Shelf Is Attached From Underneath

The shelf goes onto the brackets, and an inconspicuously placed screw keeps it there. ■

AN AGED LOOK THAT DOESN'T TAKE 50 YEARS

I ith a glazing gel, I can make the mantel look either slightly old or very old. I start with McCloskey's glaze and stir in a raw umber Japan color until I get an almost chocolate color with a yogurt consistency.

1 paint a thick coat in the spots that I want darkest: the recesses and the areas where stray smoke would have inevitably darkened the wood over time. But I barely touch the parts I want to stay light.

I let that dry a few minutes, apply another coat if necessary and start pulling off the glaze with a piece of cheesecloth or an old T-shirt. If a spot looks too dark, a little paint thinner on a rag will pull it up.

I leave it dark in the crannies where furniture polish, oils and dust would have accumulated with age.

When I'm happy with the shading on the mantel, I wipe it quickly one last time, using a rag and a tiny bit of thinner.

After a few days of drying, a light coat of shellac or wax will tie down the glaze. This painless process subdues the mantel and conjures an aged, smoky appearance that seems natural in the room.

The Complete Guide To Wood Finishing

The Complete Guide To Wood Finishing

Wood finishing can be tricky and after spending hours on building your project you want to be sure that you get the best outcome possible. In The Complete Guide To Wood Finishing you will learn how to get beautiful, professional results no matter what your project is, even if you have never tried your hand at wood finishing before. You will learn about every step in the wood finishing process from a professional wood finisher with years of experience.

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