Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Specialty Rollers: DIY Ostrich Finish

Let's create an Ostrich Skin Finish!

"Say What?"

Don't worry big guy this is a cruelty free finish. There are lots of ways to create an Ostrich Finish. You can use paper and stencil or plaster with a stencil. Each has a great look and like everything else it often comes down to how much will a client pay to achieve a certain look. This approach is a fast and funky way to create Ostrich using our new Spots Roller.

I'm using Faux Effects' Venetian Gem as my base. Here is a side note. I read about a lot of people having problem with foil. First, we test our foil before shipping by using a piece of Scotch Tape on the backside. Rub the tape on the backing and pull-off. If the foil comes off-it is a good roll.  Secondly, I use Wundasize and never have problems with this size.  Usually it is one of two problems.  The base you are working on is absorbent or the base is stippled and not truly flat. This happens a lot when paint is applied with a heavy hand or a lamb's wool roller.

If you roll your size and come back an hour later and can't feel it-then your surface is absorbing the product.  If you feel the size and scrub your foil, but the piece looks hazy when you pull it -the walls are stippled and the foil is catching the upper part of the texture.

That is why I like to foil on Venetian Plaster. I trowel one coat (gentle trowel lines are fine) to get a nice opaque well sealed surface to work on. Compare the cost of 1 gallon of Venetian Gem and going around the room once for a base to rolling two coats of foil size and applying multiple layers of foil.

OK-Where were we?

Trowel a layer of Venetian Gem Chamois (a pale butter color) in a section. While this section is wet, press a thin trash bag or piece of plastic into the plaster.  Repeat across your wall working in manageable sections.

This creates the lines that you see in Ostrich Skin.  Go to a local Western Wear or Tractor Supply Store and check out the cowboy/girl boots. You will see the folds.

Let the Chamois Plaster dry at least an hour.

Next, put some Wundasize in a paint bin and roll your Spot Roller in the bin to coat the surface. Shake or tape the roller over the bin to remove the excess size.  Roll this over the dry plaster a few times. I find that I may roll about 3 times before I need to drip the roller again.  I went a little spot crazy on this sample-most Ostrich Skins don't have this many spots! Some spots will be more distinct then others and That Is OK-we are talking nature here.

As I work, I use a cloth to wipe the excess Wunda off the roller. To clean the roller use cold water. I soaked my roller in cold water and Windex. The size turned white on the roller and I peeled it off-I like to peel sunburns so I didn't mind that so much.  The key is not to let the roller sit in the Wundasize all day. Both the Wunda and the roller will get gloppy.

Let the spots set up at least an hour. I used our Toasted Bronze Foil for my spots. Cut a piece of foil and place it over the spots with the Bronze color facing you and scrub with a stiff bristle scrubbing brush.

Cover all the spots.  Mine looks like a hybrid Cheetah and Ostrich-A Cheetrich!

I bet Dr. Mephisto from South Park knows about the Cheetrich!

I mixed a glaze of 3 parts FX Thinner + 1 part American Walnut Stain & Seal + 1 part Rich Brown Stain & Seal. Brush this over the surface and soften with a cloth.

To really pop the finish I rolled C500 Gloss when the glaze was dry but this is not a necessary step. The FX Thinner and stain mix is strong enough to protect the finish in most rooms.

Later this week we will add to our sample menagerie.

Don't look so smug there little fella!

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