faux finish fx



First thing first figured id put this here rather than AB tutorials because though an airbrushed can be used to apply the paint, i will be applying most of the paint with a spray gun or other materials.

Anyways, what im going to try to accomplish here is my first tutorial EVER, and believe me it will lack the luster that airbrush tutor brings. but i figured i picked up so much from this website and its members that i should give back a thing or two. FAUX FINISHING, often associated with decorating walls is applied very often in all art forms. Before i even had an airbrush or heard of the "spatter effect", i was doing the same thing in large corporate offices (typically 20 ft high walls with pillars and a lot finished wood). The wrinkle effect, which is very common in custom painting, is one of the most common faux finishes bastardized by the Do It Yourselfers, and used quite often in airbrushing industries for a simple yet dramatic effect. So to those thinking "come on guy, were airbrush artists", realize you may already know and use these effects or hopefully can apply these effects to your airbrushing. So bare with me as i complete it and hopefully some people can learn a thing or two. Please remember to all the people new to it, there really are no rules to any of this. As long as you are happy with what you do, and in the case of a customer, he or she are happy, then you did everything right! To others, if what i do seems wrong or you would do it differently, let me know! im always looking for an easier/faster way to do things!

For this little project im going to use a 2x2 piece of drywall rolled a few times with a white latex semi gloss. for the effects im going to use a red tinted glaze, only because it is handy and going bad in my basement. You can absolutely use any type of paint with an airbrush or spray gun, however, you want to reduce your paint (sometimes up to 50%+) so that it will stay workable for as long as you need it to. Please dont mind the prep or lack there of, its the board i usually cut my stencils on and after prepping walls and painting all day, the less work i need to do the better :). Other materials i will use are rags, plastic, newspaper, a sponge, a 2 inch nylon brush (as a flogging brush, which are extremely overpriced), and a bucket of water.

typically there are two variations of rag rolling, positive and negative. positive is when u apply the paint to the basecoat using a rag where as negative you apply the paint then basically remove some of the paint with the rag. the rag method for both is essentially the same, you work the rag the same way, only difference is how it is actually applied. for the sake of time im going to use the positive method.

first thing first, you need to select the right rag.. i know, what the hell for? well whatever texture or stitching on that rag will show up in your work. for example a tshirt has seams which are the worst and will always leave a noticable texture. you want a tightly woven flat rag with little to no texture. so once you find that rag your good to go.
reduce the paint you are applying with the appropriate reducer, you will want the paint to be very workable for at least a few minutes. if it seems impossible to get it there, work in much smaller areas and soon you will be able to blend those areas together seamlessly. what im going to do is literally submerge my rag in my super thinned out glazed (consistency of skim milk), and ring it out pretty good (pretty messy, wear gloves or keep a bucket of water near by for a quick rinse). For the Negative method, figuring your basecoat is dry, you will apply your paint with a mid- heavy coat, and using a DAMPENED (not soaking wet) rag you ill remove the paint you just applied in the manner i will try to explain.
Grab your rag by a corner so that it hangs loosely. slowly let the rag fall into the opposite hand and form somewhat of a loose ball. The looser your rag balls up, the softer the effect will have and the tighter a ball will make the effect much busier. I prefer it pretty loose. Now the somewhat tricky parts, u will use your hands to roll the rag around what you are painting. By rolling i do not mean putting your palm on top and making a ball like playdough, think more like your rewinding a roll of toilet paper after your 2 year old decided to pull it as far as she could. it is important to work randomly in different areas and step back often to make sure it is uniform. The rag doesnt need to roll over every square inch, sometime leaving sections as a void can make all the difference. another thing to remember and try to stay away from is creating a high texture, as it will make clear coating that much harder. here is hopefully a picture of what you come out with, but i know without watching it done it is hard to understand.. try explaining it with only words!

Wrinkle Effect
The wrinkle effect is probably the easiest and most dramatic of all faux finishes. There are tons of videos and tutorials on this finish.
but like i said this effect is very easy but very effective. really all you do is apply your basecoat and once dry your ready to apply the effect. reduce your paint appropriately, it needs to be workable once applied, but not as thin as needed for the rag roll. again if you need to, work in small sections and soon you will be able to blend them together no problem.
You can also consider applying the wrinkle effect positively or negatively. positively you would apply the the topcoat of paint to the plastic and then apply it to your substrate. negatively you would apply your top coat, lay a piece of plastic on top pull it off, and WahLah! i prefer the negative route, but sometimes even go back in positively to blend or catch smaller areas. I will be applying the finish positively, again for times sake..
Your first step is to deciding how to apply, if you wish to apply it negatively you want to have a large enough piece of plastic to cover the entire painted area. do a dry run and make sure your plastic is long and wide enough. if you go positive, cut a piece of plastic and form a soft ball, the more wrinkles in the plastic, the more effect.
Positive- dab your crinkled plastic ball into your paint and on another surface, give a couple dabs to remove some of the paint. begin to dab your surface randomly. its a better idea to constantly turn and rotate your plastic ball so you dont end up with the same texture created over and over.
negative-have your precut plastic ready to apply before applying your topcoat. once you spray your topcoat apply the plastic to the entire surface, basically sticking the plastic to the wet paint. push the plastic around in certain areas to create wrinkles in the plastic. the more wrinkles u create, the busier and more dramatic your effect will be. be sure to pull the plastic in a timely manner. be sure when u pull the plastic ou come straight off as not to make the plastic slide and drag the paint underneath it.
my favorite finish with this effect is a white basecoat, a metallic or aluminum base for the wrinkle effect, and top coat it all with any candy color. gives a great amount of depth for a background or as a finish all it own.

The Newspapering
Very easy but fairly versatile. it can be used to create a pretty nice stone effect, and if you get real good, you can use the folds of the paper to create a brick effect. this finish is best applied negatively. ive never tried it positively but like i said theres no rules.
first thing you want to do is make sure your newspaper is at least a week old, as the ink may still be wet and you will be left with the breaking news of the day in your artwork haha. reduce your paint about the same as you did for the wrinkle effect. before you apply your topcoat, realize you will only be able to work in an area as large as the paper itself. that being processed, apply your top coat accordingly giving it a medium wet coat. apply your news paper to the applied area, but instead of crinkling it around somewhat smoothen out the newsaper randomly. make sure you remove the newspaper somewhat soon as the newspaper will soak up your paint making a mess when u remove it. as with the wrinkle effect make sure u peel the newspaper back and away from the surface as not to drag and slide the paint underneath.


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They look unreal for the background of an artwork - i'm definitely going to be trying this:) - thanks for sharing buddy!
thats awesome as background :) i seen Sam Boeger doing some backgrounds in a couple of ways reminding of this, thanks a lot for doing this :)

looking forward to see more
Airbrush tutor, its the least i could do lol. I dont know much about art but alot about decorating (painting) And ive noticed alot of the same things applied to art.
Johall, ive never heard of him but now ill be looking into it. I was taught by a member of SALON which is a collection of faux finishers from around the world. Its like a secret.society of painters, invitation only. So ive been pretty lucky to learn from him.
Ill try to get better pics for the next set of tuts.
Its a she :) and its not the same realy, it just reminding me of it seeing what you show, search for sam Sam Boeger at youtube it gave me some ideas of diffrent ways to make a background :) and its realy cool looking at her airbrushing sure got some awesome skills

I would have to guess that most people have seen a sponge finish, however most DIYers killed this finish. main reason is they apply it positively and dont use multiple sides of the sponge, creating the same effect over and over making the finish very boring. apply this finish negatively and you will be much better off.
first thing you want is a real sea sponge. not that a regular sponge wont work but a natural living sea sponge has a completely random texture from every angle you use the sponge. (FYI, do not leave this sponge laying around for others to use. They were once living in the ocean and even though they have been bleached and cleaned they still can contain sand embedded in them causing major scratches when used to clean surfaces.. like my car...) next, considering your base coat is dry, apply your reduced top coat. dunk your sponge in your bucket of clean water and ring out well. you only need it slightly damp. dab your sponge directly on the the surface and remove. it doesnt tank much of a smack to create the effect, the harder you dab the more texture you get. be sure not to slide the sponge or you will slide the paint causing a smear. repeat randomly and be sure to turn the sponge and use every side. once again work in smaller sections to avoid the top coat setting up.
this effect is good over multiple coats of different colors creating what is typically known as a color wash. be sure to use the color you want to be most dominant in your final coat.

Swirling can take a bit of practice to get just right only because you want to create the swirls in an even manner as far as height and width of the swirls go. it is a negative effect and the tool used to create this effect can range from a cheap plastic bristled broom head, to a 1 inch throwaway brush. what you want are the bristles to be somewhat short and fairly stiff, as you want them to keep their shape and not fan out when pressure is applied. This effect is a pretty common texture finish for ceilings in bathrooms and basements but instead of paint these use joint compound..
apply your basecoat. think ahead of how long it will take you to create the effect so you know how much of an area you can finish before the paint dries. apply your reduced top coat taking into consideration what youve just figured, working in smaller section is always a smart idea! take your brush or broom head and start in one corner or edge (in this case im going to start in the bottom left corner using a 2 inch throwaway brush). apply the tip of your brush or whatever tool youve chosen straight down into the corner of the surface. it does not take much pressure, better yet the less pressure you use, the less chance you have of compromising the effect. you dont want the bristles bending or fanning out, as you want the brush to keep its original shape. keeping the side of the brush away from the corner stationary, spin your brush creating a half moon shape. list your brush up and away as to not smear the finish. from bottom edge of the swirl apply the bristles of your brush to the bottom corner of the swirl. again spin your brush creating a half moon. once you complete a full row from edge to edge move on to the second row. a good idea is to stagger your swirls, meaning to start the second row, apply one edge your your bristles in between the first two swirls you create and create a the half moon shape again. try not to drag the your swirls into your first row of swirls or you can kill the effect. again apply your brush between the next set of swirls and repeat. if you stagger the effect be sure to continue staggering evenly so they are somewhat aligned (the 1st 3rd and 5th row are even as the 2nd 4th and 6th rows are even). take a bits of practice but bah its the most boring effect ever.

I tried doing a quick tut on flogging but it keeps deleteing half my post, so ill include it in my woodgrain tut as thats mainly where flogging is used.


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Im glad you find this helpful! i hope your able to apply this to art. works great for space filling on big murals.

Quick little tip for swirls i should have stated, its much easier to work backwards so you dont affect the previous row of swirls( instead of working bottom to top, work top to bottom.
Well had to do a sample of a ventian plaster finish today to sell a sidejob today. Thought id share.
Venetian plaster is hard to figure out but easy to do. Its seen often in italian restaurants here in the us and pretty pricey to have done. basically it is a type of transparent plaster (more like joint compound) that creates a texture and a brilliant shine like polished stone. It takes alot of practice and I dead honestly SUCK at it, so to the pros out there, dont judge me! Its about 40a gallon at home depot
You apply this finish in 3 coats, anymore your wasting material and doing something wrong. Begin by priming your surface with a flat finished tinted as close to the color of you plaster as possible. Once dry you apply a very tight coat of the plaster working in completely random patterns with a stainless steel trowel. Pull the llaster tight in the same random patterns. You Do Not want much build up. Less is more and this stuff stretches far(a glob the size of a quarter can cover about 2 square feet. Once dry, apply your second coat bit heavier than the first to build your texture. Dont over work the plaster and dont be afraid to leave some voids as the more plaster the darker your color. Once dry pull another tight coat the entire surface and let it dry. Once dry take your stainless steel trowl and burnish the entire surface to create more color and bring out the shine. Burnishing is when you the flat side of your trowel and rub it against the surface in a circular motion (like buffing). Apply a clear coat and your good to go!
This finish done by a pro can cost anywhere.from 10 $usd per square foot, big money!


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Nice stuff Airritated. Which local are you out of? I'm in 841 in Akron, Ohio. I remember doing this and woodgraining during my apprenticeship. I wish we would of had time to learn out to marble.