Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Faux Finishes for the Bedroom

Ooh-La-La.  2 days before I left to teach at Gary Lord's Studio I had a random sample request.  Could I design samples for Boudoir Backdrops?  And have them ready before I left on my trip?
(Vargas Girl Postcard)
Of course I can ! So I shimmied on my nightie  thinking cap and went to work.  I always start with a little research.  This helped me divide my backdrops into three groupings.  My first inspiration was the Pin Up Girls by the artist Vargas and popular during World War II.  These candy colored drawings were often seen on the nose of fighter planes.  For the Pin- Up samples I selected rich pastels and warm silver and gold accents.
The first is Billie's Bubbles named after the dancer Billie Burke.  I like to include history when I name my samples! Bubbles seemed appropriate-light and frothy plus maybe someone will pose in a champagne glass. The back ground is Vesuvio Gold Metal Glow and the new FE High Hide Silver Metallic pounced at the same time with very fine silver glitter blown into the wet material. I used architectural stencils for the silver hologram foil bubbles.
Leaving the stencil in place for both the Wundasize and the foil application will give you a cleaner shape.  I shade the edges of the bubbles a bit with a dry stencil brush and a bit of brown colorant.  When working with glitter it gets everywhere.  I sanded to remove any loose pieces and then rolled a clear coat of C500 gloss top coat to lock the glitter down.

Our client did request that one sample include a diamond pattern.  I used Silver Moss and Frosted Denim Lusterstones applied with a sponge roller and the peaks tipped off with a trowel. When the Lusterstones were dry, I marked off and tapped my diamond pattern.  Into the wet Wundasize, I blew pearl Mica Flakes and pressed them down with a Neon Leon brush (similar to a stippler). Then I applied the dull silver foil. After removing the tape, the entire surface received a light wash of Rich Brown Stain and Seal.  I called this sample Ava's Diamonds for the actress Ava Gardner you posed several times for pin-up shots used during the war.

This is my Peaches & Cream sample.  I again used the High Hide Metallic Silver and a different Metal Glow Color, Amber Dust.  These were pounced with both fine silver and gold glitter.  Ceroglass also sent us real metallic silver glitter which is beautiful and reminds me of retro Christmas ornaments. I also carved a curving petal pattern into the wet paints-it is easier to see in the picture below.
The color is washed out due to lighting in this shot but you may see the patterning better.  I used the new FE High Hide Metallic Bright Gold for the stencil from Royal Design Studio Kimono Collection #2081 Japanese Flower Garden A- a personal favorite. Here is a step-by-step for my final sample in this series.
Blaze's Starr.  Blaze was a real strip tease artist that had an affair with a Louisiana Governor-there is a movie about it that stars Paul Newman as the Governor.  Blaze retired from show biz to make and sell jewelry.  Anyhow...
First trowel a layer of Orchid Ice Lusterstone leaving gentle trowel lines. Next, I tight skim the dried Lusterstone with Pearl and Gold Stain and Seals.
Even at this stage, it is a pretty sample. Next I used another Royal Design Stencil, the Lacy Medallion and rolled more Pearl Stain & Seal over the pattern.
While the stain is still wet and the stencil is still in place, I blow Gold Glitter into the pattern.  Do not inhale the Glitter!
The glitter may be compressed into the wet stain with a Neon Leon or other stippler brush.  I remove the stencil and let the pattern dry.  To soften the overall look, I thin the Pearl Stain & Seal with a glaze medium and pull it tightly over the entire surface.

My next inspiration was the Moulin Rouge and the Can Can.
(Juliet Proust from the film Can Can)
From film stills, I found high contrast colors influenced by Middle Eastern and Asian Motifs.  The tones are Deep Purple, Red, and Blue with glittery accents.
This is my Gypsy Rose sample named for Gypsy Rose Lee.  You may view her story either by the play or the wonderful musical film versions. Rosalind Russel and Bette Midler play Mama in the different film versions-the term "Stage Mother" was invented for this woman. Orchid Ice and Merlot Lusterstone are tight troweled over Red Foil.  Later I used the new FE Sharkskin in Bright Gold over the Royal Design Ribbon Damask Stencil.  I thin brushed Wunda Size in random lines and blew in the silver glitter.
Any time you work with glitter you need to apply a topcoat or it will continue to fall from the finish. Aquaguard, C500, or Varnish Plus will all work.
This sample made me think of the elaborate head ware of dancers like Josephine Baker.  For my Josephine sample I used Brown Suede and a custom red Lusterstone mixed with a tightening agent.  The pattern is made with Martha Stewart Tinsel Glitter available at KMart-it's a "good thing."
The effect of this sample is almost needlepoint but it flashes and sparkles like a Vegas Showgirl and it is only 4 steps including base coat and topcoat.
I call this one Zsa Zsa. Before she married a crazy self-proclaimed "prince" Zsa Zsa starred in several movies including 1952's Moulin Rouge. Plus she wore feathered Mu Mus in that shack and talked to a pig-oh wait-that was Ava-never mind.
This sample starts out on the new FE Blue Sharkskin which is a very rich deep cobalt blue. Next I used the Ribbon Damask Stencil and the Sharkskin Bright Gold again. I tried adding Ceroglass beads to the Hi-Lite Colors mixed with Aquawax. But the beads were too large to trowel or flat compress.  I could see mixing them with Aquawax and applying over a stencil (which I've seen and it looks awesome) but the allover application looked like I glued fish tank stones to the surface.

My final inspiration is what I call Modern Burlesque.
( Sally Rand)
It was not easy finding an "appropriate" photo for this one! Modern Burlesque incorporates more black mixed with gold and silver metallics.  Feathers seem to be a big theme.
This sample is called Salome-talk about a deadly dancer! I used Cracked Gold Foil with a Royal Design Stencil in FE New Black Sharkskin.  We love this large stencil called Grand Damask.  I blew a lovely Ceroglass glitter that comes in a black silver over the damp Sharkskin.
I applied a wash of FX Thinner mixed with 1 part Rich Brown Stain & Seal to 1/2 part Ebony Stain & Seal.
I love this one and want to use it some place in my home.
I used the same stencil for this sample called Von Teese Taupe for the patron saint of modern burlesque, Dita.  The background is rough rolled Charred Olive and Charred Gold Lusterstones.  I mixed FE Softex with the new FE High Hide Metallic Silver and very fine silver glitter.  This was tight troweled over the Lusterstones.  Then more of the High Hide Silver was rolled over the stencil.
The final sample has a dark edge to it.
The base is a textured Wundasize with a raised bright silver foil.  Charred Gold Lustersuede is pulled over the foil. I thinned Black Sharkskin and rolled it over the Lusterstone softening it with a damp cloth.  I used Royal Design Reverse Persian Border in Bright Silver Foil.  The whole surface was over-glazed with thinned American Walnut Stain & Seal.

So I learned a lot from this project. The most popular lingerie color for photos is black, then white, and then red.  The most popular pattern is Cheetah.  Glitter may be added successfully to many FE products but the beads are best left to stencil work (at least for me). The High-Hide Metallics that I just got in performed really well. And we have two new favorite Royal Design Stencils: the Grand Damask and the Ribbon Damask.


  1. You were truly inspired by the task, great designs.

  2. Love that last sample! Those pics of Rebecca are great!

  3. What a great post. All the samples were great, but the Salome sample was a killer. Thanks!

  4. I LOVE THIS BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!