Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Faux Effects Luna Plaster

Luna is a good name for this product.  Like the moon there is a sparkle from the finely milled mica in the product and it can take on the look of a stone-namely granite.  This product takes more artistic skill then the Sharkskin both in coloring and application.  I have worked with this on many samples using different techniques and in combination with other products. I have applied it as a counter top finish and loved it.  This weekend I am using it as a wall finish in our entry hall and Ashley did a sample today for her master bathroom.  I have no idea how this will work on a wall (cutting in, corners, etc...) but I will let you know my honest impression both now (before a real wall) and how I feel after completing the real world finish.  Hopefully it will work like the samples because I like the Luna so far.

First, Luna is a Gold Label product-I went over all that in the previous post about the Sharkskin. Application methods and tinting make a big difference in how refined the finished Luna looks. Luna comes in a tintable neutral color with a somewhat peach cast. It is recommended that Sharkskin be used as a base coat.  I did apply it over Setcoat and the product adhered but the Sharkskin did add a pretty element that added to the overall Luna finish.

The tech sheets indicate that Luna is best applied over a dark colored Sharkskin.  I think a better way to say this is, "Luna is more dramatic over a dark colored base."  We have applied it over both light and dark and were happy with both looks.
Ashley's sample over Neutral White Sharkskin in 1 color Luna and a 2 color Luna.

Ashley's Luna Sample over Dark Brown Sharkskin in Brown, Silver, and Chestnut Luna.

The positives of the product may also be the negatives-funny how life is like that.  Because it is neutral, you must color the Luna before application.  Great because you can create infinite colors-bad if you are color blind or color challenged.  Luna may be tinted with all colorants including Faux Color, Faux Creme Color, Metal Glows, Stain and Seal, and the new High Hide Metallic.  Dark shades are difficult to achieve. If too much colorant is added, it kills the mica sparkle. I personally like using the Metal Glows. ADVANTAGE: Luna works with all FE colorants! DISADVANTAGE:  No more then 10% of colorant should be added!

Once in a Blue Luna sample using Blue Faux Color and Silver Metal Glow colors.

Mahogany Crushed Ruby Luna sample.  See you can use rich colors like Mahogany, Rough Royal, and Vesuvius Gold.  This sample was glazed in the end to create a darker finish but you can still see the mica sparkle. This looked like very high end wall covering.  ADVANTAGE:  Luna can be glazed!

Luna should be brushed on-especially the first layer.  Thinning the material with water is critical to this layer.  If you don't thin it, then it clumps up and this clumping will show through every layer and will not sand down!  On the plus side, brushing is fast and easy when it is thinned.  I add my tint and then thin with water about 10%, so 20% of a liquid (colorant and water) is used.  The color is enhanced when the product dries.
The mica also pops when dry.
Clumpy Luna looks great on this old plain ceramic white tile.  It looks like sandpaper on a wall!

Luna stays wet for about 30 minutes.  ADVANTAGE:  Luna may be shaped with lots of different tools.  It may be brushed in different directions and will hold this directional shape.

I like to brush two colors at the same time-working wet-into-wet.  Adding more then 3 colors can get you a spotty board of Monkey Brown. ADVANTAGE:  Luna may be used with lots of products.
Luna with High Hide Metallic Pale Gold, Aquawax and Tinsel Glitter.

Luna with Lusterstone.

Luna with Sharkskin and High Hide Metallic Copper

Faux Effects notes using a foam brush as the Luna dries. This can be tricky on the first layer. DISADVANTAGE: If you pull the Luna too soon, you will get a hole that shows through every layer!  This technique works much better on a second layer of Luna applied over a brush layer.

Luna costs $37.55 a quart and $98.75 a gallon.  Before you go all Ape #&%@ about the price remember this may be a 2 step finish-1 layer of Sharkskin and 1 layer of Luna.  Additional cost would be for your colorants (it accepts all FE colorants and not much is needed).  You get a lot of bang for your buck with this product. I opened a gallon for class and have made 20 samples.  A 4oz sample of tinted Luna covered a 18"x24" sample board easily.  So far, I've used less then 1/4 of my Luna gallon and most of my samples are 2 layer Luna finishes. ADVANTAGE:  Luna could be a 2 step finish! DISADVANTAGE: If you get hung up on product cost and can't see how it relates to labor costs, you will find the Luna expensive!
Luna is appropriate for many surfaces.  Besides walls and ceilings, I would use it on a back splash or fireplace tile. I already showed you a tile sample with Luna. I am not sure if it would scratch on a floor even with a topcoat.  I used Luna in golds for a counter top and sink at my own house.
A lovely cultured sink and counter top in a guest room.  Please note the chip.

A beautiful Luna sink (if I do say so myself) with swirls carved in glitter. The Luna conformed to the sink curves and filled the chip.  The base is the new Stone Decor (saved me sanding, Primetch, and Setcoat). Latter I sealed this with the Rock-Kote High Solid Epoxy doing a pour over the back splash and into the sink!  More on that in another post (FYI-it worked great but there are tricks).  I used 3 colors in Pearl, Corn Silk, and Dirty Gold (Corn Silk and Italian Sienna) and applied it in 2 layers.  I used less then 4oz of each color for each layer (about 16oz in total).

The best time to sand the Luna is before a night out on the town.  Your hair will have sparkle dandruff and your face will glisten.  ADVANTAGE:  You are ready for a Gloria Gaynor Concert. With these finishes your business will Survive!

1 comment: