This was a project that I shared on the Mycolor blog, but I wanted to post it here too, so I can remember it!
A couple of weeks ago, I started feeling very crafty, and wanted to paint something in my own house (lately, that hasn't been happening much). I was browsing blogs when I came across Danika'spost on faux cararra marble. (She is awesome, no?!)
Anyway, here is what I did:
It started out like this... plain white laminate:
I primed it with an oil-based primer (Zinsser) and waited for it to dry...
I also used a feathering brush (the fluffy brush– it feathers out harsh lines, which gives organic looks you need in a lot of natural faux finishes, IE, wood, marble, etc.), various artist brushes, and sea sponges.
First, I dragged some gray on with my angular Purdy brush (1.5″) per Danika’s instructions, then feathered them out a LOT with my feathering brush. Something I think I did a lot more of than Danika is actually using a lot of white paint and glaze to go back in and calm down any harsh lines made. I would say I did more of than than even using gray paint. Basically, you just want to play with it until it feels right. This first step is to create depth, and almost a cloudy, organic looking background for your marble.
Next, I made darker veins with my gray, and feathered them out. This whole process is really just making veins on top of themselves, and feathering… over and over and over and over and over for all of eternity just kiddin – but it does take a while, and quite a lot of layering and patience! I think the most important thing to remember is to try not to control it too much. Natural elements are perfectly imperfect, so any heavy zig zagging is going to look very un natural.
Then, I was done! I did add two coats of a highgloss latex polyurethane on top the next day. I used latex so that it wouldn't yellow over time.
Yay, it's Wednesday. Halfway through the week! I've been all over town this week working, but spent some time in the studio yesterday working on this 36x36" painting for a client. Her color scheme is mainly gray/white/black with splashes of yellows and turquoises. It's not done, but it's coming along nicely, and it's probably about 85% there. It reminds me of pointillist work, and it's very impressionistic. I actually got the ideas for the little donut circles from a fabric designer that I studied in college (i learned things there! ah!). Naturally, I don't remember the designer's name, but I remember the look ;) I wish I still had the fabric design that I made and printed, but alas, I do believe it's long gone. Anyway, that's where I get the ideas for these paintings. here is is when I first started this morning: (dreary day outside, brightened up by my new neon paints in the window. not to say I don't love dreary days, because I actually do, and I kind of think they're the best for canvas painting...and coffee drinking) here is moi, at work. I kind of thought they were starting to look like barnacles, which totally gross me out (ps have you ever heard of Trypophobia? Fear of tiny clusters of holes. Yeah... I might be teetering on the edge of this. I am not scared of them, but very much grossed out!) . but.. the whole piece is giving the idea of a sort of natural, earthy piece... maybe it's flowers drifting to and from each other in the water, maybe it's a reflection of water, maybe it's a galaxy, etc, etc...nature has a way of repeating shapes and flows, yet never being the same. It's cool like that. My paint tray made it's own cool shape: After it did this by itself, I didn't want to ruin it, so I kept inadvertently working around it, hah. And here is where I ended up at the end of the day: It's not done, but it's getting there!
A few weeks back, I painted this furniture for a nursery. My client bought the pieces off Craigslist, then had me paint them. It's always nice to make pieces feel like they actually belong in the same room. I don't have photos of the actual pieces I painted, but I found some on google to show you guys what they kind of looked like.
The dresser was only $20. It was in really, really rough shape. Someone had spraypainted it (in my opinion, a rookie mistake when painting furniture, unless it's small and doesn't have many planes), and it was a cloudy finish, not to mention it had drip marks all over.
This dresser I'm showing you guys actually looks 100 times better, but you get the idea!
The little bookshelf was just solid wood, and a mapley orangey stain.
I painted them both, and added stripe detail, and now they actually look like they belong in the same nursery!
She'll be painting the walls that blue color that is above the dresser. Cute!
A few weeks ago, I worked on this dining set for a client, and thought I'd show you my results. It's such a dramatic difference, without a whole lot of paint. It's a great example of working with what you've got. Here is a "before" shot of the table: It was all very dark, heavy wood. I painted just the bottom of the table, and all of the chairs except for the seats... look at what a difference it made: The lighter paint gives a much different feel... less serious... more comfortable... I did pretty heavy distressing... Distressing is a great option for families with children!
A couple of weeks ago, I painted a sign onto the exterior of a new Buckhead boutique called w.port.
The shop is located in the heart of Buckhead, on Roswell road, right next to Pieces. Here is a link to their Facebook page. I urge you to check it out if you are in Atlanta, and looking for some nice basics, or maybe even a bolder trendy statement piece -- she has tons of cute stuff!
Just thought I'd share a few personal photos from my iPhone of what I've been up to lately, design-wise...
This weekend, I rearranged the bookshelves in our bedroom. Arranging and styling shelves is probably one of my favorite things to do. I like them arranged without a whole lot of clutter, but also with some smaller items layered into other accessories, to create interest... it's a balance. Not perfectly executed here, but better than I had it before, for sure...
The little white owl on the top shelf was a find from Ross this weekend. That place is usually kind of dump-y, but I actually find some good stuff every now and then, amongst a lot of weird fake plants and Tuscan-y canvas prints.
This is Mika hanging out on the new mint/white zig zag rug I got at Urban Outfitters. He must always inspect new items -- I hope he approves.
This was a photo I took at the studio Friday of two drawers that I painted for a little chest I'm about to finish up... The top one is glazed, bottom one isn't. I love glazing freshly-painted pieces...adds so much character.
I feel like this is a piece Sherry would like... :) (that reminds me - I've got to show you the living room piece I painted for her and her cute client recently! It's on her blog right now, if you care to search...)
This is the penny-tile table I was working on a few weeks ago... I did a second layer of resin to make it smoother...
Pretty cool, huh? I will try and remember to do a full post on penny tiling.. I learned a lot in this process! I will also snap a photo of the table in its new home. It looks very cool in its permanent spot.
Lastly, last weekend I found these two little basket-box guys at a thrift store. I love the Asian touches on the hinges and corner hardware... I want to paint them, but I haven't decided on a color. And I haven't worked up enough energy to pry off all the hardware to paint them. Each box has 16 different pieces of hardware -- eek. Anyway, after making that skirt thingie for below the TV, I decided to take off the skirt and to put the boxes under there instead. It's what I always envisioned for that space, and they fit perfectly. Wahoo! I love when things work out like that.
Anyway - hope you enjoyed this random dump of photos from my phone! Happy Monday.
I would say at least 50%, if not more, of my work is painting old furniture that clients want to give new life. It is such a smart thing to do for lots of reasons...
1) It's cheaper than buying new
2) older furniture is usually better-made than new furniture (seriously!)
3) you can create a custom look that is entirely yours and colors just for your decor
So, that being said, I do a lot of furniture paintin'.
These days, I usually paint furniture in my studio, but last week I did several really large pieces in a client's home. These guys were super-heavy -- literally and figuratively, as far as "weighing" the room down.
This credenza was pretty, but it was not quite working with my client's newer, fresher look she's going for (Think: bluish grays, Dwell studio patterns in cornflower yellows, silver and white accents -- all together, more modern)
Here is the "before" of the credenza:
And a mid-way shot:
out with the old, in with the new!
Here is the after:
My client and I actually decided the first color we went with was way too light, so I darkened it a bit, and now it's kind of a two-toned distressed look.
The armoire got a new look too. It was dark, dark stained wood, and I lightened it with a putty color. It's hard to see in this photo, but it's more of a brown-gray than the credenza.
I did the white on top of the putty this time, to give a different kind of distressed look. it almost looks like the white is peeking out from under the putty, but really the white is the second layer. I snapped this photo midway through (done on the right, not on the left) so you could see:
The room was designed by Claire Watkins, and the other day, she blogged about the completed room, so I knew I had to share the final "after" shots with you guys. You can head over to her blog to see a few more photos not shown here, if you'd like!
I adore the pale lavender and poppy red color scheme, and the mix of the modern elements with more classic, traditional elements. And that build in bed + shelves + lamps situation is out of control. Color me jealous of a little girl.
How cute is the quatrefoil light fixture?
Great shot of one of the little lamps -- and my stenciling. :)
The little girl's mom hand-stenciled this tray - so cute, right?
Love the items in the shelves. Whenever we have to go to a little kid's birthday party, I always buy these sock monkeys from Target - always a hit and a classic!
Last week, I painted a tree in the nursery of a baby girl that is due in just a few weeks. Her dad has been a friend I've known since high school, and he and his wife were so sweet and really excited about the painting. I really, really love when people are excited about my work. Work has been so busy (and a little stressful!) lately, that it's nice to know when people are happy and so complementary. So, thanks Jonathan and Lyndi - you guys made my day! The tree! They painted the front and back walls gray, and the two side walls pink. That way, if they ever have a boy and want to use the same nursery, they can just change the colors of the side walls, and still keep the gray and the trees. Smart thinkin'. And sorry this photo is so dark - I don't know what happened. Ever since I had to upload Dropbox onto my computer for a few projects, it's been changing the way that photos upload onto my computer, and it messes with the editing tools too. Annoying! Haven't had time to figure out why it's doing this.