I need many clocks for my clockmaker's shop, and I was lucky to get a set of four on ebay.
They are not particularly pretty, and who'd want identical clocks in a shop anyway. So my task was to make them all different and attractive. I started with the bigger one and followed instructions from Jean Nisbett's helpful book on converting standard ugly furniture into pretty and unique. Nisbett recommends enamel hobby paint, but I prefer ordinary water-based acryl.
First, I painted the clock dark green. I didn't have the right colour, so I mixed green with brown.
Then I used a coat of lighter green, which I immediately wiped with a cloth, and after it had almost dried, used sandpaper unevenly over the surfaces. Then I used a coat of varnish.
I made the face from a printie, covered with transparent plastic. I used ready-made sticker decorations.
With the second clock, I wasn't as elaborate. I simply stained it with mahogny and varnished. I glued on a wind-up button from a real watch. In the picture below, I placed an original clock by its side to show the difference.
The remaning two clocks I decorated in various ways. I glued some lace on one and painted and varnished it. I deliberately let the original surface show through a bit since it creates a worn effect. The last one I painted with Swedish "country red" which gave it a more noble light-wooden finish. The pendulum is an envelope clip. All faces are from the web.
I also have an original Barton grandfather clock with movable hands, the origin of which I cannot remember, but I know I haven't paid a fortune for it and didn't at that time know it was a Barton (or what Barton was for that matter). It is too big for the clockmaker's shop, and I have always had it in the Victorian house.