How to Create an Heirloom: Easy Way to Add Years to New Furniture

Sometimes you buy a piece of furniture that you love but when you get it home it just doesn’t seem to “go” with your home.  This happens to me every now and again – unless I’m buying an antique.  I find that by giving it a little bit of antiquing helps quite a bit.

Swedish Mora clock from Howard Miller before antiquing

Before: Our Swedish clock before I antiqued it

I purchased a lovely Swedish clock that was reasonably priced – especially when I compared it to the real deal antiques that I’ve seen online. The all white clock just looked out of place in my traditional home.  So – I got to work, giving it a bit of aging.

  • First, I used a clear coat (Aquaseal from Faux Effects) on the entire piece. This seals the surface very well and ensures a better glaze.  I let that dry.
  • Then I added some adhesive size to some of the the edges of the clock – wherever I wanted to see some gold leafing that was fading.  I let it come to tack (about a half hour or so) and then I ripped up some Dutch Metal Gold Leaf and put it on haphazardly wherever I put the size. Let dry.
  • Next I mixed up some browns and golds into my glaze mixture (I used Faux Creme clear from Faux Effects) and set about antiquing the piece.
  • Finally, after everything was dry, I mixed up some brown and dark brown colorant and dipped a chipbrush into it (and offloaded onto a paper towel) – and then I drybrushed here and there and on the edges to give it more age.

I loved the simplicity of it – just a gentle aging.  But as I lived with it what annoyed me was the fact that the clockface still looked new! So I got to work aging the clockface.  I just used some glaze that I had leftover from another project that was similar to the glaze I used for the body of the clock – putting it on with a chipbrush and then smoothing it with a badger brush (but you can use any soft bristled brush that you have on hand).

Swedish Mora clock undergoing a transformation

During the clock face aging

"Swedish clock" "Gustavian clock" "Antiquing" "DIY"

Closeup of our clock

Now the clock looks like it belongs in my home. Everything in my home shows it’s age – including me, sorry to say!  I may try to find an an antique clockface to really make it look like an heirloom.  And I may do some handpainting on it to give it a little more character.

"Swedish clock" "Mora clock" "Gustavian clock" "Antiquing" "DIY"I hope you enjoyed looking at my project! If you’d like to know more about the Venetian Plaster wall finish in the entryway, click here.

Sharing this with: Funky Junk Interiors; Between Naps on the Porch; Be Colorful; Home Stories from A to Z; BoogieBoard Cottage; Miss Mustardseed; French Country Cottage; Cherished Bliss


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22 Responses to How to Create an Heirloom: Easy Way to Add Years to New Furniture

  1. Janet W. says:

    Beautiful clock to begin with and a beautiful authentic looking transformation. Love it. Great job!

  2. Deb says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂 I LOVE Swedish clocks – they just look so whimsical to me! I love what you did with yours – it looks so welcoming now and like it belongs there. I especially love the harlequin walls – between those and the clock it feels like a scene from a fairy tale – Alice in Wonderland? Or Beauty and the Beast perhaps? Lovely 🙂

  3. Linda,

    I love your tutorials. I have a much better appreciation of the effort and thought that goes into your work – even this “simple” clock! And the results are always amazing!!! I can only imagine, walking thru your house must be a visual feast!


    • Linda says:

      Thanks John – and I just have to say that you and Sally do such amazing work. Everyone should visit your website. Every picture of your interior designs – fantastic…so gorgeous!

      Thanks for commenting!

  4. Such a beautiful clock. You did a wonderful job making it more “you”. (It looks great with the fun harlequin wall, too.)

  5. That antiquing is perfect for that clock!! And with the diamond walls … so fun!! 🙂

    • Linda says:

      Thanks Kara – the antiquing really helped it fit in to my decor. And I’ve created a little bit of decorative tension placing it withing the harlequin finish on the walls!

  6. SheilaG says:

    I love your clock- I’ve been drooling over these for awhile now. Love the way you finished it, much better than the bright white.

    • Linda says:

      Thanks Sheila! I have always loved Swedish clocks (drooled for many years!!). But the only way I could have afforded one was doing it this way! Thanks for commenting. Linda

  7. BeColorful says:

    That looks gorgeous and very expensive now. Nicely done. I am so happy you decided to share this on BeColorful this week. Hope you are having a great weekend.

  8. Tammy says:

    Wow this is great…. beautiful!

  9. Courtney says:

    Love your clock and your beautiful wall too- sharing at the party tonight~ thanks for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday!

    • Linda says:

      Thanks so much – I am grateful that you hold a great blog link party every week, so we can show our work to others and see others’ creations as well.

  10. Hello Linda: This is my first time visiting your blog, and I am loving the patina you added to your wonderful Swedish clock–I agree with you that it does fit into your home’s interior style much better after you worked your magic on it! And congratulations on your feature over at French Country Cottage–well done!

  11. Stunning, Linda! It looks wonderful against your Harlequin wall {which I also love}!

  12. wow. love your new, old clock and love your home too!

  13. Cheryl says:

    So beautiful Linda! Would you consider sharing your source for the clock? I have been looking for one that’s affordable for quite some time. Thanks so much!

    • Linda says:

      Hi – I bought it from a dealer in Lindenhurst NY (Zimmerman’s), but the clock was made by Howard Miller. This company makes many different kinds of clocks – great reproductions. I looked online yesterday and I did not see my clock. I did see one that has a similar shape – it’s called the Colonial. Check Ebay and Craigslist – you never know what you will find!! Hope this helps!

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