Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Golden Leaves

I saw this designer wallpaper in a magazine a few years ago and loved it. I've always liked a warm buttery gold next to a cool silver.  This paper uses real gold leaf flakes and fabric skeleton leaves over a silver foiled paper and runs about $250 a roll. Because of the wrinkles in this paper, I thought it would be a good way to  update an existing tissue paper finish. Our front store counter has a leather version of tissue and provided a good spot to try out a faux finished interpretation.

The counter front with a glazed tissue to look like leather.

I needed my background to be silver and I could choose between Silver Faux Metal, Silver Setcoat, Silver Metal Glow, or Silver Foil. Silver Setcoat and Metal Glow would look like silver paint and Silver Faux Metal is more of a solid low luster metallic.  Bright Silver Foil is the best choice. I rolled a coat of Wunda Size using a black foam roller and let it tack up (about 30 minutes).  I rolled a second coat of size because I wanted to get 100% coverage with the foil.  Let the last coat of size set up at least 1 hour and the foil will off-load better (especially if the room is cold). We are using foils for decorative finishing purposes which is outside of the intended use (hot stamping).  For this reason, although rare, the foil does not pull cleanly from the backing. Use a piece of clear tape (Scotch Tape) and rub it on the back (dull) side of the foil.  Pull it off. If the foil is good, the backing should peel off with the tape.

The shattered appearance of the gold made me think of the RS Low Viscosity Glaze.  I love this weird stuff because you can really manipulate it and the glaze conforms to the sub-surface. When the RS Low Viscosity Glaze dries, it lays very flat and fine. For this project, I mixed it with gold metallic color and gold mica powders.  I brushed the whole surface without it drying-it takes a looong time to dry.

Next, I am flicking RS Activator into the wet glaze.  This is a retarder and will allow me to pull out pieces of the Low Viscosity glaze and manipulate it across the surface.  It works better if you let your RS Activator "cook" on the finish 10-15 minutes and then use cheesecloth to remove areas of glaze.

As the RS Activator dries, I pulled a rubber trowel across the gold to spider web the material. When this layer I dry, it needs to be sealed with Aquaguard.

You could use Skeleton Leaves for this finish but I was too lazy to go to the craft store. Instead I opted to use Palette Deco Gold and a Falling Leaves Stencil from Royal Designs.  The design is placed randomly over the counter.

I used some Stain & Seal to glaze over the entire finish.

A nice dark tea stain over the finish.

Sealed with C 500 Gloss and ready for business.

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