DIY: Create your own Vintage Teasure Otto von Berlin-Style

Posted by on Jul 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | No Comments

New doesn’t necessarily mean it is the most attractive. Especially not if it comes to furniture design: Vintage is still the big trend of 2016. Furniture that looks like it was found somewhere on grandma’s attic, but nowadays worth a fortune. Some try to be lucky and find it on flee markets, some search on eBay and other portals for days to find their personal vintage treasure. Why not build your own custom designed vintage furniture? With pickling solution, limestone, glazes, a little patience and some of Otto’s tips you can be easily achieve this.

(Found a treasure I wanna keep – But first it needs a new touch! – Picture: Otto von Berlin)

Hello everyone again, this is Otto from Otto von Berlin speaking. Your king of all handymen and favorite French Bulldog collected some useful tips, on how to build your own vintage furniture treasure. So listen carefully, y’all!

A reverse fountain of youth: Pickling solution for wood material

To receive a the right kind of vintage coloring on your wooden piece you simple need to paint it with pickling solution. It colors the wood darker and gives the material the typical used look. But be careful to not make your paws dirty! The structure of the wood maintains visible and on top the annual rings stand out even more. So nice to deal with some other rings then those of Gregor and Andrea after a long night…

Don’t pour pickling solution in metal containers

Gregor explained me, that you can find pickling solution in the crafts store either premade as a liquid product or powder to mix home yourself. The powder is dissolved in hot water and ready for use as soon as it get’s cold enough. But, the solution may not be poured in metal containers – the contact with the metal will affect the appeal of the color and we don’t want that. User feeding bowls made of synthetic or ceramic – they are much better. Or use regular containers, if you don’t have your feeding bowl with you. Extra tip: The brush should also not have metal parts on it.

(Use Crackle paint to get the typical Vintage 'used-look' - Picture:

(Use Crackle paint to get the typical Vintage ‘used-look’ – Picture:

The wood needs to be unhandled and unsoiled

The awfully tasting and weird smelling active substance needs to percolate inside the wood without problems. Therefor the surface needs to be unsoiled. Soft wood, which comes in contact with the solution, can get stains, if there are color-remains left in the wood – The pickling solution won’t get properly absorbed. Gregor told me once, that my ‘Holzkopf’ (a German word for ‘blockhead’, which literary translated means ‘wood head’) fell into such substance and that’s why I ended up so spotted. Sometimes I am really just waiting for hay bales are moving through the room from left to right, after my partner made one of his famous flat jokes… But back to the topic!
If needed you have to grind off the surface. Apply the solution with a (non-metal) brush and soak up the remaining leftovers.

(Vintage Furniture? With a couple steps to build your own treasure – Picture: Shi Yali)

Shabby that look!

As the pickling solution dries up, small wood fibers are rearing up – the handyman needs to smoothen the surface with fine sandpaper. But do it carefully. Once I wasn’t so careful with my claws and we had to buy a new cherry wood table…
One thing to remember: pickling solution doesn’t give the material an extra layer of protection. Paint it over with clear varnish to seal the wood. Although it should be mentioned, that unvarnished wood maintains it’s natural appearances, which is the vintage look we go for.

‘Old’ colored Vintage style

To ‘fake’ the used paint look of our Vintage furniture, the pores of the wood are filled with a limestone solution. You can find that in pretty much every crafts store – you should only make sure its foundation is from wax. You can never go wrong with whites or pastel colors. Pastel colors aren’t really my thing, as you can see on the color of my fur, but it looks extremely good on wood! Extra-tip: You can only use limestone solutions on solid timber!

(Wood-tastic! Picture:

Scrub, scrub, scrub the wood

To open the pores of the material, you need to scrub it completely open with a brush or your claws. Use one made of brass, then scrub it evenly and vigorous to create the effected you want. Rub the paste with a piece of linen cloth all over the material, to close all the pores. Once the mass is dried, scrub and smoothen the surface gently. Scrubbing and smoothening a surface gently… Sounds almost like petting my belly – Note to myself: Demand more cuddles from Gregor by the end of the day!
An extra layer of protection won’t be necessary, as the wax preserves already the material.

Crack it up – crackle paint as the final touch for your Vintage treasure

Crackle paint, which can be found at any crafts supplier, imitates the hairline fracture of old paint. This method is especially effective on smaller furniture – but try on the appearance first on a smaller piece of wood before you apply it. First you paint a regular varnish onto the surface. Once it’s dry, you paint it over with a special varnish (from the same color system). Apply, watch and listen to the cracking of the wood. Voilà – Your custom designed vintage treasure is DONE! There you go – your own vintage masterpiece is ready for use. You’re welcome.