How to apply an antiquing finish on natural stone.
Virtually any type of natural stone can achieve an antique finish. Sometimes called a leathered or river wash finish, it is an easy to produce textured look that can be achieved with both manual and automatic machines. The process uses brushes that move across the stone surface removing the softer stone material while leaving the harder more dense material behind. This produces a unique, matte look with a texture that can be described as similar to an orange peel.
A caress finish is the antiqued texture, but with a high gloss. This look uses the same process, but instead of stopping around the 300 grit level, higher grits are used to produce depth and shine.
The process of achieving a good antiqued finish begins with the surface prep. Starting from an unpolished or honed surface, make sure all of the heavy scratches are removed. If you are beginning with a polished surface, you must remove the polish down to a 120 grit level. Stones that have a tight grain like absolute black may need to be flamed to open the grain and allow the antiquing process to occur. Once the stone is flamed, use a metal wire brush to remove the rough edges. A 36 or 46 grit diamond wire brush may be substituted for the flaming process.
When using the antiquing brushes, you must run them at a slow speed and with very light pressure. Increased pressure does not speed the process; it only wears the brushes faster. You will start with the 36 grit brushes; run as many passes as necessary to achieve the desired look. Then follow up with the remaining grits to the 300 grit level. At this point you can apply an enhancer such as Tenax Ager to the surface for a finished look or continue to the 600 grit level. To achieve a Caress finish, simply proceed above the 600 grit brushes through the 800 and buffing brushes. This will give the stone a high gloss shine.
The unique look you can achieve using this process will please your customers and win you more business.
See our selection of Antiquing Pads by clicking here.