Faux Plaster - How to Age Walls


Faux plaster is a great way to age and antique walls in order to simulate 'aged plaster'. Original old plaster was painted with limewash tinted with earth colors (pigments).


Glazing walls using faux paint techniques like color washing can emulate that mellowed and weathered imperfection of antique walls, color washed decades ago and faded by the sun, but still retaining their original brightness in the shadows of moldings and under ledges.


To age and antique your walls, all you need is a courageous spirit, some paint and the following easy steps adapted from the book "Decorative Paint Techniques" by Louise Hennigs and Marina Niven.
And remember, if you make a mistake there's nothing another coat of paint wont fix.


Have fun - and don't forget to leave a wet patch around each section you're working on in order to blend the next section, or you will have 'seams' running down your wall!


Materials

Water based paint* in any of the following earth colors:
    Burnt umber
    Burnt sienna
    Raw sienna
    Yellow ochre
    White
    Black
    *or universal stainers added to white water-based paint
Raw umber or black universal stainer (optional to darken colors)
Acrylic scumble glaze
50mm (2in) and 120mm (4¾ inch) paintbrushes
Broad Japanese hake
Mutton cloth
Coarse-grade sandpaper


Preparation

Base Coat

Existing or newly painted walls in water-based paint or limewashed walls.

Method

1.

Mix one or two colors for the base as well as for the darker sections - for example: raw sienna and yellow ochre for yellowed plaster; raw sienna and burnt umber for warmer tones; burnt sienna and burnt umber for stronger tones. The colors can be darkened with a little raw umber or black universal stainer. Dilute the paint mixture with water to the required color.

2.

Add one cup of scumble glaze to the paint mixture to make it more transparent and extend working time.

faux plaster step1

3.

Dip the 120mm (4 ¾ in) brush into the diluted paint mixture and, starting in a corner, paint a random pattern in a strip about 1m (3ft) wide. Alternatively, dip a cloth into the paint and rub it over the wall using a circular motion.

4.

As the paint starts to dry, either brush it with a dry brush or rub over it with a dry cloth in a downward direction. Brushing the wet paint in one direction will build up a color and create a water mark or stain faux plaster effect. Remember to keep a wet patch on either side of the strip.

Tip: Don't rub or brush the paint while it is very wet otherwise you will remove most of it. Remember to wait a bit until the paint just starts to dry.

faux plaster step3

5.

When all the walls have been painted, go over them again using a slightly darker color. Again, remember to leave a wet patch around each section in order to blend the next section.

Corners and areas just below the cornice and above the skirting should be painted slightly darker.

Take a dry wide brush and, while the paint is still wet, start pushing and brushing the paint from side to side.

This will build up an irregular and darker pattern. Cross brush to ensure there is no streaking. Wipe the brush on a dry cloth after each stroke.
A dry broad hake brush can also be used to soften the drifted color.

Once the last coat of paint is completely dry you can also sand the layers down here and there exposing the base coat for a more textured look.


Reference:
Instructions - Courtesy Struik Publishers.


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