First Step by Step Faux Finish technique

Bronzed Bamboo is the name I gave this faux finish sample board.

I created this sample board for the owner of a coffee house in Barcelona. I was lucky enough to have lived in Europe for a few years and found that in terms of faux finish techniques, we in the States (contrary to popular belief) are much more advanced and innovative. I completed this technique using materials that were both easily accessible and inexpensive and I offer it to you now.

Keep in mind, that if the colors or bamboo stencil is not to your liking, you can experiment with different motifs and colors and still produce a nice faux finish. Decorative painting is all about diversity.

So here it is, start with a white or pale colored wall surface in a flat paint.
I used an inexpensive texture material, in the states you could use Behr Textured Sand paint, available at Home Depot.
Thicken the sand paint with a little powdered drywall mud, you want the to be able to trowel on the paint mixture and have it stay where you put it. Trowel the mix on and create a somewhat smooth but varied textured appearance. Make sure to leave open areas, that is, areas exposing the wall surface. Allow to dry fully.

Your next step is to place your chosen stencil motif where you think it looks best. You may want to use a stencil adhesive found in craft stores , to ensure that your stencil sticks to the irregular wall surface. Once your stencil is in place, use some of the same textured material to emboss the stencil image, which simply means to trowel the material through your stencil. This will give you a raised stencil effect. Complete all of the stencil embossing and allow the material to dry fully.

The metallic paints I used were Olympic Gold and Blackened Bronze, both made by Modern Masters. I first rolled on two coats of Olympic Gold on to the surface using a chip brush to paint the raised stencils as well, allow the first coat to dry before applying the second. Dry fully.

Replace the stencil over the raised bamboo areas and use the Blackened Bronze metallic paint to darken these areas. Use a dry brush technique and avoid a heavy coat as you want some of the Olympic Gold metallic paint to peek through. You are just hi lighting the bamboo at this point. Allow to dry.

Finally, mix some of the Blackened Bronze and Olympic Gold metallic paints together at a 1:1 ratio. Now to this new paint color add Extender for Rolling, also a Modern Masters product again at a 1:1 ratio. You now have a glaze medium. Roll the glaze mix on to your surface and immediately soften with a terry cloth rag. What you are looking to achieve is a misty cloudy kind of look.

And that’s it. Sounds involved at first reading but most faux finishes do. In fact most faux finishes are quite simple and open to interpretation. You don’t always have to use expensive Venetian Plasters to get very cool results.

Stay tuned for the next faux finish recipe.

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