Friday, 9 April 2010

A crackled-paint finish

I simply love these finishes, and I am dying to try it out. But, because I am so anal, I have to read and read and read about it before I even dare to begin to try anything. . . .

Here's what I found on, here, on crackling finishes:

Crackle painting is a faux painting technique that produces a finish that looks like old cracked paint with older layers of paint showing through. Any smooth surface that can be painted with latex paint is suitable for crackle painting. Commonly, crackle paint is used on furniture, cabinetry or on accent trim and molding. Supplies are readily available at almost any home improvement store, and the crackle painting technique is simple enough to learn in an afternoon.
Difficulty: Moderate

Things You'll Need:

  • Interior latex paint in two colors, flat or eggshell finish
  • Synthetic paintbrush
  • Roller (optional)
  • Crackle medium
  • Sandpaper
  • Rags
  • Masking tape
  • Drop cloth

    How to Crackle Paint

  1. Step1
    Buy your paint, crackling medium and other materials. Choose two different paint colors—an undercoat that will show through the crackling, and a top coat color that will be the crackled paint. The crackling medium is colorless.

  2. Step2
    Prepare the surfaces you will be painting. Sand the surface smooth. Wipe the surface with a damp cloth to remove dust. Allow to dry.

  3. Step3
    Cover and mask surfaces you do not want to paint. Use masking tape to mask surfaces immediately adjacent to the surface you'll be painting. Use a drop cloth to cover the floor.

  4. Step4
    Apply the undercoat color according to the paint can instructions. Be sure to stir the paint thoroughly before application. Allow to dry 4 hours.

  5. Step5
    Apply the crackling medium. Use a paintbrush to give a directional effect to the crackling, or use a roller to achieve more uniform crackling. Allow to dry at least 1 hour.

  6. Step6
    Apply the top coat. Apply the paint thickly for more crackling. Or apply the top coat paint thinly for subtle crackling.

  7. Step7
    Remove the masking tape after a few minutes, while the paint is still fresh. Do not wait for the crackle painted area to dry completely, as this may cause the fresh paint to lift off with the masking tape.

  8. Step8
    Allow the crackle painted surface to dry completely.

I simply love - it is the perfect place to go to - my first-stop, always - when you're about to start something new!

Homemade gesso

I needed to look up 'gesso' cos I hadn't heard of it ever before! And there is a lot of info out there!!!

Here's what I found out about making some at home, from here:

Gesso is a powder made from calcium carbonate and glue. Applied to wood, it hardens a brilliant white and can be used a primer or sculpting material. Gesso was traditionally used as a base for tempera and was a favorite of Renaissance panel painters. It can also be used on furniture and moldings, where it is be built up and carved. Gold leaf is normally applied to wood on top of a layer of gesso. Here are some tips.
Difficulty: Easy

Things You'll Need:

  • Plaster of Paris
  • Water
  • Woodworking glue
  • Honey
  • Coloring agent (optional)

  1. Step1
    To Make gesso begin by slaking your plaster of Paris. Mix together 1 part plaster of Paris and 4 parts water. Let the mixture sit until the plaster settles to the bottom. Pour off the water and re-mix. Repeat this process three times. The plaster reacts with the water. If the mixture gets warmer than when you started, repeat the process. If it appears to be the same temperature as when you started, then your plaster is slaked.

  2. Step2
    Scoop out the plaster of Paris and let it dry completely. Break up any clumps that appear as they may contain areas of moisture. Use a common kitchen grater to grind it into a fine powder.

  3. Step3
    Mix three parts plaster of Paris to 1 part glue. Add several drops of honey to every tablespoon or so of this mixture. Mix thoroughly and pound out any lumps. Your mixture should have the consistency of pancake batter. The gesso is now ready to use.

  4. Step4
    To color your gesso, simply mix in a coloring agent. You can use watercolors or gouache. Store your gesso in an airtight container. Add a little water if the gesso becomes too dry.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Tole work

As is usual with my weekends, I get a chance to play with my paints. And this weekend, I decided to do some work with my Metalics from Plaid.

Their texture is different, and they took some getting used to, but I enjoyed the practice, and finally felt brave enough to work on a little piece of canvass.

And below is my version of my favourite genre of painting: tole work. Eventually, when I've mastered this thing called painting a little more, this is what I'd like to concentrate on.

But for now, all I can do is explore and see where it takes me.

Two views of my finished canvass:

And below is the close-up, flaws and all. I don't know why, but when I make an error, it needs to take centre-stage. Always!!! Ahh well, when I finally do one that's error-free, I'm sure to give it the full fanfare it deserves!