Friday, December 15, 2017

How to cook up a winning finish with 3 simple ingredients

I have a confession to make. My approach to cooking and finishing are the same.  For my own use, I measure nothing instead preferring to look at an ingredient, smell it and then decide to add or not add. Now I understand the chemistry of what I'm doing.  For example I know that Metal Glow will stick directly to a surface without adding any thing to it-it has binders.  Just like I know Baking Soda is a leavening agent that gives baked goods their texture.  This approach works well in the experimentation phase but not so great in the final delivery. You need a solid recipe!

Tis the season to share a good recipe-something you can pass on like a great Friendship Cake starter-  I have 2 great recipes that use the same 3 ingredients (measurements included) for your current or next finishing job. Let's start with one for walls and ceilings. These are the 3 things you will need:

A Leon Neon Brush

Cheesecloth Bolt -the kind that comes off in pieces and doesn't shed

 And Metal Glow!
You can tell by the little bit left in my bottle how much I love the color the Martini Olive.

In fact, our first recipe with these 3 ingredients uses Martini Olive and is shared by Martin Alan Hirsch and Morey Dunbar of The Faux Finish School in Louisville, Kentucky. 

Croce Metallica, which means "crosshatch metallic" but sounds more expensive the other way.

Start with a base of Taupe Setcoat.

Over the dried base coat, use a large brush to crosshatch Firewood Metal Glow.  Crosshatching means you brush the paint on in big overlapping "X's".  Use the Leon Neon to soften as needed. Your base color will show through-no problem. Let this dry.

Next you will mix So-Slow Extender

Firewood Metal Glow

Martini Olive Metal Glow

Milk and Honey Metal Glow.

For 1 quart of Metal Glow, add 1/4 Cup of So-Slow.

You will use large brushes to crosshatch each color starting with the Martini Olive and layering with the Firewood and Milk & Honey colors. The ratios of application are:

Firewood    20% coverage
Martini Olive    10% coverage
Milk and Honey  30% coverage

As you brush on these colors, you will pounce with the Leon Neon. To soften the finish more, use the cheesecloth for finer stippling.

While your colors are wet, brush and stipple in more of the Milk and Honey Metal Glow.

A great simple finish! Morey says she has sold this finish several times and in many different color combinations. Since there are 67 colors of Metal Glow there are many ways to adapt this recipe.  For example: 

Substituting Pewter Metal Glow for the Firewood

Coffeebean Metal Glow for the Martini Olive


Elephant Hide Metal Glow for the Milk and Honey

Thanks so much to Martin and Morey for sharing their recipe. You can find out more about The Faux Finish School by visiting

Check back this weekend when I share a recipe that also uses Metal Glow, A Neon Leon and Cheesecloth for a furniture finish. Let's keep our Friendship Cake Starter going....


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