How to Shabby Chic a Fireplace and Gold Paint Effect by Lee Simone
Lee Simone is a very talented decorative artist, as well as skilled kitchen painter. He gives away a lot of tricks here, explaining how to shabby chic a fireplace and gold paint effect a slate hearth.
I recently headed down to Oare in Devon to do some more decorative painting and faux finishes. I usually make an annual visit, and it’s always a pleasure. The manor house is beautiful as is the countryside around. This time my main jobs were to transform a couple of fireplaces, creating a faux stone and trompe l’oeil effect on one and a ‘shabby chic’ and patinated gold effect on the other.
The clients wanted this fireplace to feel lighter and brighter – covering the dark slate and painting the surround to match the existing shabby chic mirror. The room is opulent, to say the least, so the key here was to create an aged finish that looked rustic but also elegant and classy.
I’d already sent some samples down to give some options for transforming the slate and once in situ, set about working out the best way to approach the fireplace. I think rustic is the most polite way to describe the state of the surface, so prep was going to be pivotal, building up the base coat ready for the final layers of tinted glaze. There were lots of cracks and holes to fill, but before that I’d have other stages to complete –
(1) First I fully mask off the whole area with 1200 lining paper, 3M edge lock tape, bin bags and Dulux low tack masking tape.
(2) I then cleaned everything with a sugar soap solution and sanded everything with 180 grit abranet pads.
(3) Next I applied the all important wax barrier for the distressed effect – in this instance I used using ordinary tea -lights.
(4) Ready for priming – two coats of Zinsser Bin 123 primer, both rollered and brushed on.
At this primer stage, most painted furniture or kitchens will look really pretty naff and this was no exception 🙂 It really brought out all the areas that needed attention, highlighting cracks, splits in the wood and areas that had previously been repaired or cobbled together.
It must have been a hundred years old and had obviously had an interesting life.
(5) Once filled it was time to tint some matt emulsion (I tend to use Dulux trade), using the colours in the mirror as my guide. To the white emulsion I added lamp black and yellow ochre pigment with a hint of burnt umber for warmth.
(6) I then applied three coats of the tinted emulsion to create a solid base on which to start creating the effect
(7) The first stage of the ‘shabby chic’ finish was to sand back certain areas. Having added the wax barrier earlier, the paint came away easily in the places I wanted it too – creating a rustic effect that was stylised but looked natural at the same time.
(8) The second stage is the all important, and brilliantly fun, glazing. Using the colours of the mirror as my reference I mixed paynes grey, yellow ochre and cadmium orange pigment with Winsor and Newtons Liquin.
This part of the process was about building up the layers and enhancing the natural curves and shape of the fireplace. For this type of glazing I tend to set about it organically, applying the glaze, playing about, seeing which areas work with less glaze and which with more – it’s all about balance.
I like to build up my glazes, one layer at a time, as it brings more depth of colour and allows you to get some beautiful patination. In the end I applied three layers of the same glaze, tinkering and wiping away until I got the look I wanted.
(9) Finally two coats of Polyvine dead flat matt varnish was applied and there you have it, ‘Fabby Shabby Chic’ 🙂
Changing slate with a patinated gold effect –
A lot of the accessories in the room are gold, so the client wanted a gold finish to replace the heavy dark look of the slate.
I sent down a few samples and the textured patinated gold effect was the one they chose.
Again it took many coats to build up the finished effect and again, it was a lot about balance.
1 – I started by cleaning the slate with sugar soap then gently sanded it and applied 2 coats of Zinsser Coverstain.
2 – Onto the primer I applied a couple of coats of textured emulsion in a light yellow ochre.
3 – I then applied 4 coats of Modern Masters Pale Gold acrylic paint (available from www.goldleafsupplies.co.uk) using a foam roller. The Modern Masters range has some lovely colours and is great to use, though it isn’t that opaque, hence the 4 coats.
4 – I then lightly sanded it all back to reveal some of the emulsion and give it a mottled look.
5 – I then ‘clouded’ on another Modern Masters paint, Brass, in certain areas, to create a more aged and rustic look.
And that was it – job done 🙂
I really enjoyed this project so I hope you’ve enjoyed reading all about it –
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