Metallic Glaze Technique

Yesterday I started to describe a decorative wall finish that uses a metallic glaze over a texture of applied tissue paper. Well, I received a call from, where else, Barcelona and became distracted. I’m planning to move back to Barcelona and with any luck, open a studio and teach decorative finishes there.

DISCLAIMER: I just finished writing the entire process and in retrospect, and wow, it sure does look like an involved technique. BUT it really isn’t folks. HOW TO’s always sound more difficult because I try to include all the little details.

OK, so here is my version of a metallic glazed tissue paper application. Keep in mind that there are several different recipes for this decorative finish. I believe that mine is a pretty fool proof method and I am all about making faux finishes easy to execute.

These are the materials you’ll need.

* Tissue paper from a packing store or craft store. Make sure it is not the type of paper that has a wax backing.
* Wall paper sizing.
* Metallic paint. I used Modern Masters Teal available at several paint stores. Check their website for locations.
* A good quality glazing medium. I used Aquaglaze from Faux Effects.
* A small dry foam roller.
* A stencil of your choice.

This technique will work best over a smooth wall surface.

Prior to starting, tear off the edges of the tissue paper so that the edges are ragged looking.

I also try to tear my paper into irregular shapes and crumple the paper into balls to create wrinkles.

Have a bag to hold your tissue paper and a separate bag to hold the tissue paper with straight edges only.

Some kind of plaster medium for the relief stenciling. Melanie Royals of Royal Design Studio ( the best source of stencils and inspiration) uses a mix of premixed joint compound and Elmer’s glue. Any plaster type material will work.

Step by Step Process

Decide where you would like to have the relief stencil effect to appear on your walls. Trowel the plaster medium through your stencil and allow the to dry fully. These stenciled elements won’t need to be sealed so don’t be afraid to use dry wall mud.

Thin down the wall paper paste by adding 20 % water. Wall paper paste usually comes pretty thick but since we are using a more delicate and much thinner tissue paper, you will need to make the wall paper paste thinner as well.

Slather the paste on a 3 by 3 section of wall.

Uncrumple a piece of paper and apply to the wall. Smooth out the paper leaving a slight crinkle pattern. It’s important not to leave large pockets of paste under the paper. Push the paper into the stenciled areas with a chip brush.

Using the dry foam roller, further smooth out the paper and get rid of air pockets.

Apply your next piece of tissue making sure to not overlap the two pieces too much. Overlap should not be more than 1/8th of an inch. Again you the foam roller to smooth out and make these two pieces look as it they were one piece.

For the borders use the pieces of tissue with straight edges that you saved in a separate bag.

Continue around your wall surface applying the paper making sure to not leave any bare spots, over sized wrinkles or large overlaps. It is actually a whole lot easier than it sounds. You get into a rhythm and it flows quickly.

Allow the tissue paper to dry over night then roll on a coat of glaze medium. This glaze layer acts as a sealer.

Make a metallic glaze by mixing 1 part Modern Masters Teal metallic paint and 4 parts glaze medium. This glaze needs to be pretty translucent because the aim is to just give the tissue a metallic shimmer rather than a complete solid coverage.

Apply the glaze with a foam roller in a 3 foot by 3 foot area and immediately begin smoothing it out and feathering the edges. You will actually remove more of the glaze allowing the white of the tissue paper to peek through. The glaze will accumulate around the relief stencil and appear darker in those areas which will enhance the effect of the stencil.

Continue glazing the wall till your done. Jeeze.

Here is another tissue paper sample done with a copper glaze.

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