Friday, August 31, 2012

DIY: Making Barnwood


We've lived in our home for a dozen years and completed several projects (many I've shared with you) but one Honey-Do became my obsession: Getting rid of our popcorn ceilings. Our home is contemporary with a very open plan which means miles of popcorn with no stopping point. The great room ceiling alone is 850 square feet.

If you have removed popcorn you know what a mess it is to get off. Then you have to mud, sand, prime, and apply paint or a finish. Or you figure out a way to cover the popcorn.  With the help of our handy friend Scott we decided to use pine tongue-n-groove planks to create a new ceiling.

And while natural pine has lodge charm, I really wanted something that was closer to a re-claimed wood look. Like Barn wood.

I studied several pictures of Barn wood and re-claimed wood ceilings before I tackled my 146 12foot long planks.  Pine is a soft wood and doesn't want to stain smoothly plus I wanted to kill some of the yellow.  I began my project by mixing FE Stain & Seal with FE Duraseal. Duraseal is a sanding sealer that I use for many cabinet projects.  I always tint it and it gives me a base color, grain filler, and sealed surface in one step.

Thin Duraseal 10%-25% for brush/roll applications and more for spraying depending on your spray system.  I mixed a mocha shade (seen above) and a red brown shade that I alternated between planks.  On some planks I applied two coats just to give me the natural variations you would find in Barn wood.  I let my Duraseal dry 2 hours before staining. Depending on the wood you will want to sand the Duraseal when dry for a lovely smooth base coat.  I wanted my pine to retain some grain so I skipped sanding.

I like to stain with a mix of Faux Creme Color Concentrate, Stain & Seal, and FX Thinner to make a nice rich wiping stain.  I mixed two different colors: One a deep coffee color and the other a warm neutral brown. Again I alternated shades, even applying the two colors at the same time to some planks.  I love using these big fat glazing brushes because they hold so much stain.

One of the nice things about water-based staining (besides the smell and clean-up) is you may use water in the project.

Keep a water spritzer handy and just spray the surface to remove more of your stain or to move it along a long surface length.

I wiped the surface with a dry terry towel or cheesecloth to even the stain and control the color sheerness.

At this stage the planks look like regular stained wood.  The next step makes them look like Barn wood.  I mixed FE Lime Paint & Wash with Stain & Seal and/or Faux Creme Colors. Our lime wash is solid in the bottom with separated liquid on top.  I don't bother to whip it which doesn't work very well anyway.  I dump the liquid into another container and spoon out a TBSP of the solid lime.  Then I add 2 more Tbsps of the liquid.  I did this in 3 different containers before re-boxing the Lime solid and liquid.

I added 1/3 cup Pickling White Stain & Seal to each Lime mix and then fine tinted with more Stain & Seal or Faux Creme Colors.  One of my lime washes is silver based, another pale grey, and the third a mid-range taupe.  I thinned my washes with 1/2 FX Thinner and 1/2 Water. These 3 pints did all 146 planks.  Although the lime content is low, wear gloves when working with any lime-base product.

I used my fat glazing brush to apply the lime wash and then wiped it back with a dry terry towel.  Don't over load lime washes or you will end up with a white pickled mess.  Lime dries quickly so you can see the tone within minutes.  At that point you can dry brush in more of your wash. I just had fun and worked between the 3 colors applying some separately and others together. The Lime Wash gives the wood a pretty chalky patina and alters the understain slightly.

What helped the most on this project was lining up the pieces as I worked on each layer. This gave me an indication of the color mix I was getting-Good thing I have a large space to work in because moving 12 foot long planks all day is tiring.

This is the day that we found out we were short and I needed to finish 22 extra pieces-my smile is a little forced.  I like the Lime Wash to dry over night so I can see how it shades the piece.

My final step was to apply Master Finishing Wax to add more color, seal the pieces, and give them a hand-rubbed finish to the patina.  I've found this water-based wax to be a good choice for sealing the low content lime wash.  Plus you may always glaze on top of this wax which is a welcome bonus. Adding 10% So-Slow will help the wax flow over large surfaces. MFWax may be tinted with Stain & Seal, Faux Color, or Faux Creme Colors making it a versatile addition to cabinetry and furniture finishes.

I dip a wadded up piece of cheesecloth or squared terry towel into the wax and apply it in long strokes going with the grain. Some pieces just got the un-tinted wax.

While other pieces were finished with a pale tan wax. MF Wax dries within 40 minutes and may be sanded (400 grit or higher) or re-applied if needed. I did neither-thank goodness for selecting a weathered look-LOL!

The guys installed the planks with finishing nails in the ceiling joists and did a great job of mixing the colors and the plank lengths. Every night I would take some touch up stain to fix any saw cuts or raw edges that showed.

An added benefit of the new ceiling was the ability to add lighting. This will be a new modern ceiling fan with a light.  We also added some eyeball lights to highlight art. Since I have my whole room scaffolded and the new ceiling looks so great I am up-grading the walls this weekend! When I am done I will post the finished project.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

DIY: Making your own bark paper

"I think that I shall never see a faux as lovely as a tree"

"But you can come pretty close."

I have always loved applying finishing products to paper. The papers innate property of wrinkling adds a lot to a finish plus you may complete the paper in your home and hang it on site. It is also a very inexpensive way to get a layered look using very little of your leftover products.  Gary Lord of Prismatic Painting in Ohio has made his own paper finishes for years and shares several recipes in his books and videos.

For my project I wanted to re purpose the wine room in our home into a space for my craft and holiday/party decor. It is a luxury to have a room already outfitted with built-in wooden shelving that is also cool, dry, well-lit, and has a work shelf.  We usually serve and drink wine as soon as we get it and as I told my friend, Jack, you don't need climate control for Wine-In-A-Box!

Try doing this with a wine refrigerator.

I wanted to do a bark finish and discovered Yellow Birch Bark while on my Google search and really liked the gold and silver mash-up which I have through-out the rest of the house. I started with regular 3M Masking Paper used for painting. I like this paper because it is thinner then Butcher Block paper and comes in various widths. Just tear it into different length sections.

I needed the background to be a buttery metallic gold and selected FE Metallic Iridescent Gold Fresco for this layer. I use this for way more then the traditional fresco application (brush, pounce, and pull-out with a foam brush).  Metallic Fresco rolls out nicely without thinning (compared to rolled Palette Deco) and covers well in one coat (compared to Metal Glow). I also like to trowel this product straight out of the bucket-use it where you would normally apply tinted metallic wax, Venetian Hi-Lite Plaster, or Palette Deco Plaster.  Metallic Fresco comes in Gold, Iridescent Gold, Bronze, Copper, Hi-Lite Violet, Hi-Lite Green, HI-Lite Red, Hi-Lite Orange and Hi-Lite Blue. Metallic Fresco is a gold label product. If you use the Silver Label Line, apply Palette Deco Gold instead which is thicker but will give a similar look.

The Fresco will look cloudy when applied but dries to a rich solid metallic.  A pint covered 52 3'-long pieces of paper. It also has a fast dry time and you can apply the next layer within 30 minutes.

Birch Bark has a distinct horizontal grain.  For my next layer, I rolled our Bark Roller in Silver Sharkskin and off-rolled the pattern on the paper. For Silver Label users Silver Faux Metal will work but takes longer to dry.  I varied the thickness and width of my rolled lines.

In areas where I rolled the silver nice and thick, I used my trowel to compress the silver and catch the wrinkled edges of the paper. The Sharkskin dried within one hour.

This layer is "Plaster Gumbo" where I batch a bunch of left-over stuff.  For Bark, Sandstone or Plastertex is a great choice because of the small brown aggregate in the plaster. I mixed these two with Fauxstone Pull-Off to give me a plaster that would peel and pop with my trowel. Cover anywhere from 70%-90% in horizontal areas and let dry.

At this point, you may hang the paper. Position the paper where you want to apply a piece and use a blade to trim a straight edge for the ceiling. Then roll a section of wall and the back of the paper with Setcoat Clear and apply the paper to the wall. Roll more Setcoat clear to stick down the edges and move air bubbles. A small squeegee is also useful for pressing the paper down.  Repeat across the surface using varied widths of paper lapping top and bottom edges.

You will get some wrinkles in the paper but that adds to the look.  The Setcoat Clear actually flattened down some of the paper when it was dry. I let this layer dry overnight to bond to the wall.

To get as close to my inspiration bark as possible, I rolled a coat of Caterpillar Metal Glow that I thinned 50% with water to keep it very sheer over the whole surface

The final layer is a mix of Stain & Seal and FX Thinner. It looks like American Walnut, Rich Brown, and a little Antique Mahogany.  Just brush and pad with a damp cloth to tone and pick up the texture.

This project of 125 square feet took me a weekend to complete from making the paper to install to final glazing on site.  Next time I will show you how I made my own chalk paint for the wooden shelf and the found objects I used for storage ideas.

"Faux is made by fools like me, but only God can make a Tree."