Monday, February 15, 2010

2 Fancy Faux Finishes!

My friend was looking for a fancy finish for her bathroom sink in one of her dollhouses. She had a Shenandoah lowboy kit she was going to use as a sink cabinet. I had an idea I had wanted to try out, but had nothing to use it for. So, I tried this faux finish technique on a House of Miniatures sideboard kit I had for her to see if she liked it.
If you are using the kit, (Hobby Builders has the House of Miniatures lowboy kit on the "Save,Save" pages, #40024, for $8.99, they may still have the Shenandoah kit on line), put it together first.
If you are going to put a sink in the top, (we used Hobby Builders clear vanity #975, $3.69, had to purchase the faucet set from another source, it's from MBS,, the faucet set is about $14.00, it's very pretty and just the thing for this piece), you will have to make adjustments for the sink to go into the top while building the lowboy. Don't glue on the top, I have a faux finish for that, too. As you see in the picture I am showing you my practice piece without the sink inserted, makes a nice sideboard.
This finish can be used on unfinished wood, and I suggest you try it out on a scrap first. If you are gong to use it on a piece that all ready has a finish on it I would sand it a bit to take off the shine.
I bought all my stuff at Michael's: Deco Art Dazzling Metallics, Champagne Gold for the base color, Glorious Gold, Venetian Gold and Emperor's Gold. I used Delta's acrylic thinner, Americana Staining and Antiquing Medium with Folk Art Artist's Pigment Van Dyke Brown and Deco Art Triple Thick Gloss Glaze.
Paint a base coat of champagne gold on the lowboy. I painted and sanded with 220 grit at least 2 or 3 times to get a good smooth finish.
Mix each of the other 3 gold colors with the acrylic thinner, (about 1/4 part thinner to 1 part paint), on a styrofoam plate or something like that. You will have 3 puddles of paint. Sponge on, dipping the sponge into the paint, then dabbing the sponge on newspaper to blot off excess paint, then sponge onto the lowboy. I do this with the drawers in. Play with this, you can add the base color, champagne gold back into it, too. When you are satisfied with the finish let it dry.
Apply one coat of Deco Art Triple Thick Gloss Glaze. Let dry.
Mix the Folk Art Artist's Pigment Van Dyke Brown with the Americana Staining and Antiquing Medium. Brush on. I leave mine set a minute or 2. Dab off with a small piece of fabric or paper towel wadded up. You can do this over and dab off again until you like the finish.
Let dry. I like to leave this overnight. Finish with Deco Art Triple Thick Gloss Glaze.
You can change the brown and get a different look. My friend only uses 3 of the golds not 4. So this is up to you to play with it on scrap pieces to get the look you like.

***The Top***
I think I've tried almost every body's way of making faux marble or at least read how they do it. I found this in my husband's "Fine Woodworking" magazine. I liked it and I seemed to do a passable job with this technique. You'll need soft artist's charcoal, I bought mine a Michael's. I tried several kinds to see what worked best. I think it depends what mood I'm in. If you don't like the finished piece you can sand everything off and start again, been there, done that!
First sand smooth down to 220 grit or finer your top. Paint white, I used Delta's Magnolia White. Sand lightly, paint. Sand lightly and paint again. You want a super smooth finish, like glass so I know I did this at least 3 times.
Now for the charcoal. For faux marble to look real it can't be symmetrical. It helps to have the real thing the article says, alas, I don't have a piece of marble. I suppose with real marble counter tops available you could go and take a digital picture of a piece and use it as inspiration. Back to business. Veins and fissures are grouped together in "drifts". Drifts should be asymmetrical and remind you of continental shapes, like starting at one corner with North America, through skinny Central America and back out at the opposite corner with fat and long South America. Vein and fissures should be of different lengths and widths, suggesting a torn, twisted fishing net. I hope this helps.
After you have drawn the veins and fissures smudge parts of the veins with your fingertips. About 20% of the veins should be left unsmudged. The smudging of the charcoal takes the place of sponging with all the different colors of grey. So vary your smudging a bit.
Now mix the Magnolia white with Americana Glazing medium, equal amounts. Sponge this onto the top. The veins will look as though they are deep in the "marble". Remember to dab the sponge onto newspaper before going to the top. You can add more sponging here, less there. Let this dry when you are satisfied. To finish I apply a layer of Deco Art Triple Thick Gloss Glaze.
My friend did her top with pink marble and marbled her sink, too. This looks fabulous!
I hope you can try this out it was fun to experiment. Kris

P.S. Just received my April, 2010 "Miniature Collector", page 44, look at this table. You can do this by gluing jewelry findings, bits and pieces, I've used my punches to punch out flowers and shapes molding them with a stylus, varnish with light coats to harden and glued them onto surfaces. Some of the roping looks like you could use bunka. Really build up the surface. Remember to seal anything paper or fabric with water base, (craft paints like Delta) varnish, light coats, one or two should be enough, before you start the faux gold finish. Kris