I am looking for the correct way to apply pumice or rottenstone to furniture for an antique look. Although many people use it strictly for polishing I have seen it applied and left on the piece as an accent - leaving the powder on the piece. Itís done in the final stages of finishing. I have a client who is requesting this and as a high end shop I've been surprised that none of my five finishers have ever done this as itís popular in pieces of furniture needing to look very old or antiqued.
From contributor C:
The usual method is to apply a little size to the areas where the pumice is intended to stick on the work pieces and then dust the pumice on and let the size dry and follow by polishing it off a little to get the loosest particles and perhaps to clean up the edges and high areas of the profiles. Any size could work from varnish to clear acrylics. Slower sizes like spar varnish give tons of time to work but need more dry time. Wax can be used but the finish is not really permanent then and the pumice could be polished off at any time.
Rottenstone is darker and more often used in this way than pumice but the process is the same for either. The rottenstone looks more like household dust and so gives a more commonly desired aged look. Have your guys practice on some scrap cabinet doors or profiled samples and they will soon get a feel for it.