Antique Rubbed Finish in Slate with Black Underlayment

06.07.11 By //
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Alright friends, this will be the last finish in the Antique Rubbed Finish Series! It might be one of my absolute favorites, because it is one of the few you can really go crazy on the sanding and it will still look amazing!

Now that we are wrapping up the rubbed technique we will be moving on to Glazing next. I am trying to do these finishes in order of difficulty and plan to build your skill level up enough that you might do something absolutely amazing with your finishes. I hope you have been enjoying the Finishing School and I can’t wait to see how you finish your furniture! Don’t forget to send pictures so that I can post them for everyone to see!

Step 1

As usual (always) you will want to begin by sanding your piece well. Please review my Tips and Tricks article prior to beginning this finish if you aren’t an experienced painter.

If you are working with wood, skip step 2 and head to step 3!

Step 2

If you are working with MDF, you will want to rub a thin layer of spackle along and around any cut edges. Those edges tend to absorb paint and primer like a sponge and you will need to re-surface them so to speak. Make sure to cover the entire cut edge with spackle and bring it up over the corners of the cut edges as well. Allow this to fully dry and sand with a fine grit sand paper. You will want to sand this flush with the rest of the board so that it doesn’t stand higher than any other portion of the board.

If you are working with wood, skip step 2 and head to step 3!

Step 3
Step 3

You will want to prime your piece well. This means at least 2 coats of primer and possibly a 3rd, but not likely. You will have to make a judgment call as to how much coverage you have gotten with your 1st 2 coats. The bottom line is that you need to make sure you created a proper foundation for your finish.

**If you are painting wood that has knots you will need to use a Stain Blocking Primer/Sealer to ensure the resin from the knots doesn’t eventually seep out and stain your finish.

**Sand between coats of primer to smooth any raised grain that occurs.

Step 4
Step 4

Once your primer has dried, lightly sand, and clean thoroughly with a soft bristled brush on your vacuum or tacky cloth.

For this finish your base color will be Black and a Satin Finish is ideal. Paint at least 2 coats lightly sanding in between each coat. Make sure you allow proper drying time as well.

Step 5
Step 5

Once you have finished painting your base color (underlayment) you will start on your top coat color, in this instance I chose a medium color of light Slate Blue. You could easily choose a medium green color or a beautiful taupe. Sky is the limit!

Step 6
Step 6

Once your top coat color has completely dried you can begin your sanding. You will want to use about a 150 grit paper for this because you want to make sure you don’t remove so much paint that you sand right through the underlayment color but you also want to take enough paint of with each rub that you don’t ware down the area surrounding your intended sanding and dull your top coat color.

Hold the paper wrapped around your pointer finger and at a 45 degree angle so that you have only one point of contact between your paint and the paper.

Step 7
Step 7

With Black as your underlayment color, and a medium color as your top coat, you can really go a bit crazy here with the rubbing. Rub more areas in larger sections if you want, it won’t look bad. If you are unsure, be conservative, but I doubt you can go wrong with this color combo!

Step 8

Clean thoroughly when you are finished sanding with either a soft bristled brush attached to your vacuum or tacky cloth.

Seal your piece with at least 3 coats of Polyurethane. Choose a water based Satin Finish Poly for the most professional yet durable finish.

For easy application of your poly, choose a spray can application, but if this isn’t an option you will also have an easy time applying a Wipe-On Poly. A brush on Poly will always work, but will be the most difficult to apply without seeing brush strokes.


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