For people looking for a really old distressed finish for their iron bed, let me suggest our Rusty Iron Distressed Crackle Finish.
Although this is one of the more labor intensive antique faux’ finishes that we do on the beds we sell, it offers one of the more distressed looks we offer.
I should let you know we don’t do one finish, in all the finishes we offer, that I haven’t at one time actually seen in it’s original form on an antique iron bed. Original old beds offered such a wide palate of colors and finishes, I never felt it necessary to offer up anything other than beds I’d seen in their original form.
This particular finish comes from an bed I’d gotten from a “picker” back in Pennsylvania, who said it came out of an old log cabin that had been in a fire. The bed happen to be one of the few things that survived to any extent. When I brought it back to my store and put it in the showroom, I’d only put it there until I had an opportunity to put one of our other finishes on it. But after the first few days of people telling me how much they liked the way it looked, I decided to try and duplicate it…… which we have.
All paint should be water base and acrylics.
First : Sandblast your entire bed and side rails down to the bare iron. Any local sandblasting shop will be able to help you out with this. You’ll see that the natural color of your bed, after being blasted, is a dove grey……. not black, which many people think iron is. After sandblasting, your bed will have a clean smooth texture that will accept the layers of paint you’re about to apply.
Second : Apply a coat of black metal primer. Make sure it’s a good quality metal primer that will bond well with metal . Do not use a spray primer of the shelf. It will not be able to bond with the metal like a brush on metal primer.
Third : Apply a coating of LaPages Glue. Be sure that the primer coat has thoroughly dried first. The glue is what we refer to as the crackling agent. Be sure and let this layer dry before the next layer is applied.
Forth : Now paint on a coating of antique off white paint. This coat should be 100% coverage. You will almost immediately start to see the paint start to crackle. Once again…..allow this layer to dry completely.
Fifth : Take a rag and get it completely wet and the ring out the water. Wrap the rag around the tubing and rub back and forth until you start seeing the white layer coming off, as you can see in this photo. When you have the amount of black showing through you’re ready for the next step.
Sixth : This step will require three acrylics……Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, and Raw Sienna. Take a damp brush and apply 100% coverage to the white. Do small sections and then take a rag and rub the acrylic in to the white and be sure to get it in the crevasses of the castings. Now rub off the majority of the acrylic, leaving enough for an aged look. Now do the same with the other two acrylics. This stage is trial and error. You’ll just need to experiment until you start seeing the look and effect you want your bed to have.
Seventh : After you’ve achieved the look you want on your bed, you’ll need to seal all the layers you’ve created. Do this with a simply spray clear. We use Krylon Clear, #1301, either glossy or flat. Whatever your preference.
Hope you’re happy with the finish.
I hope you’ve found this blog informative . I invite you to revisit my website
to answer any and all questions you might have about antique iron beds.
I also invite you to take a look at our company Face Book page for multiple photo albums on Custom Finishes, Canopy Conversions and a comprehensive “Before & After” King Conversions album.