Back in 2008, I had the pleasure of meeting Eddie Rivera, who was taking over an Italian eatery – and turning it into a Cuban restaurant. We got along very well at our first meeting and soon I was helping him turn a dated and dingy place into a fun, lively and, of course, colorful restaurant.
Fast forward to 2012 – and the restaurant had been doing great business since opening in ’08, but a horrible leak from a newly installed HVAC system flooded the place and destroyed ceilings, walls, floors and more and they had to close their doors for a complete renovation. Since they had to close to repair anyway, the owners decided to really revamp and redo the restaurant – which included two new bar areas, new finishes for the dining rooms plus working on the downstairs dance lounge, which they plan on opening soon. All of this meant a lot of work for me…which was one of the reasons I have been a bit absent here at the blog. There was so much to do, fix, paint and create anew for this restaurant.
I thought I’d share some of the new finishes at the restaurant and give you some recipes on how to re-create them (or…call me if you’d like me to do something like this in your home or business). The first one is the finish that is in the back dining room – a Pear Green Faux Grasscloth
Eddie wanted to have green and brown for some of the dining rooms walls. Since there is a chair rail, we decided on green on the upper half and brown on the lower half for one dining room and the adjacent space would have the reverse – green on the lower half and brown, above.
I showed Eddie the photograph above (I think I may have found it on Houzz, not sure) and he fell in love with the look. Wanting a tropical feel in the restaurant, grasscloth was definitely a finish that would help give it that feel.
The walls were first painted with Benjamin Moore’s Pear Green, then I mixed up just the tint from the paint color into Untinted LusterStone Metallic Plaster from Faux Effects. I added some glaze to this mix in order to keep the plaster open and not drying too fast. Marking off every 54 inches on the wall also helps to foster the illusion of fabric or wallpaper and it helps you to keep a level line when you are doing the finish.
Using a roller, put the mixed plaster on the wall. Go for a fairly even covereage – and only roll about 2-3 feet at a time. We first put it on horizontally – then used a wallpaper brush to create the striated horizontal finish. Do this for all the wall sections. When dry (usually the next day), you do all the vertical sections. Important Tip: When you are dragging your brush down vertically, make sure that you finish off by sweeping up a bit so that the end of your strie is not clumped with plaster
It’s a great textural finish for any room. You can do it in any color plus you can mix colors (usually a darker color first, then a lighter). You can make the finish more textural by not putting in as much glaze – but be careful as the plaster can dry up quicker this way.
My only regret about the finish in the room is that most people see the finish at night and so the texture isn’t as obvious. You have to put your hand on it to know it’s a texture. But – it’s a visible texture during the day (hopefully the restaurant will soon be serving lunch!!).
If you have any questions about this finish, please put them in the comments below or send me an email. I’d be glad to answer them! I’d like to thank Marty Wiesehahn for helping me out tremendously with this project. He is the fastest faux in the east! If it weren’t for him. I would still be there doing this finish! Thanks Marty!