Make a Faux Antique Finish With Cheesecloth

by Kaye
5 Materials
5 Days
As most of us know, it is much easier to make an old piece of furniture look new than new furniture look old. I saw an craft article in BH&G using cheesecloth to decorate vases. The idea of using cheesecloth to add texture and age popped in my mind. I noodled over this idea until I spotted a tin heart ornament in the bottom of my paint box.

I bought an open web cheesecloth on-line, there are many sizes of cheesecloth (surprise) available so I opted for the largest weave I could fine. I used some end pieces of wood and tried different paints, adhesives etc until I found what I thought would work. It didn't but I was close.

Keeping a trial project small is a good idea as I have learned that removing paint/glue from a "fail" is just not all that much fun.
The idea is to randomly pull/snag the cheesecloth in different directions until you think the remaining web has the desired "old" look. Note: be sure you get extra cheese cloth as this step tends to be the harder than it looks.
For my first real application, I tried triple thick polyurethane - (don't try this). No Good. It didn't work as the cheese cloth sort of floated and wouldn't adhere how I wanted it to. So on try two, I hunted through my adhesives stash and spied a really old jar of Mod Podge - over time it had evaporated and was quite thick. I thought it might glue down the cheesecloth while filling in parts of it and yet leave some of the texture.
It took a couple of days to dry but I was in the hunt. I applied a coat of Admiral Blue acrylic paint as a base color layer.
Next, I painted on a layer of pink acrylic, let it dry and lightly sanded it to reveal some of the blue color and texture. Last came the coat of white acrylic. I put less white on the edges and double coats of white in streaks on the heart. Again, I let it dry for a couple of days. Note: never try to mix your own pink color, I kept getting Pepto-Bismol pink instead of a soft pink.
Using 180 grit sandpaper, I sanded edges and random areas of the heart until I was satisfied with the look of the heart. To finish off the piece I wanted to try to add lace and pearls to the loop at the top. I aged the mini-pearls using sandpaper and a rubber mallet.
When I dug to the bottom of my button tin I found a red satin covered button from the '80s, I aged it by rubbing it on my wall (yup, there is a small red streak there now).

I crunched some lace in my fist and sewed the now old button, some old beads and the lace ribbon together. I wanted it to look like lace from my grandmother's graduation gown that had fallen apart.
Ta-da!!! If I had it to do again, I would not have gone with white but a creamy yellow.

If anyone has some ideas about how to improve the cheesecloth technique I would love to hear them.
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