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Gfeller Moleskine Cover Antiquing Technique


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44 replies to this topic

#1 Bisquitlips

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 19:33

I am going to start a new thread on this in case the mods want to keep it for reference.

Many of us on FPN literally drool over Steve's (Stevlight) Gfeller cover. IMO it has one of the nicest patinas and well worn looks that I have ever seen on a journal cover. The question I had was how did he get that "look".

Steve was so kind and patient in sharing his technique with me and so I thought I would purchase a Gfeller Moleskine cover and then try to speed up the process several years by using his process and some elbow grease. At least I thought I could give the cover a good start toward its own "look" and then let time and usage take over.

Supplies needed:

1 Gfeller Moleskine cover in your choice of style and size.
1 bottle of Kiwi Scuff Magic in black. (Heretofore referred to as SM). (Walmart or Target has it).
1 very rough rag with a canvas like texture. I used a rough dish rag.
1 can of Kiwi brown shoe polish in brown.
1 terrycloth towel use for buffing the polish. Paper towels will also work for buffing but you need something that will absorb the extra polish.
1 stiff bristle brush used for taking the shine off the layers of SM.
1 soft bristle brush used for the final matte finish.

Step One: Get a Gfeller Moleskine Cover.
This is the one I purchased. NC.LNH Notebook Cover, Natural English Kip leather, For Moleskine© 5" x 8-1/4" Notebook w/ Hard Cover.
Link: Gfeller

Here is what they start out looking like.

Posted Image

And this is the look I am trying to get a start on.

Posted Image



Step Two:
Be courageous! These are made out of great leather and the Kip is very forgiving. The worst you will do is come out with a well made Moleskine cover that will age beyond any mistakes you make.

Step Three:
I took Kiwi brown solid shoe polish, the kind that come in the tin, and gave it one good coat. The Kip leather will soak up the polish quickly so I would cover an area of the cover fully an then buff it off with a towel and the overlap my last area so that the whole finish would be uniform. It's the same process used when staining unfinished wood. I did an area about 3 inches wide that went from the bottom to the top of the cover and then buffed. The next application overlapping the first by about an inch and then buff quickly and vigorously allowing the buffing rag to blend the two areas.

Do the inside of the cover first and should you not like the results it will be on the inside. It's a good way to practice your technique.

I might mention here that Steve did not do this, but actually went right over the natural Kip finish with the Scuff Magic black and it looks fantastic, but I wanted a darker finish to show through when the SM scuffed off so I did the this extra step with the Kiwi brown.

My results.

The variations in color are the result of the leather's grain. This is normal and desired.

This is the color I wanted to come through after the SM wears off. If you prefer the lighter natural color, then skip this step.

Posted Image

Step Four:

After letting it dry over night I began to layer on the Kiwi Scuff Magic black. This is a liquid so it took me about five coats to get it to the thickness I wanted. SM is a paraffin based product that is designed to fill in scuffs on the surface of leather so it is ideal for caking on layers and then coming off with age and usage.

After the first coat:

Posted Image

And after the 5th coat. Let it dry between coats. It does dry quickly, but if you don't let it dry, you will simply melt the last coat and probably remove more of it than you put on it.

After it dries, use the soft brush to blend the finish and remove a little of the unevenness and gloss.

Posted Image

Step Five, Six, Seven, and Beyond!

Take the canvas / rough rag and begin to take off the SM around the edges and corners until you see the amount of color you want.

It does take some elbow grease, but will come off. Keep rubbing.

Posted Image

More rubbing.

Here I would take the rag and wrap it around my index finger in order to concentrate the force in one area. I would then rub one area taking off the SM and then crisscross and randomize the rubbing.

Posted Image


And more rubbing.

I started to leave SM behind on key areas of the spine and take off more around the areas that I thought would rub off naturally with use.

You can use the stiff brush if preferred. It also helps to blend the edges between the over and under finishes.

Posted Image

Even more rubbing!

Ugly, but coming along. I put a few minor cuts in with a knife and also used my fingernail to scratch it. (It was itching!) :ltcapd:


Posted Image

Rub a dub dub....

Don't judge a book by its cover...!

Posted Image

And after some more rubbing and brushing I am going to stop here. I plan on working on the finish more so this is not close to finished yet, but will give those who wanted to try is a good place to start.



Posted Image

Steve's again for comparison. I hope mine will finally get there!

Posted Image

The beauty of this finish, is that you can go back to any step and redo it. Add more SM, take more off, add some Kiwi brown over the whole thing. Whatever you desire.\

Enjoy and don't worry! Have fun!

Richard

Edited by Bisquitlips, 08 August 2010 - 19:51.

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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#2 FooWriter

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 19:42

Thanks for this, Richard! I don't know that I'll get around to trying it myself, but I appreciate the effort you took to document the process so it will be here in case I do.
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"A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral." –Antoine de Saint Exupéry

#3 Bisquitlips

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 19:49

Thanks Mike. I am going to do more work to it, post more catch up photos later.

Right now I have a bad case of tired right forearm! :rolleyes:
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

#4 Heirphoto

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 20:07

Richard,
Did Steve do all the rubbing to age his cover of did he just go with the black SM layer and let it age and wear naturally after that?

Tony

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#5 FooWriter

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 20:09

Right now I have a bad case of tired right forearm! :rolleyes:

I feel your pain. I washed and waxed my wife's car this morning. I love me some brownie points, 'cause they're (sometimes) redeemable for real brownies! :thumbup:
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"A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral." –Antoine de Saint Exupéry

#6 Bisquitlips

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 20:35

Richard,
Did Steve do all the rubbing to age his cover of did he just go with the black SM layer and let it age and wear naturally after that?

Tony


Steve just put the SM on it and let it age naturally.

I will be putting another coat on the one I am working on and seeing how close I can get to Steve's.

Nothing can replace nature though!
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

#7 stevlight

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 21:14

Steve just put the SM on it and let it age naturally.

I will be putting another coat on the one I am working on and seeing how close I can get to Steve's.

Nothing can replace nature though!


I stopped at the picture where the cover is very solid black--under the picture it says "Step Five, Six, Seven, and Beyond!" I left mine black and just used my sketchbook everyday--carried it everywhere in my bag and the rubbing and jostling wore away the black naturally--then my hand sweat and usage added to it. Bisquitlips {Richard} is trying to speed up the process. It took a month to get "good" and old looking and I have had it at least a year in the photo above--I use it everyday.
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#8 Bisquitlips

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 23:15

Now,

I just added another coat of SM to the Gfeller and will let it wear off naturally! Will post more photos soon to see what everyone thinks and share the results.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

#9 hereim

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 04:16

Thanks for sharing your technique Bisquitlips . I am tempted to have mine antiqued.
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#10 Heirphoto

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 16:47

Thanks for sharing your technique Bisquitlips . I am tempted to have mine antiqued.


I'm working on my GFeller small, soft Moleskine cover now. I finished with the Kiwi brown and am ready for the black layer. I can easily find Kiwi Scuff Cover but can only find Scuff Magic online. If you check the Kiwi website they only list Scuff Cover, while several resellers still list Scuff Magic. I wonder if one has replaced the other?

A quick test on scrap leather shows that it may work the same though.

Tony

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#11 stevlight

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 17:12

I "Think" Scuff Magic and Scuff Cover are the same. It used to be called Scuff Magic not it is Scuff Cover. Where did the magic go?---I do not know.
www.stevelightart.com

#12 Heirphoto

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 18:21

I "Think" Scuff Magic and Scuff Cover are the same. It used to be called Scuff Magic not it is Scuff Cover. Where did the magic go?---I do not know.


Kiwi products just confirmed to me that Scuff Cover replaces Scuff Magic. I was told it is a similar formula, not identical. The Scuff Cover goes on very smoothly, no caking or thickness to the layers. It does seem to respond well to vigorous rubbing and scratching, but seems tough enough it could take a long time to age naturally.

Tony

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The Heirloom Razor Strop Co.


#13 ethernautrix

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 19:21

Where did the magic go?---I do not know.


Aw! :-(

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#14 Bisquitlips

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 23:13

I "Think" Scuff Magic and Scuff Cover are the same. It used to be called Scuff Magic not it is Scuff Cover. Where did the magic go?---I do not know.


Scuff Magic and Scuff Cover are exactly the same. Forward!
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

#15 Bisquitlips

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 23:14

Where did the magic go?---I do not know.


Aw! :-(


It's all good Lisa.

The Cover will work the same as the Magic.

:thumbup:
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

#16 stevlight

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 00:46

DID SOMEONE SAY MAGIC!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhnYPecc1YE&feature=related


Sorry I could not resist.

Edited by stevlight, 11 August 2010 - 00:46.

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#17 TMLee

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 00:48

OUCH ... :yikes:

But very tempting ...

Gotta try this someday ...


What if the fresh leather is dark coloured ?
What do you do? change the Kiwi colour to a lighter one ?

#18 ethernautrix

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 01:13

DID SOMEONE SAY MAGIC!!


I LOVE Arrested Development, and I LOVE Gob! I love that episode where he wants to be buried in the casket... and that whole scene, I'm laughing remembering! Thank you, Steve!

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#19 Bisquitlips

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 03:38

DID SOMEONE SAY MAGIC!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhnYPecc1YE&feature=related


Sorry I could not resist.


I am sorry also......:bunny01:
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

#20 Bisquitlips

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 01:27

Just decided to "antique" my cover in a pillow case dropped in our clothes dryer with about a dozen nails!

Photos will follow soon, but I have to say the results are impressive!

Whoot!

Edited by Bisquitlips, 12 August 2010 - 01:28.

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 






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