Friday, June 1, 2012

Faux Finish Rollers: DIY Embossed and Metallic Alligator

UIP Photo

"That's not a special gator...this is a special gator..."
Thanks Paul, I'll handle the skins from here.  BTW, what happened to him? Croc hunter's don't have long careers, do they?  Good thing Faux Finishers do! As promised here are two specialty variations using our new alligator roller.

Isis: Embossed Alligator.

My favorite product for skin finishes is Faux Effects Venetian Base Coat. This is a creamy slow-setting plaster that dries to a semi-opaque white. I love it because you get nice medium thick coverage in one coat and it tints easily with Setcoat, Stain, or any of the Faux Creme/Faux Color Colorants.

It is thicker then O'Villa Plaster and stiffer then Softex or Lusterstone.  It also dries to a matte sheen compared to using Venetian Gem or Stuco Lux.  I use this for many finishes and think it is a really under-used product...and it is silver label.  I troweled on a medium thick layer of plaster twice the width of my roller. Graceful trowel lines are fine because the roller eliminates most of them.

Just like the Classic Gator finish, I roll down one way and then flip the roller to roll the next section. This creates the backbone of the skin. The Venetian Base Coat holds the shape really well without smearing. 
For this finish I left the plaster un-tinted.  When it dried (about one hour), I rolled one full coat of Wundasize 100% over the surface.

I let my Wunda set-up several hours and then placed my new favorite reverse stencil #3083 Donatella Damask from Royal Design Studio.  I placed our Bright Silver Foil with the shiny side up and scrubbed it over the stencil. Remove the foil.  With the stencil still in place I used a black foam roller to apply a sheer black glaze over the pattern.  This makes the embossed "background" stand-out better.

After I pulled the stencil, I applied our Champagne Gold Foil over the remaining exposed Wundasize.  I like this foil because it is not a brassy gold like some of the other gold foils I've seen.

The whole piece is glazed with a mix of 3 parts FX Thinner + 1 part American Walnut Stain & Seal + 1 part Ebony Stain & Seal.

Sobek: Metallic Alligator

For this finish, I rolled the Alligator roller in Wundasize and tapped the excess on the edge of the paint bin.

This finish shows best on a dark well sealed surface.  I rolled vertically first.

Right away the Wundasize will run but that is OK. Without re-dipping in the size, I rolled back through it horizontally.

This rolled through any sags and removed some of the Wundasize. You will not create a crisp alligator skin (like using a plaster) with this method. Your pattern will be more like a lizard skin.

Did anyone ask for Alligator Lite?

I used the Hologram Gold foil for sparkle.  After the foil was applied, I rolled Cocoa Lustersuede over the texture and rolled the Alligator Roller through the wet Lustersuede removing the chocolate brown color to reveal more of the gold pattern underneath.

 I opted not to glaze this finish but that is certainly an option. So one roller and 3 different looks.

So I will either " See You Later" or "After A While."

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