Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dark Lux DIY Part Two:

I've been jumping around with lots of things lately so let's return to Part 2 of the Dark Lux DIY sample. For this sample that I call Clayton Copper, I am using one of my favorite products for ceilings: Faux Effects's Palette Deco. Why Palette Deco for ceilings you ask? Well, it is thick so it won't fall easily on your head. You can get it in a pre-tinted metallic (gold, silver, pearl, bronze, or red) that is very rich and reflective for ceiling finishes. It is thick enough for great single coat coverage or it can be tight pulled for a nice finish layer. Finally, Palette Deco dries very hard so I rarely top-coat unless I want to pop the colors.

I started with a Dark Brown Setcoat because I want the surface well sealed and I let the Dark Brown peek through in the finish.  First, I butter my trowel with Palette Deco Bronze:

Then I pop this onto my surface creating connecting peaks. Use a Japan Blade to clean your trowel as you work-Palette Deco dries fast.

As I work, I lightly compress the plaster peaks with my blade almost flat to the surface.  This layer should dry 1-2 hours depending on how thick your trowel your Palette Deco. If your surface is not well-sealed or the Palette Deco is too thick-it will crack.

When the Palette Deco is dry, I use a sea sponge to spot in Wundasize. The key to this layer is not to make snowballs. Use different sponges and alternate sides. Inside of doing the same size dabs, create connected chains of Wunda in different lengths and widths. This should set up at least one hour.

 I used our New Penny Copper Foil which is a soft copper with an apricot undertone. With the pretty side facing up, I scrub it with a stiff metal or plastic bristle brush. The nice thing about a foil layer is you may proceed immediately to the the next layer.

I thinned Antique Cherry Stain & Seal with FX Thinner (1 part : 3 parts) and brushed this over the surface. Using a lightly damp cloth, I blotted the surface to blend and remove brush marks.

And that's it-a super easy finish that will work on ceilings, walls, and range hoods among other surfaces.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Total Package: Heather McDonald-Hulet Part Two

I've been to this house and I'm excited to see more of Heather's project. Let's pick-up where we left off. Where does this hallway lead to?

Architectural Photographs

The stunning Hearth Room Kitchen

Heather used several Modellos in this project and not one to waste any materials, she used a leftover one above the fireplace:

And this is the kitchen...

Architectural Photographs

I am a cabinet person and a patina person, and a stencil person so this whole kitchen sets my heart aflutter. Heather applied all the cabinet finishes. Let's take a look at the components.

The refrigerator cover with Royal Design Stencils used on the raised panels. I love when stencils are used to create an inlaid wood effect.

The island is our Harrison Crackle finish from Furniture Traditions class. When someone does a great application of a class finish I am so happy that it is a useful sample and it worked in the real world-whew!
But I can only teach techniques and product-the talent is Heathers.

Harrison Crackle is also used on the accent cabinet.  The range area has many pretty finishes set off by the faux patina hood.

Architectural Photographs

This is the sunroom off the kitchen. As Heather notes there is no faux but the colors are fun and the lime green, chocolate and grey blue are right on trend.  Love the fan!

This is the Office Powder Bath that I will call the Jewel Bath. When you have a large home you need to give your bathrooms a name so your guests don't get confused. Such as "Oh, use the Jewel Bath or the Leather Bath." People visiting this home will just make excuses to use the bathrooms-each one has such a great finish!

This finish done with Lusterstone has a delicate relief pattern with jewel details. Heather shows you that a partial stencil pattern may be effective. This is a favorite pattern, Large Flourish, from Royal Design Studio, that I have used on several projects myself. 

Here is a closeup of the ceiling finish, bronze trim, and more of the sparkle pattern around the doorway.
Next to this bathroom is an office with built in dark glazed cabinetry.

The walls are done is an animal skin finish with a chipped back plaster map on the ceiling.

The second powder bath on this level is a rich red tissue that Heather coordinated with the vessel sink.  A nice twist to a tissue finish is placing a relief pattern under the tissue. Glazing the tissue will pick up the pattern.

Architectural Photographs

Close-up of the relief pattern and the glaze colors:

Architectural Photographs

The pattern picks up the scroll quite nicely. This is Royal Design Studio Large Florentine Scrolls-also a very versatile stencil.  We will end this part of the tour in the Master Suite.

Architectural Photographs

Now remember, Heather coordinated this entire project including the furnishings. The Master Suite is in soothing blue green and cream with warm taupe silver accents.

Isn't that a glamorous headboard?  The walls have a soft woven treatment with a random pattern that fades in and out.

My favorite finishes for bedrooms are the ones that look like faded fabric or antique oriental carpets. I think we get hung up on strias or weaves that have to be perfectly horizontal or vertical-well good luck with that. This is a successful way to get the feel of wallpaper-like finishes without torturing the surface or your back!

This is a small hallway between the master bedroom and master bath area. It has a slightly stronger stria with the glaze colors matching those used in the bedding. I have to say I would love to have this bath even though my home is contemporary-maybe I could be tempted to change my whole house to have this bath..hmmm.

The wall treatment is similar to the master bedroom. Here the star is the vanity.  Suzanne Lynch and Julie Reuter are the talented finishers that finished the wonderful cabinetry in this room. As I've said before-Kansas City is home to some of the best finishers I've ever met.  Don't be fooled by the simplicity of a glazed cream cabinet-this is one of the hardest finishes to do well. If done poorly, the cabinets look dirty or uneven from piece to piece-white shows every blemish!

Nice job Ladies. The little pulls look like vintage button earrings. Heather went to great lengths to get this onyx for the vanity:

The effort was totally worth it. Isn't that counter design beautiful?

Next time, we have a choice. Where do we go next? Do we go up the stairs? Do we go down the stairs? How about I take a few days to decide while you take in all this pretty.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Cut Above Finish

I received this recent Faux Woe from a follower: "Help. I need a Wow finish for a hair salon in an upscale shopping center.  The colors in the salon are dark brown with orange leather chairs, and silver/black accents."

This is the view of the salon as you enter. You can see that the salon gets good natural light and needs something on the walls to attract the attention of possible walk-in clients.  The wall for the finish is behind the ostrich art and this room divider:

The wall space is relatively small. Several walls will be painted with a dark brown paint but will feature large mirrors. This is a detail of the mirrors:

To me, these resemble a modern take on a Zebra Wood. The orange is also present in the salon chairs:

My suggestion is to play-up the mirror surround design using metallic foils and glitter for a WOW.  First the walls should be well-sealed with either Dark Brown, Camel, or Brown Setcoat and allowed to dry overnight.  The next day roll a coat of Wundasize using a black foam roller. Be aggressive in rolling as this will lay out the bubbles. A dry roller may also be used for back rolling.  Let the Wunda sit up at least one hour-this will add foil off-load. If you are unsure of coverage, a second coat of Wunda may be applied.

I applied Moonglow Pewter Foil.  Place the foil with the pretty silver side facing you and scrub with a stiff scrubbing brush. Lap areas as you work across the surface avoiding scrubbing over the previous foil. I use 2 foot long pieces because they are easier to manage.  The slight areas where the foil did not come-off (they look like small scratches in the photo above) will not matter to the finish.  The best thing about this foil finish is you may proceed to the next step immediately.

I mixed fine black glitter into my Wundasize and rolled a Bark roller in this mix. Then I rolled the coated roller on the surface to off-load the Wundasize glitter in a pattern. Roll multiple times to create a random pattern.

Let this layer sit-up until the Wunda is clear and you can see the glitter without the haze.  The bark roller should be washed in cold water to remove the Wundasize.  Before applying my next foil and while the Wunda is still damp, I use a blade to lightly compress any drips in the Wundasize.

Next, I applied our Paprika Foil (pretty side up) with the scrub brush. The foil will cover some areas more solidly then others depending on the amount of glitter in an area.

To seal the finish and add more interest, I mixed Aquawax with Fine Silver Glitter. I troweled the Aquawax 100% over the finish lightly padding with a cloth to soften the chatter lines.

When the Aquawax is dry, I brushed a glaze of 2 parts FX Thinner + 1 part American Walnut Stain & Seal + 1/2 Part Van Dyke Stain & Seal. This will bead up slightly over the wax-that is why I like using Stain & Seal and FX Thinner-it bites in more over this slick surface. I used a soft brush to pull my glaze in a linear fashion.

FX Thinner dries very hard and the Aquawaxwill protect the foils so no additional top-coat should be necessary.

Copper Canyon Strands.

From Faux Woe to Faux WOW!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Total Package: Heather McDonald-Hulet Part One

We have special names to indicate when a person posses multiple gifts. In entertainment a person is a "triple threat" if they can sing, dance, and act.  One of my favorites is "The Total Package" used to indicate that a person posses both inner and outer beauty combined with talents that make them more then just a pretty face.

Meet Heather McDonald-Hulet. Heather is the Owner of Beautiful Homes a success decorative painting business based in Kansas City. Her work has been featured in multiple residential and commercial settings for over 15 years.  Heather is one of the first finishers I met when Surfaces opened nine years ago and she is one of the most energetic, funny, and outgoing finishers you will ever meet. She also has talent.  Recently Heather had the opportunity to not only showcase her decorative painting abilities but her design sensibilities as well.  The owner of this home...

asked Heather to serve as the Interior Designer handling the selections of counters, floors, furnishings, lighting, and the all items that pull a home together.  I first saw this huge project when Heather showed me the blueprints for the kitchen so it was exciting when she took me on a tour of the finished home. Now I get to share Heather's fantastic work with you.  So come on in...but notice the front door first.

Setting the stage right away is the beautiful front entry.

Many exterior doors are made of metal or fiberglass and a client wants to appearance of distressed wood and traditional methods of beating up a surface won't work. Heather added the look of a patina by applying a finish that is crackled and worn in areas-instant character to a new door.

As you enter the home there is a stunning ceiling accent. We've all done feature walls but what about a feature ceiling? This is a great way to break-up a large run of a plain white surface and add a focus-in this case to the table and arrangements that Heather also designed.  Heather worked with Bomar Ornamentation in Louiseberg, Kansas to select the "molding" pieces used through-out the home to define ceiling and wall treatments.

This is the stunning dining room right off the entry. Heather used an earthy palette through-out the house of warm golds, creams, sage, and Swedish blues transiting to more intense shades such as russet on the lower level.  The dining room has subtle plaster layers with a breakaway pattern.

I love this finish! The pattern is a Royal Designs Fabric Damask. Look at the attention to detail-even the light plate cover is special.  Heather did a great job of mixing plasters such as Lusterstone, Softex, and O'Villa through-out the home. 

These are details from the dining room ceiling with Bomar Ornamentation embellished with foils and glaze.
The center of the home is this beautiful living room with a Country Estate aesthetic:

The box beams are accented by patterned inserts rendered in a very soft way keeping with the rooms elegant and refined feel.
Heather also selected the amazing light fixtures used in the home.

The hallway floor is stone with wood inserts. The walls are a lovey low-key texture that Heather learned from Nicola Vigini years ago and remains a favorite to this day. There is so much too see in the home, that I am breaking it up into different posts.  So to see more of Heather's amazing work and where this hallway leads to...check out this site later in the week. 

And a side note: I am flattered that Finishing Act posts are shared on social network sites such as Facebook and Pinterest. I post my work to be shared in that way. When I post a guest artist though I want to make sure that nothing is re-posted without proper accreditation and permission from that artist. Thanks so much for respecting the talented people that have invited me (and you) into their projects.