Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rusted Plaster Faux Finish

When talented finisher Mary Walker wanted some ideas for her own home, we jumped at the chance. First we get to see her wonderful home. Second, since Mary is a great hostess Ashley and I tour the home with wine and snacks. The fun and lively conversation with Mary and Dave is a plus-maybe we should pay them for the consult?

Mary wanted a dark based finished that would compliment this swatch of fabric and her deep olive toned carpet. She wanted to bring in some blue-green shading and continue the subtle metallic silver and gold shades found throughout the home. Mary used Lusterstone in many rooms and is open to using it again but would like to look at Venetian Plaster as well. The two rooms looking for a new finish are the office and the lower level entertainment area.

The lower level entertainment area has more square footage then the office project. Mary is looking for no more then a 3 step finish. We selected FE Venetian Gem in Black Onyx as our base. The Black Onyx may be applied over Dark Setcoat or 2 layers of a quality latex paint. Just like the Tribecca Bronze (Before and After Project 1) this plaster layer needs some highs and lows so the sea sponge and/or popping the plaster on with a trowel will work. 10%-20% of the base paint layer will show through. Venetian Gem sets relatively fast and for this finish the second layer may be applied the same day.

We thinned the FE Rust Kit Designer Rust and Rust Glaze and the FE Verdigris Blue-Green with Aquacreme. After brushing the 3 colors on at the same time, spritz the surface with water and pull tightly with a Japan Scraper. Soften the colors with a dry cloth. This is a linear effect but be careful not to create stripes of similar width. Brushing some areas wider, pulling the Japan Scraper across the surface, and varying how much water you apply will help the finish appear more “organic”.

To mute the finish and bring in a delicate metallic tone, we mix FE Wheat Metal Glow with Aquawax and trowel it tightly down over the Venetian. Aquawax may be thinned with 10%-20% Aquacreme to slow the dry time and make it sheer. Use a cloth to soften chatter as you work. Not only is the Aquawax the final color layer, it is also a durable topcoat.

The final sample with the fabric.  Mary is ready to tackle her lower level. Ashley and I can't wait to check it out-remember we work for wine and snacks!  Sources: Faux Effects

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Plaster Faux Finish Powder Room: Ashley's Bath

Ashley and her husband Justin are first time homeowners. They purchased a 5 year old two story in the spring of 2008. In addition to standard builder’s grade cabinets, tile, and flooring, the previous owners stripped the fixtures and let the kids draw pictures on the wall. One bedroom scribble depicted a Giant Beaver with an orchestra baton! Their dog, Scout, looked a little worried.

Many coats of primer later, Ashley was ready to transform her new home into a warm contemporary environment perfect for a couple in their 20’s.

Since Justin and Ashley both work full-time jobs, they decided to start with a small project first-the kitchen half bath. The finish they selected is the Tribecca Bronze. Like most new construction, the cheapest and thinnest coat of contractor’s paint covered the walls. We applied a coat of Faux Effects’ Dark Brown Setcoat to seal the walls and give us a dark color that becomes part of the finish. This layer should dry at least 2 hours.

Our second layer is FE’s Venetian Gem Plaster in Tiger’s Eye.
To maximize coverage and create a textured base, we roll the Tiger’s Eye with a sea sponge roller. Don’t smush the roller. Pop it across the surface to create some varied height. More plaster may be buttered on the trowel and popped in areas to create more density and interest.

Come back over the area you just rolled, holding the blade at a slight angle from the wall, and lightly flatten the plaster to smooth rough tips. Only 10%-20% of the base color should show after the Venetian Gem layer is applied. Dry time is about 2-4 hours depending on the room temperatures. An outer facing wall will dry slower in cold weather.

When the Venetian Gem is dry, we apply a tight coat of FE’s Bronze Palette Deco (pre-tinted metallic plaster). Put a small amount on your trowel and pull tightly to backfill the Venetian Plaster layer. Don’t bury the Tiger’s Eye. This is a water-based plaster so you may use a bottle to spritz water on the surface first or on the Bronze Palette Deco and then pull with your trowel. Using a Japan Scraper will really reveal more of the undercoat. Palette Deco dries fast and hard-you should be able to apply the final coat in the same day.
The final layer is FE’s Charred Olive Lusterstone. The Charred Olive is applied exactly like the Bronze Palette Deco. Remember you want to see some of each layer or it wasn’t worth the time and product to apply that coat. All products used in the Tribecca Bronze hold up well to moisture- no topcoat is needed unless you want to enhance (darken and pop the colors) the finish. We like C500 in a Satin Finish.

Ashley added a pre-finished dark wood vanity with a clear vessel sink. Her mother-in-law and Decorative Painter, Julie Reuter, made the artwork using a variety of plasters and stencils.

And finally a cheeky “Smell No Evil” Monkey lends just the right amount of quirk to the new contemporary bath.

And although you can’t tell it, Scout seemed relieved.

Sources:  Ashley Reuter. Julie Reuter.  Faux Effects.  Royal Design Kyoto Stencil.
Lowe's Bath Vanity.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Finishing Acts is our on-line blog of decorative finishing projects, the people we know, and the products we use. The idea for Finishing Acts came from our experience posting for on-line forums where we enjoy sharing our pictures, our recipes, and technical support for our product line, Faux Effects. With so much information, it would be easy to monopolize a single thread. Plus we don't want to spend our time arguing or defending why someone should use our products or techniques over someone else’s. So, we decided to create our own focused blog to support individuals who enjoy our work, desire inspiration, and use Faux Effects products. For over 2 years, we have been photographing a wide range of home and commercial work to share with you. All DIY posts use the Faux Effects Silver Label product line which is available to anyone.

Our monthly posts are divided into 6 categories:
Before and After We show you a wide range of makeovers on a variety of surfaces. Nothing is safe from getting a faux job: floors, fireplaces, shower tile, cabinets, and sinks included. Each project is explained in easy to follow directions and pictures.

Random Samples: For years, we have created finishes based on the usual materials (fabric and paint swatches) and the unusual (salt shakers and garden plants). The challenge is using product and tools in fresh and creative ways that artists can sell. We invite you to send in a picture of your Random Sample and see how we interpret it into a decorative treatment.

Faux and Film: Have you ever found yourself more entertained by the set design then the actual movie? Our minds wander too. Grab some popcorn and join us as we translate great movie backdrops into finishes you can use in your portfolio.

Product Smack down: Why does Faux Effects have so many products? Why do they all sound the same? Is one product a better fit for a project then another? We've worked extensively with the line for more then 13 years in hundreds of commercial and residential situations. As new products are introduced we put them through our own performance testing. Each month we will provide a scenario project and match-up two potential product choices to battle out which is the winner (the best choice for that project).

Featured Finisher: The best thing about our job is meeting so many talented people and having the opportunity to view their work. You will recognize universal challenges, complaints, and successes as our artists share their career experiences and projects.

Totally Trendy: What's the latest buzz in colors, patterns, styles, and techniques?

About US

Rebecca is the co-owner of Surfaces School of Decorative Finishing and Fauxy Painter Clothing. Her husband Bruce owns the other half (the State of Kansas will back that up). She is Surface's lead instructor and teaches at studios across the country. Her work has been published in national magazines and newspapers including an AP story on Cabinetry. Rebecca's work was featured in HGTV's Paint Over and she has been a contributor to Kansas City's Living Large radio design program.

Ashley is an experienced finisher and Interior Design graduate. She worked with many Kansas City designers and builders before joining Surfaces as our Manager. Ashley is the cheerful (and patient) voice you hear when calling with technical support questions. Her creative designs put a new contemporary spin on faux finishing projects.