This is a really nice decorative paint technique I created when I was living in Barcelona. In fact, I named it Barcelona Twilight. In 2007 I was hired by a Spanish company to create several sample boards using a line of metallic paints that they were importing from the states. The process is actually quite simple and yields a truly stunning faux finish. I offer it to you now.
Begin by deciding which stencil motif you want to use. I went with a grape and leaves theme but you could choose any stencil motif you think is appropriate. You will now want to determine where exactly your stenciled effect will be on your walls.
Placement at this point is very important as you will be applying a textured material onto your walls. I have been taught that the best way to determine your stencil placement is to create several mocks up of you stencil elements on paper, cut these out and use tape to get an idea of how the real raised stencil effect would look. You can now position and reposition them until you know exactly where you want them permanently.
Once you have determined the location of your stencil motifs, use a textured material, drywall mud works great, and begin creating a raised stencil effect by troweling on the drywall mud to a height of about 2/16th of an inch. Stencil all your elements and all them the mud to dry over night.
Once the mud has dried, you will roll on two coats of a black satin or eggshell paint onto your entire surface including the stenciled elements and their respective edges too. Allow each coat to dry between applications.
The next part of this faux finish uses another Modern Masters metallic paint called Steel Grey. This metallic paint unlike most others, has a grit to it. You can feel this grit if you rub some of the pant with your fingers. This grittiness will allow you to actually trowel the paint on to the surface. Keep in mind that the Steel Grey paint is still very fluid but you will still be able to trowel it onto your wall by lightly dipping just the edge of your trowel into the paint.
Apply the Steel Grey paint in a short cross hatch motion covering 100 % of your surface. Allow this coat to dry fully before proceeding.
Now the fun part. Replace your stencil over the raised elements and begin to apply color to the grapes and leaves. I choose to do all my painting in metallic colors. Metallic paint has a tendency to look very rich and profound over a black base coat. It is almost iridescent in appearance. I layered several colors over each other to create a more complex look. Once you are satisfied with you high lighting of the stenciled elements, allow the paint to dry fully.
The final step of this faux finish it to add a little pop to the Steel Grey background. I did this by creating glaze mixtures using the same colors I used for the grapes and leaves. It is important to create very, very light glazes. In other words you will want to use one part glaze to about 8 parts glaze medium. You want a very light glaze because you will only be blushing on some color over the Steel Grey. Less is more at this point.
Use cheesecloth to rub these glazes on to the surface. I blushed on the darker colors near the top of the wall and gradually transitioned to lighter colors as I went down the wall. Keep a wet sponge handy should you want to remove or lighten up some areas. The result you want is a light hazy misty application of color.
You may want to practice your technique before hitting the wall but I’m sure will find the end result stunning. This is truly a faux finsih worth trying out.