Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Decorative Artist Pantry: 3 Tint Bases to Try

A common question is: "What products should I keep in stock?"  Unless you are recreating a specific class sample, it is hard to know exactly what to keep on hand with so many choices. I thought about my practice of going through our family pantry. Just like a good cook knows with a few staples you can whip up a pretty good meal the same is true of stocking a studio pantry.  

With that in mind, this is my criteria for product staples:

1.  Can this product be tinted or mixed easily with other items to alter the color, texture or appearance?

2.  Is the material adaptable to a range of design styles? For example can it be used for both modern and rustic finishes? 

3.  Will I be able to use the product on a variety of surfaces such as walls and cabinets?

4.  And does the product have a good shelf life-most of the items from Faux Effects International™ are good for a year or more unopened. Putting plastic wrap over wet product and making sure the lid is on tight will keep these products fresher once opened.

So, let's start building our Decorative Arts Pantry!  The three items I am starting with are all Tint Bases which means they meet my 4 criteria above. Plus they are simple to use and best of all....

You can get them on sale right now during the NEW YEARS SILVER LABEL promotion.


Lusterstone and Metal Glow
We all know that Lusterstone comes in beautiful colors from pale white to deep black, but did you know there is a tintable version?  We often get requests from clients to match a specific paint color while making samples when we don't have a pre-tinted Lusterstone available. Lusterstone Tint Base to the rescue.  
You may tint this product with Faux Effects Colorants like FauxCreme Color™ or Metalglow® Metallic Paints like the sample above which uses Metal Glow colors in Sea Spray and Wheat mixed with Lusterstone Tint Base.  

Lusterstone Tint Base mixed with MicaGlow Powder
A favorite finish is to tint Lusterstone Tint Base with MicaGlow Powder™ (seen in the sample above).  Just a tablespoon of mica powder per quart of tint base yields a pretty silky look.

You don't always need to add something to the Lusterstone Tint Base-it works just fine on it's own.  It dries to a neutral pearl finish (neither too blue or brown). A simple and effective application is to trowel a layer of Palette Deco ™ Metallic Plaster (my sample is Silver) and top with a layer of Lusterstone Tint Base
Below Lusterstone Tint Base is pulled over Stucolux™ Fine Polishing Plaster in White on White and Vanilla Bean.  For the pattern, I added a little silver colorant to the Lusterstone Tint Base and rolled it over the stencil. 

                                                                                                                                                               And speaking of patterns! Lusterstone Tint Base is troweled for a base in this finish below. Next I mixed the tint base with Silver MicaGlow Powder and silver glitter- a nice (clean) way to apply a glitter finish! 

You may also use quality paint tint from your local favorite paint store if you are matching a specific paint color.  Add it slowly and always swatch out the wet color to see how it dries. Then write down your formula. Adding too much paint tint may overcome the "luster" of the product.


The same attributes of Lusterstone Tint Base are useful for the Venetian Gem Tint. The biggest difference is the opacity of the products with the Venetian Gem Tint Base drying more opaque (not a great choice for a glitter finish) but works fine with many other colorants!

Below, the Venetian Gem Tint Base is mixed with Setcoat™ Metallic Taupe and is shaped with a trowel and an Alligator Roller.

Venetian Gem Tint Base is mixed with FauxCreme Color and some is left natural for the trowled finish below:

Because of the well sealed and smooth quality of the Venetian Gem Tint Base it is a great choice for using with foils.  Above, Venetian Tint Base is used for the base layer and the raised pattern. A pewter foil is applied over the plaster and our other staple, Lusterstone Tint Base is pulled over the top to blend and soften.


The most translucent of the 3 tint bases discussed here is AquaWax.  And like the other two, AquaWax may be used both over and under other products. Below AquaWax is mixed with Sea Spray Metal Glow, Old Bronze Metal Glow and Elephant Hide Metal Glow.

This finish above is AquaWax is divided into 2 parts. One part is mixed with Metallic Toffee® Setcoat and the other part is mixed with Metallic Toffee Setcoat and some Silver Concentrate. 

And since it dries so clear, AquaWax is a perfect binder for glitter.

Or used on it's own as a see-through texture over things like foil.

An added bonus with Aquawax is you may use it as a protective and durable topcoat over your finishes! 

What you should notice is that many of the finishes using Lusterstone Tint Base, Venetian Gem Tint Base and AquaWax are 2-3 steps making these economical finishes as well.  Take advantage of the sale and try a quart of one (or all) for your decorative art  product pantry.

The New Year Silver Label Sale is being offered from Faux Effects and at participating studios. Use N2018Y code at check out or call your local studio for information.

Check out my post tomorrow when I write about my favorite Cabinetry stock items.

Stay Warm,

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