Saturday, February 23, 2008
The Black Art of Furniture Toning
Or - how do you turn a Birch Ikea Chair into a Cherry Ikea Chair?
I remember when late night television used to be interesting. One of the shows I watched was 'Furniture on the Mend'. Two wacky New York second hand furniture dealers revealed the dark secrets of their trade. They would buy new pine furniture, assemble it, beat it with rusty chains, rub 'special' dirt on it, then show how it could possibly be passed off as an original antique. Their favourite tool was an old piece of iron pipe. They knew every trick. They even put saw and burn marks in some of their pieces.
One secret of the trade was 'toning'. This technique could be used to hide repairs in valuable furniture. A couple of trips to Mohawk in Vancouver eventually yielded Cherry Toner in an aerosol can. Two cans are needed to 'treat' six Ikea Chairs. Professionals of multiple hues to spray on many colours at once to match an existing finish. Hold the can far, far away from the piece as you spay, and let the mist 'fall' on the wood. Use multiple thin coats. Toner is acetone based so drying time is about a minute and a half. I don't know about long term durability, but hey, I can always apply a bit more.
Please note the scarf G. knitted for me. I keep it close by at all times. That way, I don't miss her quite as badly.