Month: December 2014

Super easy tutorial worth checking out!

This is just a quick tutorial with photos!  I have recently received a few inquiries on what method I use to paint and “age” the frames on my nativity scenes.  It is super easy, and can be done with any paint color.  I have used this technique on many projects.  So here goes.


First things first.  You need a piece of wood.  In my case… a mitered frame made out of pine.  Important: to get this look, do not sand the wood first,  ridges and imperfections in the grain are ideal!  They really pop out once you sand in a later step.


Plain old pine


Paint the wood in your choice of color.  I used a creamy white, any paint is fine, but I personally do not prefer anything too glossy.  A quick coat will do, coverage isn’t too important so just slap it on!  Just watch out for drippies.


Painted and dried


Once the paint dries (approximately 30 minutes or so), take your sander (or sand by hand) and sand over everything, paying extra attention to the edges, any neat looking knots or anything you’d like to accentuate with wood stain.  If you want a really worn look, sand generously.  If you want a subtle look, stick with just the edges.  This should only take a minute or two.


Painted and sanded, notice the nice knots and wood grain?


Once you are done sanding, wipe off the excess dust and get out your stain.  My go-to stain is Minwax’s Dark Walnut. It’s dark, it has a rich nutty taste… what’s not to like?  For something this size, like a frame, I wipe (or brush) over the whole thing.  If it’s a large project, or you are in a very hot environment, break it into sections. Otherwise the stain removal will require much more elbow grease, and that is the grossest of all the greases.  Pay extra attention to the edges and where the wood is exposed for a nice deep stained wood appearance.


Stain on, don’t forget the sides!


Then… take a clean, lint free rag and wipe off.  If the stain has set too much in an area, you can actually rework it with more stain, or use mineral spirits.  Speaking of mineral spirits, my 9-year-old son told me the other day, that I use the words “mineral spirits” way too much.  Which I don’t feel I do.  What up with that?


Wipe the stain off. See the way the exposed wood soaked in all that goodness?


Important!!  When using solvents and stains, make sure you hang your rags separately until they are completely dried before throwing them out.  Putting piles of wet stain rags in the garbage can actually start a fire.  It’s true!


Left side has only been painted, right side has wood stain technique.
Left side has only been painted, right side has wood stain technique.


To add extra sheen and protection, let the stain dry for 24 hours, and seal it with polyurethane.  For a simple project like this, I usually only use one or two coats of a wipe on poly. (I use the satin finish)   Make sure, using a wipe on variety, that you are using a lint free cloth.


Now, you’re done.


Fo real.  Isn’t that easy?


All done!
All done!

And the winner is………..

I’ve been making nativity scenes.  N.S.’s everywhere.   A month ago, these bad boys were flying off the shelves of my shop, aka. my garage and kitchen.   I was tempted to put them all on my wall at once and really give my family a Christmas high, (with the spirit of the holiday, and maybe a hint of stain… Read more →

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