Antique Effect for 3D Carve

This is a tree produced by my Journeyman. I’d like to highlight the tree within the oval by causing the lower laying areas to ne a little darker than the rest - essentially creating shadows. A similar effect can be found on antique furniture that has been refinished over the years and the nooks and crannies are darker because the old finish wasn’t;t entirely removed in those areas. Anyone know how to do this?


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It may help if you provide an example of what you’re trying to achieve.

Stain and then rub out the surface.

OK, here is an example. The idea is to darken the recesses of the carved area and leave the rest lighter. This example has distressing. Not interested in that.



I am familiar with what I think you are looking for

1 seal you project the entire project I use 3 coats of lacquer. But you are not limited to that. The sealer could be shellac, polycrylic, polyurethane, or even paint but of course then you will not see the wood tone or grain. (Allow to completely dry)

2 use a stain of your choice or glaze, generously wipe over the surface you want to have that affect

3 immediately wipe off that stain with a cloth . The more of the stain or glaze you remove will vary the outcome. After you have the look you are after ,stop wiping.(allow the stain or glaze dry completely)

  1. Seal the entire project again I typically use 2-3 more spray coats.

I strongly recommend you practice a few times working towards the look you are after. There is always different paths to the same ends ,this is the path that works for me.

I look forward to seeing you final result.


David! This is terrific. Thank you so much.


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Michael Tyler’s (Making The Bookpile Box | Michael Tyler's FREE CNC Project of the Month | Vectric - YouTube) has a lot of good videos doing what you are talking about. Just search his name on YouTube. And yes, this is an art that needs some practice.

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Michael Tyler’s Funtabulous Finishing Techniques by Michael Tyler | Vectric Worldwide UGM 2020 - YouTube


Adam Savage on the Tested YouTube channel has some really good videos on weathering using layers of paint. Particularly the brush on, wipe off technique that @Webb described.

I haven’t come across this before. Very good. Worth watching.