Weekly Faux Finishing Column Idea: What do you Think?

I am distraught today because I don’t have my laptop – it’s in the shop getting a little overhaul (and I hope it’s “little”!!). So I thought I would try something different for a blog post and see what kind of reaction I get.  This morning, I took some pictures of some sample boards that I’ve done and I’ve uploaded them to my husband’s laptop.

I am thinking of doing a weekly column called “Sample Saturday…or Sample Sunday.”  So, please comment below and let me know if you think you’d like to see something like this weekly!

In the column, I would show you a faux finish or a furniture finishing idea – with a recipe.  I’m going to start out with a troweled faux finish that I love – it’s a little difficult, but I will show you how you can make it simpler.

Metallic Plaster with an Embedded Stencil
Now, embedding a stencil can be a little difficult (especially this stencil because I used one with 3 overlays).  You can make it easier on yourself if you use a stencil with just one overlay!  Or you can just do a a regular stenciled design over the metallic plaster.  If you are a beginner, do a single overlay stencil. But, as with any new technique, I would do some practicing on a sample board (like I did on this one).
I would encourage you to try to do a troweled finish like this – it’s easier than it looks.  It just takes some practice. I used a product called LusterStone from Faux Effects.  It can be ordered online – but there are many Sherwin Williams dealers throughout the country that carry this product. It’s the same product that I used on my Ceiling Design. There are several metallics on the market – Modern Masters makes two different kinds – Shimmerstone and Metallic Plaster. You can also use any of the faux suede products as well…but I love the luscious shimmer that the metallics give you.


1) First, roll two layers of a good latex paint in a color that is the closest to your plaster color. I used a Terra Cotta color because that’s the color I used for the plaster.
2) Add about 10-15% water to your metallic plaster and mix fairly well.  With a small roller (Whizz roller i.e.), roll this mix haphazardly – don’t do it like you are painting (up and down).  Do some strokes diagonally, vertically and horizontally – for a little movement. Let dry.
3). With a stainless steel trowel, apply the plaster full strength.  But don’t put it on too thick or it will crack.  It’s a fairly easy material to move and it stays moist for quite a long time.  Aim for about 85% coverage – leaving some areas of the first layer showing.  This will give some textural interest to the plaster. Let dry.

 Close up of the Embedded Stencil


4) I used the Rinceaux Fruit stencil from Royal Design Studio, but you can used any design that you’d like. I used some spray adhesive on the back of the stencil – but I also taped all the sides.  I mixed up several different colors for the fruits – some yellows, greens, plums.  One thing that’s great about using the LusterStone is that it comes in many different colors – but they also have a tinting base (which I used here as well).  You can add tints to the tinting base to get the color you want for the plaster.  So, instead of buying many different quarts of the metallic plaster to do the raised designs…you can buy a quart or so of tinting base and create your own custom colors.  You can use Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore tints (yes – the same ones they use for their paints). Just ask your paint dealer for a quart of tint only…not the paint.  Put a few drops into the plaster – and build up to the color you want.

5) You want to have the stencil on very well because you don’t want any leakage from underneath the edges of the design. For my “trowel” I cut a small square of a piece of styrene board and then I lightly sanded the edges to soften and round them a bit.  Pick up a small amount of your tinted plaster onto your “trowel” and trowel lightly into the design areas of the stencil – green for the leaves, purple for the grapes and plums etc.  You will have to place some tape over the areas you don’t want “green” for instance.  If you are doing a multi-overlay stencil, you have to make sure each layer is dry before you put the next overlay on.  If you are doing the above stencil or something like it, you can give it a little more realism by adding shading to the leaves and fruits.

Tip: If some of the plaster has seeped out a bit – don’t worry!  Use a Q-Tip to remove the plaster that leaked out.  It doesn’t have to be 100% perfect because you will be suffusing the design with another layer of plaster.

6) Once your stencil design is completely filled in with the plaster and dry, you then do one more layer to “embed” it.  You can use the same color plaster you used in step two (the watered down version).  But I used a lighter, more neutral color – Champagne Mist.  I just put maybe 5-10% water into the plaster.  I put it on first with a brush – and then I took my stainless steel trowel to move the plaster around. It’s like you are “frosting” the finish.

So…give it a try.  It’s a beautiful finish for just about any room.  You can even use it on furniture.  A single motif embedded in the center of a cabinet door would look gorgeous!

Happy painting!

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3 Responses to Weekly Faux Finishing Column Idea: What do you Think?

  1. lyna says:

    Linda–I always love to see finishes by other artists and having the process explained is awesome….
    Great look !

  2. This is a great idea. It feels like I will be exposed to things I sins't know existed…

    it feels like it could be developed into workshop/seminar series, too.
    (youtube video?)


  3. GBL says:

    What a wonderful idea! I am a beginner to this craft and these mini tutorials would be extremely helpful!

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