Monday, June 3, 2013

Modern Coastal: DIY Lustersand Finish

This is when I met Audrey II at the Hawaiian Little Shop of Horrors

Aloha everyone!  Just returned from a wonderful week vacation on the island of Maui where, among other things such as Mai Tai's,  I swam with sea turtles and a pod of spinner dolphins.  Yes, I was one with nature....

(South Park, 2011)

But not as much as Gerald!
To ease myself back into a painting mode, I decided to share some ideas for creating modern coastal looks that are not cliché "beachy."  Although I will admit a fondness for retro-beach style interiors and styles. Think old surf boards, turquoise vinyl, and Bark Cloth.  Bruce is practically a walking postcard for vintage Hawaiian style. If he stopped wearing them (beginning in early March) then it signals the invasion of the Pod People.

Our resort had several home magazines lying around which I perused while relaxing on the Lanai, which sounds more exotic then covered porch.  "If you can't run with the big dogs-stay on the Lanai."  On second thought that doesn't sound as tough.
Anyway....the style of home is much more sleek and modern. More "California Modern" with sleek pale interiors, a few high contrast patterns, and aged grey wood. The vibrant shades one associates with Hawaii ( such as seafoam, coral, orange, fuchsia, and teal) are reserved for art work and a few textiles, usually on a cream of black background.
My first finish uses a product/technique that works well for a variety of interiors-remember I live in Kansas City-but gets a tropical vibe from the stencil pattern.


The background of this finish is a great way to bring in a hint of metallic with the natural look of stone. And since the finish uses Lustersuede, there are several pre-mixed color options available to you and your clients.

I'm using Faux Effects' Sandstone and Charred Gold Lustersuede.  Lustersuede comes in the same low sheen metallic colors as Lusterstone but is a thinner almost creamy consistency.  Mix 1/2 quart of Lustersuede to 1 gallon of Sandstone.  You can mix more or less of the Lustersuede depending on the look you want but don't over add the Lustersuede or you will loose the aggregate look of the Sandstone.  A quart of Lustersuede to a gallon of Sandstone should be the max.
This is your Lustersand or Sandluster-you decide.  This is your base layer and should be applied by buttering your trowel and popping on the surface.
The background color doesn't matter unless you want some of the color to show. The paint should be a good quality low sheen latex paint or Setcoat.  For added interest and while the Sandstone is wet, I like to pop in some un-mixed Lustersuede in connecting areas.
I have done a version of this sample using Frosted Denim Lustersuede which works surprisingly well with the Charred Gold.  Use your blade at a slight angle to smooth down the plaster but not press it flat.  You want gentle highs and lows.
You can tell I have been on vacation because my nails are painted in something besides Stain & Seal

Pull the plaster both vertically and horizontally.  This layer should dry within 2-hours.  I took the leftover plaster and mixed some FE Blue/Green Verdigris Color in it ( 1TBSP-2TBSP of color per quart of Lustersand mix will work).

If you don't have this color, these are good substitutes:
Turquoise Stain & Seal, Turquoise Faux Crème Color, Colonial Green Stain & Seal, and Williamsburg Blue Stain & Seal.
This mix is troweled over the pattern.  I selected the Mikala's Tropic pattern from Wallovers. I mean, hello, it has tropic in the name.
The pattern should dry a few hours before using a sanding block which I am using just to revel more of the Sandstone aggregate rather then for smoothing purposes.

You could stop at this point and have a soft finish with a relief pattern.  But why when you can add a layer that makes the finish sing. BTW, one of my nicknames, among many (at least the one's said to my face), is "sprinkles" because I like to add pretty things. But really-who doesn't?
I used a Japan Blade to pull Charred Gold Lustersuede 100% over the finish and then a damp cloth to spread it out and reduce chatter marks.  Lustersuede covers about 50 more square feet then regular Lusterstone and is about $5 less expensive per quart and gallon.  I have done this finish without applying a pattern and gone right to the step of pulling Lustersuede over the Lustersand for a simple 2 step finish.
But while this is know what time it is....
I laid the stencil over the pattern again and used a soft glazing brush to dry swirl some orange and teal colors over the pattern.

Ahh-now we are talking.  Just like a vintage Bark Cloth with a soft metallic shimmer.
Later this week I will show you my smoky mirror finish inspired by Hawaiian quilts. Until then, Mahalo (which means "Thanks").



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