The Faux Metal needs to dry over-night. The material dries opaque and with a wonderful true low metal sheen. Since I want to glaze this finish, I seal the surface with C500 Gloss and wait 2 hours before I start glazing.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Let's get back to the bath. My next project in this guest bath is the vanity cabinet. It started out as your typical stained and varnished red oak. This piece had turned turned very red-orange-like self tanner!
I cleaned the surface with TSP, did a light sand with 220 grit paper, and wiped it off with a damp cloth. Next I used a Stain-blocking primer. Setcoat is not a stain-blocker. In the past 6 months, we have noticed a change in the reaction between pigmented shellac and Setcoat. The shellac is not curing enough to the substrate and turns gummy when the Setcoat is applied. This happens in less then 10% of jobs but is enough for us to be concerned. I have successfully used both Zinsser Water-Based Matte Primer and Bin 1,2,3, Water-based Primer under my Setcoat. For this project, I used the Matte Primer and could apply my next coat within an hour.
I rolled/brushed Aquaguard Gloss for my first topcoat, let it dry 1 hour, and then rolled/brushed a coat of C500 Dull. Since the wall and counter have a sheen, this needed to be a matte finish.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
A Modern Metal Makeover!
I decided to makeover this entire bathroom using (and testing) new products on a variety of surfaces. So far, I've completed the Vanity Counter top, Vanity Cabinet, and the Walls. I am in the process of finishing the shower tile and the door/trim. I will also be finishing a mirror surround using Bomar pieces. This was the bathroom before:
Pretty Blah...looks like an apartment bathroom. This room is small but has good light. It needed to coordinate with the adjoining bedroom. And, since this is the bedroom most students stay in when they attend classes, I wanted to showcase several faux finishes.
The Counter Top Finish: This is a typical Cultured Marble (acrylic) counter top with a cast back splash. There is a separate side splash piece. It also has a large chip on the edge. I did have the faucet removed because I want to replace the fixture but I didn't have the drain and stopper removed. This is a mistake that will haunt me later.
I taped plastic under the faucet fixture holes, pushed down the drain piece and stuffed it with plastic. I left the metal drain raised before I applied the finish but pushed it down before pouring the epoxy. The counter was cleaned but not sanded or primed.
The Stone Decor is mixed in equal parts, tinted a light brown and brushed over the Cultured Marble. I stippled this finely with a Neon Leon Brush but left it thicker in the chipped area. This layer needs to dry at least 6 hours but I waited overnight and sanded it first thing in the morning. It stuck great even with vigorous sanding on the sink edges.
(Dried Stone Decor)
My color layer was accomplished with tinted Luna in a dark gold, light gold, and cream. The three colors were brushed on and again stippled with the Neon Leon. This makes for an easy application on a curved surface. The Luna needed to set for several hours before sanding. I reapplied my Luna for a denser coat using a brush, flat troweling the product and basically compressing the mica. For the sink and curved back splash area, I used a small rubber triangle trowel. I again sanded when this layer was dry.
(2 layers of Luna tinted 3 colors)
To customize this finish more, I used a favorite stencil from Wallovers-the City Swirl. I mixed silver glitter into Aquawax and troweled it over the stencil-fading the pattern in and out. I opted out of the sink-it was too hard getting a clean pattern on the curved surface. Aquawax dries fast-less then an hour-and I was ready for the next layer.
To really pop the stencil, I rubbed a tea-stain glaze over the entire counter top.
I decided to apply the Rock-Kote Epoxy to:
1) Fill the area creating a smooth counter top
2) Amplify and add depth to the finish
3) Practice pouring a sink and a back splash.
I will go more into depth about the Rock-Kote in a later post only on that subject but will give the basic to this counter. I taped plastic really well under the counter to catch the epoxy that dripped over the side.
The key is keeping the material thin but pouring it thick. I began my pour on the top of the backsplash and used a sponge brush to draw it down the back splash sides. As I worked, I used a torch to keep the material thin and moving. Next I poured the counter and then into the sink. I used the sponge brush to remove the excess epoxy drips under the counter. When I thought the pour was 100% meaning I had no gaps, I torched over the entire counter to level and release bubbles.
I noticed a small divot in the epoxy and attempted to fix this with the new Rock-Kote Creme, a trowel on epoxy. I did a sample in the studio and it seemed OK. But when I tried it on the counter, it left trowel lines and dried a different sheen (more like Aquawax) making the area worse-ugh. I decided to hone the entire finish with a palm sander using 600 paper followed by 1000 wet sandpaper. The dust was wiped off and then I rolled a coat of C500 gloss which removed some sanding marks and helps prevent future scratching. Now the entire area is smooth and has a more "granite-like" sheen.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Who said Monday has to be blue? Let's get our shine on shall we!
Our product line, Faux Effects, offers five different waxes with different sheens and application properties. Most are appropriate for a variety of surfaces and one, Master Finishing Wax, is specific to cabinetry. Before I get into the different waxes, let's go over why you would select a wax in the first place.
Waxes in faux finishing accomplish several things. They offer a translucent to semi-opaque medium for adding a decorative layer to your finish.
(Faux Color mixed with Aquawax and troweled over Brown Sapphire Venetian Gem plaster)
Because of the thickness of wax compared to glaze mediums, wax will hold everything from colorants, mica powders, glitter and beads-often in a trowelable form.
(Aquawax with Silver Glitter over Foil and Lusterstones)
Waxes are an appropriate choice when you want to smooth a finish or fill in voids but still see the layers underneath. For example, Ashley and I completed a Lusterstone project in a loft that was long and narrow. The single natural light source was a large window at the end of the "shoebox" space. If the light was behind you or you stood in front of the finish, the walls appeared smooth. But when you entered the space with only the natural light source, the wall application appeared uneven. Our solution was to trowel a thin coat of O'Villa Wax. This "smoothed" the appearance of the surface but did not change the depth or color of the original Lusterstone technique.
(Combed Softex back filled and smoothed with O'Villa Wax mixed with pearl mica powder.)
Waxes may also be used as the finish medium and do not have to be layered with other products.
(Layers of tinted Aquawax)
Finally, many waxes are a topcoat adding a protective and decorative layer to your finishes in one step.
Waxes are particularly effective in wet areas such as kitchens and bathrooms or in children's rooms where scrubbing is a priority.
So what are the Faux Effects Wax options?
The first wax is a Silver Label product, Aquawax. This acrylic wax is translucent in nature and may be tinted with a variety of colorants and mica powders. It dries to a shiny sheen therefore it tends to look more contemporary.
(Gold tinted Aquawax over Venetian Gem Plaster and Palette Deco)
It is a good medium for holding glitters but may fog if you are trying to create a build thick enough to hold glass beads.
(Aquawax and silver glitter over a Wallovers Stencil)
It will also fog (white areas) if troweled thickly over a dark surface. Building your finish with thin layers is a better approach. Aquawax dries quickly so multiple layers in a single day are easily accomplished. Because it is thin in nature, it is a nice choice when you don't want to bury your previous layers.
Label product and does have some application nuances. It is best applied by soaking cheesecloth or a terry towel in the wax and spreading on the surface in one direction following the grain. It dries fast and may be extended with So-Slow. MFW should set at least 30 minutes before applying additional coats. It may be hand rubbed or lightly sanded with 600 grit wet paper on the final coat. I like to tint the MFW with a dark color to tone and seal my furniture pieces in one step. Because this is a hand-applied finish I find it to be more practical for furniture then kitchen or bath cabinetry. If a client wants a waxed look for larger scale cabinetry, I mix Satin and Dull Varnish Plus that I may spray or roll.