Paint Effects – hand painted rustic wall finish
Traditional Painter Lee Simone is based in Harrogate and as well as kitchen painting, has worked all over the UK creating paint effects. Like all true artists, he has developed his own techniques and style and way of working, and has been called back to this particular property year after year by the owners who appreciate his “touch”.
This paint effects project was done in one of the spare rooms at Oare Manor in Devon.
Each of the rooms was being completely revamped, with each having its own particular style and feel. For this bedroom and en-suite the clients wanted a ‘shabby chic’ look, with the walls and furniture having a definite aged and rustic appearance.
I was also working on a couple of other projects in the main house (see links at the end) when I first saw the room and discussed potential options with the clients. I showed them some of my sample boards and they were very taken with the one shown in the picture below. This is actually my favourite rustic wall effect so I was really happy they chose it. I’d need to make a few tweaks, lighten it up, add some yellow ochre, it was going to look great 🙂
At this time, as you can see from the before pics, the rooms were in the midst of some serious changes; re-plastered walls, new electrics, new plumbing, new heating – many changes and much modernisation.
By the time I returned, all the work had been completed and it was the perfect shell for me to start painting. The effect would take around a month to complete, with base coats, texturing, multiple layers of glazing and varnishing.
Stage 1 –
As the walls were raw plaster when I started, my first job was to apply a couple of coats of Contract matt emulsion to create a suitable base. Though Contract matt is often the choice for new plaster it was going to be more than a base coat for me. I was going to take advantage of contract matts high absorbancy rate as part of the effect, though this wouldn’t really come into play until I began applying the glazes (see stage 3).
Stage 2 –
Next I mixed pure gilders whiting with Dulux matt emulsion to create a runny but stable kind of paste. I passed the whiting through a sieve first so that the paste was nice and smooth without any bumps and bits. This ‘paste’ was the base I used to create the textured bit of the effect.
Using various palette knifes I set about applying the ‘paste’ to the walls and building up the texture. Here and there I didn’t apply any of the paste, leaving the Contract matt base to show through. Once glazed these areas would appear darker as the glaze would instantly be absorbed.
To get the right effect with the ‘paste’ is pretty time consuming and for this particular job I ended up using well over 30 litres of matt emulsion.
Stage 3 –
Stage 3 is the all important first glazing stage where the colour is added and the real effect takes shape. For this particular room I mixed up three oil glazes, one with raw umber pigment, the second with burnt umber and the third with yellow ochre.
Once mixed I applied these with a brush and then spread the glazes around using damp and dry muslin until I’d got the effect I was looking for. In some areas I only used the raw umber glaze, in others I blended all the three together. The areas that hadn’t had the textured paint applied, (the ones where the Contract matt could be seen beneath) instantly became darker as the glazes were instantly absorbed and couldn’t be worked. I tinkered and glazed, wiped off and painted on until I was happy with the look and felt I had the right balance.
Stage 4 –
Stage 4 was a repeat of stage 3. I brushed on the glazes and moved them around until I was happy with the finished result. I added more of the raw umber glaze to the corners and edges where patination would have naturally occurred over time.
Stage 5 –
The final stage was to seal everything, making it durable and wipeable. For this I applied two coats of Dulux Clearcoat in matt. Using a matt varnish on walls really brought out the effects’ depth of colour and enhanced the texturing.
And there you have it, one of my hand painted rustic wall finishes. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this Blog. If you would like to see a few of the other projects I have done in the house, please follow the links below, many thanks.
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