Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Can't See the Forest for the Trees

It was a long and winding road to get to this simple but pretty finish.

It started with our Entry Way or as we called it "The Hallway to Hell."

Years ago, the walls were golden O'Villa Plaster, the trim rusted, front door bronze, and closet doors black. Then I decided to paint it all Black Setcoat and it stayed that way for over a year because I got stuck on the idea that I needed a bling finish in this space to impress people when they walked in the house.

When we got the new Luna product I thought, "Great, I will put that in the Entry."  You can see part of it behind Jack. I added lots of glitter and made it red. Unfortunately Luna is very light dependent and our entry is the darkest area of our home so the sparkle fell a little flat. Plus the red was the wrong color. So you would think I would create my own samples and come up with a plan at this point right?

But instead of looking at this project as a whole, I wasn't done focusing on the "trees" yet.

Someone sent me a series of crazy emails challenging me on my "expertise" with epoxy. Out of the blue and medication worthy rants. Rather then go the mature route and just ignore it, I thought, "I'll show you what I can do with epoxy!"  And I created this foil, glitter, wax and epoxy finish on the black closet doors for my entry...

Difficult to do? Yes. Cool? Yes. Eye Catching? Yes. My style? Absolutely not.  And there you go. I spent hours and product to prove to someone that I don't really care about that I could do a clever  technique that I will never teach and made something that I hated to put in my house.  Lesson learned.  After everything all I  had were clashing glitter walls, garish doors, and a still ugly entry.

Time to think about the forest-literally.  I bought new plain wood closet doors and painted them black. Then I used a black foam roller to apply a coat of Wundasize. I let this tack up and rolled another coat. The second layer firmed up in about 2 hours.

I applied the Colonial Foil 100% to both the doors. This foil has a pattern and you need to decide if the lines will run vertically or horizontally.

I removed the doors and placed Cutting Edge's Birch Tree Stencil over the foil. This is a reverse stencil. The color you apply will create the background. In this case, I rolled 2 coats of Black Setcoat.

And just like that (OK, it took two years and a lesson in restraint) I finally had the big picture plan for this space and the connecting walls. To get the walls ready, I painted over the Luna with Black Setcoat essentially going back to the starting point.  The back hallway was still black but it has five doors in the small space painted bright white. To make them disappear, I painted the doors and trim Black Setcoat.

Using a fluffy 9inch Slim Jim I rolled the back hallway walls and doors with 2 coats of Charred Olive Lustersuede.  The picture above shows the first coat.  Amazing how the dogs always walk in front of the picture. I did the same technique to the entry way walls.

When the Lustersuede dried I used a bark roller to apply the next layer.

I sawed the Bark Roller smaller so it would fit in between all the narrow hallway walls. I rolled the Bark in the Rich Gold Sharkskin.  This is new gold label base product from Faux Effects.  I use it in several classes but if you haven't trained with it yet, you could also do this finish using a Silver Label Metal Glow like Toasted Cocoanut, Leo Gold, or Mocha Gold.  I off-rolled the Sharkskin on the wall lapping the lines and varying the density.  Use a flat trowel to compress any blops and to move the shapes.

The darker color is the Lustersuede showing underneath.  For the ceiling edges, I used a small stiff chip brush to apply the Sharkskin in a linear manner.  I also used the Rich Gold Sharkskin to paint the wood trim, and the front door.

When the Sharkskin was dry, I glazed the walls and wood with a mix of glaze and equal parts Dark Brown Faux Color and Dark Brown Faux Creme Color.  You need to topcoat the Sharkskin. I rolled a coat of C500 Satin but Aquaguard or Varnish Plus will work as well.

The finished Entry. Next I will do the tile in our Tumbled Marble Finish.

Doors installed with new hardware.

So that's it. Once I started to focus on the BIG PICTURE, an area that had bugged me for years became exactly what I wanted: a space that welcomes people to our home and sets our personal style from the minute you walk through the door. Nothing flashy but eye catching a great background for collected artwork.

I think Ricky Nelson says it best:

""But it's alright now. I learned my lesson well. Ya see, you can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself."

1 comment:

  1. Rebecca, it's so nice to know that someone as talented and creative as you are gets stuck in your own projects!! ;-)

    This turned out beautifully. Thanks for sharing it.