiT Gel Stain in our chosen colors to cover this thirsty 24X11X4 inch dogwood carving! SPiT is our favorite stain due to ease of use, versatility and vibrancy. The fact that it is non-toxic and jasmine-scented are lovely added bonuses! The folks who make SPiT and run the company are pretty wonderful too!

This lovely hand-carved Jamaican dogwood piece can be purchased at www.HippieCousin.com. To purchase Unicorn SPiT in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, please come see Hippie Cousin Trading Co. inside The Historic Camp Bowie Mercantile at 7200 Camp Bowie Blvd. Fort Worth, Tx 76116. For tutorials from Michelle, the inventor of UNICORN SPiT GEL STAIN AND GLAZE IN ONE(TM), or to purchase directly online, please visit www.unicornspit.com.
Suggested materials:
  • Unicorn SPiT Gel Stain   (https://www.unicornspit.com/)
  • Watco Tung Oil   (https://www.Amazon.com)
  • Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane in clear gloss   (https://www.Amazon.com)
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