I sanded the top down to reveal the pretty wood under that old sticky finish, then sealed it until it was smooth as glass. I painted the case in the prettiest shade of pale dove gray that I've named Marlborough Gray for a friend who lives a town over in Marlborough, and loves gray best of all colors. For a little pop of color I painted the interior in sky blue. I highlighted the carvings in a darker gray applied lightly with a dry brush, distressed, and waxed the raised surfaces to imitate centuries old surface patina.
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