I’m back from a successful trip to this year’s IDAL 2014 trade show and event in Fort Worth, TX. We were celebrating IDAL’s 30th year as a non-profit organization for decorative painters.
I taught 3 classes: 1-day hands-on Faux Marble for baseboards, 1-day hands-on Woodgraining for baseboards, half day demonstration on preparation, protection, and touch-ups of decorative finishes
My first class was an all-day faux marble baseboard class. It was an ambitious day, but we made it with some extra hours tacked on.
The students created small, baseboard-sized samples of the following:
Rouge Royal, Sea Green, Crama Marfil , White Veined, Red Griotte , Faux Stone, Belgium blue
Eva Gallant of Y-Knot Creations helped with the brushes.
My standard job recipe cards. It’s usually messy, but I understand it. It’s an extremely useful reference.
Faux Stone below. Students walked out with some baseboard painted with finishes.
The woodgraining class was equally successful and ambitious. People who know me, understand I generally expect far too much work for one day (ask my employees!)
In the woodgraining class, we made baseboard sized samples of the following woods: Satin Wood, Mahogany, Aged walnut, Pickled oak, English grey pine, Burl.
Why baseboard size? I wanted to show the importance of selling these finishes to clients. They are relatively easy to create and they can add huge visual value to a room.
Thirdly, my half-day demo was a first time class for me. I was shooting from the hip and talking frankly about substrates and how to effectively apply a decorative finish. This was purely from my 35 years of experience in my NYC company, Grand Illusion.
Stiles and rails are woodworking terms that refer to the outer frame of a “frame and panel” construction. A basic frame and paneled section consists of two rails and two stiles that surround the panel. In the picture above, these panels are on a wall.
The rails are the horizontal pieces and the stiles are the vertical. I always think of the rails like a railroad tracks and that’s how I remember that they’re horizontal.
These 5 pieces are the minimum construction (called a “five piece door”). Sometimes, a mullion is sandwiched in between the panel and stiles & rails.
In order to respect the carpentry rules when applying a decorative finish, you must follow these rules:
* the Stiles cut the Rails (in the most simple sections)
* the Rails cut the Stiles when the outer rail is a long expanse as part of a multi-paneled section (like a wall)
When woodgraining, often I will glaze the panel along with the rails at one time. Then, do the stiles at a separate time (or in this case with oil, complete just after).
When you are looking at a large room and say, “where do I begin?”, this post will tell you in what order to paint an entire room.
On this diagram below, the numbers correspond to the correct order to paint a typical room. Most rooms will not contain all of these elements. Your average room has at least, ceiling, walls, baseboard, door casing, and crown molding.
This order is based on providing a fast and quality paint job. This method also refers to decorative painting techniques such as woodgraining (see post on woodgrain layout) and strie.
1) Ceiling is first
3) Short rails: as on doors, under chair rail & Stiles that run between large wall panels
4) Long stiles and rails
5) Connecting stiles and rails & door casing rail
6) Outer stiles on walls & door casing stiles
7) Baseboard & Chair rail
Here’s a quick trick to preserving a small paint roller overnight or through the weekend. It always pays to be inventive on out-of-town jobsites like this one.
This idea is similar to this great brush tube for long brushes. First, you’ll need 2 empty water bottles with this shape .
Cut off the tops.
Stick the wet roller inside. Keep the roller nice and wet with paint or added water.
Close the join by overlapping.
Masking tape to seal.
See also our related post on proper preparation.
It can be a real challenge to patch a crack over a strie or other glazed surface. Recently, we went back to a job we completed about 5 years ago and the wood paneling had cracked on many of the joins. As many of you know, this is not uncommon. Before I begin, I try to assess whether it would be easier to touch up the cracks with acrylic or just re-paint and re-glaze the entire area. Sometimes it is just as fast to redo the area instead of touching up. Plus, the patch will surely look better. However, in this case, we decided to touch-up instead in the interest of time.
The first step is to dig out the cracks. As we have previously described in our patching a hole post, this is an important step even though it may seem you’re making the problem worse.
Normally, we would use tape to mask the area before we filled the crack, but the tape was pulling off the glaze, so we had to do without. We first used plaster of paris to fill the hole because it dries fast and doesn’t shrink. Then, we filled again with a harder plaster like M&H Ready Patch. We were able to sand that final coat down and wipe any excess off with a wet rag.
Next I mixed an acrylic primer tonality to cover the patch. In the photo below, you will see a big difference in the patch on the left and right. Ideally, you want to surgically paint the patch (as on the right). The left side was painted way outside the perimeter of the patch and thus caused much more work on the paint touch-up. We learn from these mistakes, quickly!
Here we are mixing a basecoat color. I use white paint plus fluid acrylics to tint. A few important things to remember about mixing colors: Acrylic paint will dry darker, so have a hairdrier ready to test dry paint. AND Mix enough for the entire job.
Paint the color as surgically as possible over the patch. I like to use a sable-mix pointed brush.
Use a hairdrier to check your first patch. It most certainly may need 2 coats.
Now for the challenging part. In order to make an acrylic touch-up look like a glaze, you need the following:
1) Vibrant colors like fluid acrylic
2) A palette of colors as shown below
Using the previously mixed basecoat, we start making thin, parallel lines with a slightly darker color than the basecoat. Then, repeat the process with a slightly lighter color. Continue to paint back in forth until you are satisfied. Lastly, I like to mix a vibrant tonality using a yellow or orange and apply some strokes. Be wary of using white as it tends to look grey.
If you’re looking straight at the patch, it should look good. But as soon as you see it from an angle, it will look off, color-wise because it needs a varnish. In this case, I mixed a waterbased flat/satin varnish that I tested ahead of time. That made it look better.
Don’t get me wrong, I know the patch isn’t perfect. Any decorative painter will understand what I mean. But, if you didn’t know it was there, you probably wouldn’t see the patch. And it’s much better than how it started.
* Pierre is teaching a 4 hour demonstration at the IDAL convention in Fort Worth, TX on Friday, October 3rd. Click here for more info.
It is important to understand how the layout of wood in an interior space should dictate your woodgraining. Knowing and abiding by these rules will show that you are a professional who respects the laws of fabrication.
When dealing with a large panel area, it is important to research the type of wood you are graining and the size of the tree. The dimensions of a board or plank of wood are limited by the size of the tree trunk from which it is cut. For example, a tree that is 4 feet in diameter will yield at its widest point, a a 2.1/2 to 3 foot-wide board (after the sapwood and bark have been removed). As a result, a large panel must be divided up into several smaller boards, usually of equal width. Sometimes a smaller area, such as a panel within a door, is divided into two unequal-sized boards whose dimensions are generally equivalent to 2/3 and 1/3 of the width of the space. I like to divide my panels into an odd number of boards, if possible. I believe it is more pleasing to the eye.
As far as the length of the wood – though there are no standard lengths of wood, a maximum of 12 feet is recommended. Some types of wood are available in smaller dimensions. For example, BURL is generally cut into veneers no larger than 1.5 foot squares. It is important your woodgraining reflect these natural installation parameters.
See this drawing of an interior space constructed of wood.
In general, the central panels should feature figure graining, while the stiles and rails should be composed almost exclusively of straight graining with only partial figure grain visible. In contrast to marble, the stiles frame the rails. On the panels below the chair rail, the woodgrain looks best horizontal when the panel is wide. Or vertical if the panel is square or narrow.
Know your species of wood, how it is cut, and how a carpenter would install it.
See also our previous post on Nantucket blue oak.
This featured video is of faux crotch mahogany done on a door. Many of our jobs require us to match doors and millwork to existing wood in a residence. As seen in my last post Faux Marble Baseboard to Match a Mantel, matching an existing substrate is a common task, and a great way to enrich a room.
At this years 2014 IDAL convention in Fort Worth, TX, I am teaching a faux wood baseboard class. Students will learn up to 8 different woods that are perfect for this application. See our current schedule for details.
A fantastic way to improve a living space is to paint a faux marble baseboard to match an existing mantel.
On many interior projects that we do, there is an existing mantel that is the centerpiece of the room. Oftentimes, the marble or stone mantel has a variety of colors and character that must be respected.
In my experience, the painted finishes on the walls and millwork must work with the mantel – especially if it is dramatic and outstanding. One of my favorite ways to bring a marble or stone mantel into the room is to paint the baseboard to match the mantel.
On all of these pictures below, the mantel is real marble and the baseboard is painted to match.
Here is a work in progress. Working on the floor is not fun, but the result is gratifying.
These next photos are from the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. This was a huge job for us and we did miles of faux marble baseboard.
I love how the painted baseboard give a visual weight to the room. Also, it can be a lovely transition of the wall to the floor.
At IDAL convention in Fort Worth, TX, I am teaching a faux marble baseboard class. Students will learn up to 8 finishes that are perfect for this type of application. See our current schedule for details.
All painted finishes are completed by my company, Grand Illusion Decorative Painting, Inc.
The Deerhoof is the ultimate striping brush! Much like the Rondin brush, the deerhoof is ideal for striping color or size on small, and tight spaces. However, the deerhoof’s shape offers a distinct slant which allows for optimum surface contact. It’s densely-packed skunk hair makes this a great brush to use over rough surfaces. A must have for sign painters and gilders.
Click TL-31 to purchase or learn more about this brush
TL-30 Striping Edge
At a showroom event in Brooklyn, we created this faux rust patina door for a captive audience. We completed the door in less than 45 minutes. Therefore, the materials we used were fast-drying for the purpose of re-recoating within minutes.
We watched the drying time of the primer (didn’t take long) and as it was 80% dry, Jon knocked the stipple down with a putty knife.
I mixed a transparent glaze with fast-drying acrylic, matte medium, and water. I added colors from my palette to add more tonality. Usually, I don’t use such a fast drying glaze – it was purely for the interest of demonstration.
Next, I made a drippy mixure of Vat Orange, Hansa Yellow, and water to act as the “rust” effect. I let the color run in certain areas.
Lastly, I dry-brushed with a spalter to graze the texture with more vibrant colors in certain areas.
The demonstration went well. We were happy with the result. I didn’t use any metallic paint, flakes, or other additives to give the illusion of rust. It was done with simple ingredients and choice colors.