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Antique Fabric Preserver

By: Barbara Matthiessen for Earth Safe Finishes

Many of us have beautiful needlework or textiles from our ancestors, but we're too afraid to use them.  With this Antique Fabric Preserver, you can feel free to enjoy your family's history while keeping all their creations in tact.


  • Textile/needlework piece
  • Wood tray sized to match textile
  • Earth Safe Finishes ( products:
  • Generation Green Texture, Smooth
  • Acrylic paint in Glacier
  • Gel Medium
  • Colorant- Blue (Sample uses blue to pick up the color in the textile. Choose a colorant that relates to your textile.)
  • Marine Varnish-Gloss
  • Gel Glaze
  • Simple line stencil width of tray sides (You may also add texture then draw in lines with the side of a palette knife.)
  • Palette knife or old credit card
  • Paint brushes, wash size
  • Paper towels


  1. Add texture to the sides of the tray using a simple line stencil and a palette knife. Dip the knife into the texture then spread over the stencil evenly while holding the stencil in place. Alternatively you can spread a layer of texture onto the sides then draw lines through it with the knife. Set aside and allow to dry completely.
  2. Apply a coat of Glacier white to entire tray. Allow paint to dry.
  3. Mix 2 drops of Blue Colorant into a spoonful of glaze. Brush glaze onto tray in sections wiping off excess with a paper towel as you work. Brush blue glaze over entire tray, allow to dry.
  4. Apply another coat of Glacier paint to tray thinning the paint slightly with water. Allow to dry.
  5. Brush a layer of gel medium onto center of tray where textile will be placed. Smooth textile over gel medium. Brush a coat of gel medium over textile. Allow gel medium to dry.
  6. Apply 2 or more coats of varnish allowing each coat to dry before applying the next. Two coats were applied to sides and handles and 3 coats on top of textile.

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