What do you picture yourself using when you hear the technique “antiquing”?
If you’re like a lot of Fashenhues artists out there, your mind probably went immediately to that good ol’ staple of translucent stains, Brown (S-18/S-182).
Why not? S-18(2) Brown gives your piece a wonderful, aged antiqued look with depth and character difficult to duplicate in other media.
You should know, however, that antiquing is really a technique – not color-specific!
Any translucent color may be used to antique, though the following colors are the most popular because they are neutral: S-02 Mocha, S-09 Gray, S-17 Black, S-18 Brown, S-23 Mediterranean, and S-35 Cocoa.
We find a bristle brush works well for antiquing since the firm bristles allow you to work into the crevices of the piece. Though you may antique straight from the bottle, you will find better results when your color-of-choice is placed on a palette and mixed with a few drops of Blending Media. The Blending Media allows the color to be wiped back as smooth as satin. However, if too much is added, the color will be diluted too much, so just err on the side of caution when adding your drops of Blending Media.
You will ALWAYS antique (and apply any of the translucent stains) over Base Coat. That is to say, you MUST apply Base Coat to your piece. Without doing so, the translucent stains will simply soak into the ceramic bisque, not allowing you to wipe back or otherwise use Fashenhues stains as intended. It may not be obvious to you if you’ve missed a spot with the Base Coat if you use only the White Base Coat (which is why we provide two tones of Base Coat, one for each recommended coat – see Base Coat technique sheet).
Once you have completely covered your piece with Base Coat, use your brush to cover the entire piece with your chosen antiquing color and then “wipe back” the color.
Wiping back a color is really just that. Using a piece of cloth (we recommend 100% cotton t-shirts cut into manageable-sized pieces), wipe the color back off the piece. You will immediately see the wonderful antiquing effect this has on your piece. How much you wipe off is going to depend on your preference and the look you’re trying to obtain for the specific piece you’re painting.
If you find you are not able to wipe back enough color (perhaps you have let it dry too much), we find household baby-wipes work very well in removing more color (much more so than cloth and water). In fact, baby-wipes will also allow you to basically start over on your whole piece should the need arise. Just wipe the color away down to the Base Coat.