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1--2--3 Mahogany

Miss G, a friend, purchased these corbels 
at one of those big discount decor stores. 
She couldn't resist them because they were on sale for $20. 
 But the corbels were made of lightweight composite - not wood, and so she asked if I could make them look like mahogany. 

I needed to create a "passable" mahogany 
 that would blend with her existing cabinets. 

 THREE STEPS will work for any project
 where a quick wood effect is needed.

If you wanted to do this on a larger surface
 - a door for example, the process would be the same,
but you'd apply the glazes in the grain of the wood,
 just as if you were building a door,
 board by board...rail, stile, header and panels.

Here we go!

STEP ONE - background color. 
  Benjamin Moore Brick Red (# 2084-10) 
 is my go-to color for mahogany.

And let the paint dry

STEP TWO - Mix a purplish-black, eggplant colored glaze.
Think of a glaze like a stain.
A glaze makes paint transparent -
perfect for graining or marbling.
Ask for glazing medium at your local paint store,
 or if you prefer, both Golden and Liquitex
make excellent glazing mediums
and they can be purchased at an art/craft store.

For small projects, using acrylic craft paint
 is an economical way to mix a glaze.
 Acrylic paints are available at stores like Michaels.

Squirt some opaque red onto a paper plate,
 add some blue to it, followed by a speck of black.
You may have to adjust the colors slightly.
 Once satisfied,
 mix in some glazing medium -
two or three parts glazing medium to 1 part paint.

Brush and dab the glaze onto the corbel. 
Use a clean rag to wipe away the excess. 
See how its taking shape?

Let this dry competely. 
 Make yourself a cup if tea...check e-mail
...throw in a load of wash...go for a run. 
But wait until this is completely dry before proceeding.

STEP THREE -  Mix the next glaze, a toning glaze,
 by using a few squirts of acrylic craft paint:
 burnt umber and black. 
Stir in the glazing medium to make a dark brown stain. 
 Again, 2 parts glazing medium and 1 part paint,
 should get you there.

I use a scruffy brush to apply the glazes. 
The best ones for the job are inexpensive
chip brushes from Home Depot. ($1.49)

Wipe away any surface excess
but leave a good bit of the dark brown glaze in the crevasses.

A small artist brush
 gets glaze into the little spaces
 missed with the larger brush.

What a difference that dark brown toning glaze makes! 
The original red tones become highlights
 as the piece lookes mellow. 
The corbel on the left is complete,
 the one on the right has only the first glaze on it.

One down, one to go!

Finish with a light spray of Krylon Matte Varnish
and you are done!



  1. I can hardly believe what I see! WOW! It seems so simple when you do it. Everything you do shows your vast experience. And you share it gently. Thanks Sharon!

  2. As always you make this seem so easy....That's a true sign of someone who is very talented in what they do! They came out perfect.


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