Step by Step Pompeii Panel Part 1

The design of this faux finish Pompeii panel was determined by the photograph I came across. You, however, could use this decorative faux finish process I am about to detail with any design you come up with. In fact you could apply this Pompeii technique directly to a niche or wall. This could be a great alternative to venetian plaster as well.

So let’s get started. I’ll first list the materials you will need and then go through the step by step instructions.
One piece of sheet rock cut to approximately 3 feet by four feet.
Powdered dry wall mud.
Universal tints or any tints you like, in Red, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber
Painters blue tape
A 3 foot metal yard stick
Metallic paints from Modern Masters in Sashay Red, Rich Gold and Burnt Orange.
Since I can’t draw a stick man well, I used stencils to create the Grottesca images. The stencils are from Royal Design Studios and are called the Cherub Panel

The process begins with creating batches of dry wall mud following the package instructions. You will tint one batch with raw umber Universal tint, one batch with red and the final batch with burnt sienna. Be sure to tint these batches rather with enough tint to create deep rich colored dry wall mud.

Trowel all 3 colors onto the sheet rock in random smooth patches blending in some areas but by and large you want areas of distinct red, raw umber and burnt sienna. This step can be done quickly and with out to much thought but go for 100% coverage.

Once dry, mix more drywall mud and trowel on a tight smooth coat of untinted mud over 90% of the surface. This second coat should be done with more care. What you want to achieve is 90% coverage while at the same time allowing the colors below to peek through as if the plaster above the color had chipped off after a thousand years.

Your next step is to measure and tape off a section of the board. I measured and taped 6 inches from each side. You should now have a section of 2 feet in the center of your board to work on.

You’re doing good so far. Now center your stencil inside that taped off section and use the metallic colors to stencil paint the elements. If you have never stenciled before I suggest you go to and read the “how to” section. It isn’t difficult to stencil but there are nuances and helpful tips you will want to be aware of.

Stay tuned for the rest of this process tomorrow.

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