Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Red, White, Blue...and Lots of Yellow

Let's get back to what we all really enjoy talking about-Decorative Painting. A past client called to let me know their house that we completed 5 years ago will be featured in a homes tour this month.  Could I come and do some touch-up before the tour?  The faux finishes have held up great but the house has settled due to construction in another area of the home and the hallway finish has a few cracks.

This home was always a favorite. A classic stone cottage style in an older neighborhood in Kansas City. We've worked in several homes in this area and the norm is a dark and traditional interior so this one was a treat. A red, white, and blue palette.  What keeps this from a patriotic cliche?  The red is a raspberry shade, the blue is dusty, the white is creamy, and large doses of clean orange based yellow enliven all the rooms.  Jennifer Quinn, the Interior Designer, knows how to mix lost of pattern and color to create a happy and inviting home.

The interior colors are all pulled from this lively Chinese Wallpaper.  I know wallpaper is Kryptonite to a Faux Finisher but I love this paper with it's dancing men and monkeys!  We selected a Farrow and Ball paint-Farrow Cream-for the base of the hallway.  At the time, Surfaces was the only direct supplier of Farrow and Ball paint to the public. Now you may only purchase through Design Centers, sigh...

Anyhoo...this hallway is why people would spend $65 on a gallon of paint.  The yellow had held up really well in the only hallway in a house with 3 kids and a dog.  We applied a simple stripe using a satin topcoat. This happened to be one of those jobs where all the stripes matched evenly from every angle on every wall. And people say you never use math! (We just got lucky)

The painters had patched the cracks and sanded but didn't prime.  I was able to brush the Farrow and Ball paint right over the patch only and it blended perfectly. I was so happy that I didn't have to repaint any of the stripes from top to bottom.  When the paint was dry (I always take a blow dryer), I re-rolled the satin topcoat where needed.  Since we no longer carry the paint, I ordered a sample pot and after 5 years the color was a great match. Whew!

This is the living room that I did in a yellow scale starting with the darkest shade and building to the lightest.  I used FE Venetian Base Coat as my first troweled layer. This is a very under-used product IMHO.  It tints really well with Setcoat and may be fine tuned with Faux Cream Color, Faux Color, or Stains. I like the Venetian Base Coat because I get 1 coat opaque coverage to build a finish on. In this case I tinted the Venetian Base Coat with Chamois Setcoat (which I used to prep the walls) and added Ochre Yellow and Italian Sienna. The material is troweled with a steel blade leaving a high/low coat.  This layer is dry before proceeding to the next step.

The next layer is O'Villa Plaster tinted in two shades, Butter and Cream. These colors are applied at the same time and pulled tightly over the Venetian Base Coat. The finish is very soft and dries to a matte finish.
It is a nice background for the homeowners vibrant art and a collection of blue and white Pottery.
I love colorful art myself and never understood why so many modern homes fall back to using white walls when the art is bold. This home shows that colorful art can harmonize with bright interiors.
There is a small television room off this dining room that the client also wanted finished.  I elected to apply the same colors that I used in the living room but in glazes and starting with the lightest colors and working towards the darkest-a reverse of the other room.
I started with Neutral White Setcoat with a small amount of Chamois added. I brushed and padded two shades of yellow at the same time. When the first glaze colors were dry, I lightly added a Ochre/Sienna glaze on top.
When people question the use of Setcoat as a base paint, I always bring up this house. The walls are plaster lathe.  The painters rolled Setcoat for me in the rooms where I applied my faux finishes but rolled their own primer and paint everywhere else. It was purchased at a large chain paint store-not the cheap stuff. Guess what? My rooms were the only ones where the walls did not bubble. True story.

My final project was the range hood.  It is a light-weight cast stone and the designer wanted me to "warm it up."  I always roll Clear Setcoat over stone and concrete because it is porous and I want my glaze to go on evenly. I use Stain and Seal because I like the colors. The stain needs to be thinned with a glaze medium. Faux Creme Clear, Aquacreme, and FX Thinner will all work.
The kitchen walls are blue wallpaper. Did you know that people have blue kitchens in the Caribbean because it is supposed to repel flies? I didn't either until I read the back of the Farrow and Ball paint chips.  I really do miss that paint-I learned a lot from those color cards. Sigh, again.

No comments:

Post a Comment