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Seeking advise: Hand finished white wash hard maple and ash wood frames

Mo Elyas

Frequent Poster
Messages
325
Location
New York, NY
Company
Big Apple Art Gallery



Ok, tomorrow the mission should I choose to accept it is learning to make some hand finished white wash hard maple and ash wood frames.
I looked at some videos and such and read the Understanding Wood Finishing book.
I like to hear if anyone has experience doing this and if you can give me some practical advise and make some recommendations on which products to use and such.



 

Mo Elyas

Frequent Poster
Messages
325
Location
New York, NY
Company
Big Apple Art Gallery
Sorry folks, I cannot seem to control the size of the image.




Ok, tomorrow the mission should I choose to accept it is learning to make some hand finished white wash hard maple and ash wood frames.
I looked at some videos and such and read the Understanding Wood Finishing book.
I like to hear if anyone has experience doing this and if you can give me some practical advise and make some recommendations on which products to use and such.
 

Gregory K. Norris CPF

RIP Past PPFA President 2016-2018
Certified Picture Framer®
Messages
3,916
Location
Huntington, West Virginia
Company
Huntington Hall of Frames
What you are describing is pickling, traditionally done with whitewash. On harder woods, like Maple, you might to use a wire brush first to clean out the pores. Then apply the whitewash across the grain. Let it dry to about 50%, then wipe off the standing whitewash, again, across the grain. Once it is nearly dry, wipe it with the grain until you get the desired level of pickling.

Whitewash it tricky to mix and work with, and there is a learning curve.

Milkpaint is an acceptable substitute, but you will want to thin it down with an appropriate solvent...presuming you are using a commercial product as opposed to the real thing.

For your purposes, with a short deadline and no experience, I would opt for one of the commercially available pickling finishes. Minwax would be my personal choice, but there are others out there.
 

Mo Elyas

Frequent Poster
Messages
325
Location
New York, NY
Company
Big Apple Art Gallery
What you are describing is pickling, traditionally done with whitewash. On harder woods, like Maple, you might to use a wire brush first to clean out the pores. Then apply the whitewash across the grain. Let it dry to about 50%, then wipe off the standing whitewash, again, across the grain. Once it is nearly dry, wipe it with the grain until you get the desired level of pickling.

Whitewash it tricky to mix and work with, and there is a learning curve.

Milkpaint is an acceptable substitute, but you will want to thin it down with an appropriate solvent...presuming you are using a commercial product as opposed to the real thing.

For your purposes, with a short deadline and no experience, I would opt for one of the commercially available pickling finishes. Minwax would be my personal choice, but there are others out there.

Thank you. Does pickling result in a smooth finish surface of rough? I don't know much about the subject.


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Robin Gentry MCPF

PPFA Coordinator 2020, Past PPFA President 2013-15
Forum Help Team
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OAKS CLUB
Master Certified Picture Framer®
Messages
1,679
Location
Bowling Green Ky
Company
B&J Gallery
Hi Mo,

I don't know how to do this BUT you could message Mikki Kavich and/or Rob Markoff to see if they have any recommendations. Also it sounds lik Greg has done this before from his response and would try his method also.

Post the finished result!

Good Luck!
Robin
 

Mo Elyas

Frequent Poster
Messages
325
Location
New York, NY
Company
Big Apple Art Gallery
Thanks Jerry for the clarification. I thought so too.

I like to try pickled finish on the ash and more smoother finished on the maple.


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Gregory K. Norris CPF

RIP Past PPFA President 2016-2018
Certified Picture Framer®
Messages
3,916
Location
Huntington, West Virginia
Company
Huntington Hall of Frames
You can smooth out the surface and coat with polyurethane for a smooth finish, or leave it rough and coat with paste wax.

In general, the denser the wood, the smoother the finish. The maple will be pretty smooth with either finish. The Ash will absorb more of the wash because it has larger and deeper pores. It is a different look.

You will probably get more consistent results using a commercial preparation. But for a single frame, the real deal can be quite stunning.
 

Wally Fay CPF

Registered
Certified Picture Framer®
Messages
686
Location
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
Company
Sunshine Frames
Water based white-wash will raise the grain upon application which results in the less than smooth finish (woods vary). I've done both the more modern technique and the traditional using a bleaching agent (combination of ammonium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide(industrial strength)), then applying oil based paints as Greg described along with a final clear coat.
Mikki has posted a couple videos about a product she sells in her shop called Unicorn Spit. It achieves the semitransparent look desired and the wood grain shows through nicely. I am buying some from her to experiment with. I have been challenged by one of my accounts to recreate a finish done at City Frame, and I think Unicorn Spit may be the ticket without completely reinventing the wheel.
 

Randy Parrish CPF

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Certified Picture Framer®
Messages
2,209
Location
Ann Arbor Michigan
Company
Parrish Fine Framing
I have done a lot of white wash on both Ash and Maple, min-wax used to make a great rub on rub off finish, not anymore. I have tried a lot of over the counter products and they all are lacking. If all else fails try Rub N Buff Antique White, I have used this before and it does all right. If you have a spray booth you could try a white lacquer finish.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Rub-n-Bu...50049&wl11=online&wl12=24419574&wl13=&veh=sem
 

Mo Elyas

Frequent Poster
Messages
325
Location
New York, NY
Company
Big Apple Art Gallery
I have done a lot of white wash on both Ash and Maple, min-wax used to make a great rub on rub off finish, not anymore. I have tried a lot of over the counter products and they all are lacking. If all else fails try Rub N Buff Antique White, I have used this before and it does all right. If you have a spray booth you could try a white lacquer finish.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Rub-n-Bu...50049&wl11=online&wl12=24419574&wl13=&veh=sem

Thanks. I'll order that from Walmart and try it you.

I don't have a booth but bought some white paint that I plan to thin out and try that. I bought some white stains too from a local paint store. I'm going to experiment with a few things until I like something.


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Randy Parrish CPF

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Certified Picture Framer®
Messages
2,209
Location
Ann Arbor Michigan
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Parrish Fine Framing
I was looking for the same thing a while back, Baer suggesting using Kylon White spray paint and spraying a lot of it in a cup then wiping on to the wood. I could not tell if he was joking or not. Most of the current wood stains by min wax are all water based, white makes doing a white rub extra time consuming, sand, stain, sand, stain, sand...
 

Mo Elyas

Frequent Poster
Messages
325
Location
New York, NY
Company
Big Apple Art Gallery
I was looking for the same thing a while back, Baer suggesting using Kylon White spray paint and spraying a lot of it in a cup then wiping on to the wood. I could not tell if he was joking or not. Most of the current wood stains by min wax are all water based, white makes doing a white rub extra time consuming, sand, stain, sand, stain, sand...

Yeah for the first statement :p

I know what you're saying about this. I saw a video where they used thinned white paint and it came out nice. They then used poly to seal it. I trying that method. I really like to be able to make my own frames if I could like that.
 
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David Waldmann

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360
Location
Chester, VT
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Vermont Hardwoods
We use white acrylic poly thinned with clear (I don't know the ratio off hand), and spray 2-3 coats as needed to achieve the desired effect.

However, this is not what would be traditionally called "white wash", as it's a smooth, refined finish. But it does give that semi-transparent look and is relatively quick and easy to do if you are good with a spray gun.
 
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