I finally completed the wooden Cthulhu fetish I first mentioned back in July. While I didn't fiddle with the idol's finish I did try a new treatment for the accompanying storage box.
To get the grungy effect of accumulated dirt and grime the box received a rubdown with "schmutz". The base for that is furniture paste wax and some shavings from a brown and burnst sienna crayon melted together in a double boiler. You then abrade some fine powder from earth-toned chalk pastels with fine grit sandpaper, add it to the liquid wax for a little color variation and texture, and stir well before decanting into an old Altoids tin and letting it harden. Apply it with a rag to anything in need of some age and you get a wonderful accumulation of grime in all the crevices.
If you like it, the idol is currently available on Ebay.