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Arts & Crafts Roombox - Need advice on wood finish


biomom
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Hi everyone,

So I am in the midst of a 1:24 Arts & Crafts style roombox. I have been working on some intricate wood work and I can't decide on how/whether to give the stained wood on the walls a coating of some sort. I have heard that glossy finishes will bring out imperfections in miniature but most of the real-life Arts & Crafts rooms seem to have a pretty shiny finish on the wood work.

Any advice on which way to go? I have polyurethane in both satin and semi-gloss. I also have beeswax polish, although a test patch didn't really seem to make a difference.

The picture is a preview of the room...the flash makes it look shiny already but it isn't in real life.

Thanks for any help!

post-5514-0-64695700-1372445956_thumb.jp

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I think it looks great, but if the sheen is attributable to the flash, then maybe semi-gloss. I'd experiment on some test pieces first and hold them up to your walls to see if I was happy before committing to the whole thing.

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I've done two Arts & Crafts roomboxes in classes with the Guys from Texas. We used a finish on the wood but I can't remember if it was satin or matte. Definitely not glossy. I think either matte or satin would be good but not sure if polyurethane is the way to go (in my experience that creates a sort of rough hard shell that's not appealing in minis... but it might be because I used it wrong!) If it were me, I'd try the water based varnish you can buy at Michael's -- Plaid makes it I think, or there might be other brands. Or possibly furniture wax you're able to apply a coat without mucking things up too much (it can be hard to do with small pieces). Not sure if that's the same as the beeswax stuff you have. My wax is Minwax brand, you rub it on with a cloth, let it dry / harden a few minutes, and then buff it with the cloth in a circular motion. It makes the wood sort of soft to the touch and gives it a very subtle sheen.

We have some mission furniture in my own house and none of it is particularly glossy or shiny. My dad built craftsman-style window trim in our dining room and we used the furniture wax on that.

ps Your fireplace is beautiful! Nice work!

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Modern/ restored Craftsman homes might have shiny woodwork, but what I remember from the unrestored original Craftsman houses I've been in is that the woodwork had a lovely soft "glow" from years of dusting and polishing with wax or oil.

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