Distressed Faux Wood Panels
is part of a Grey Oaks Country Club home mural project I am working on in Naples Fl to which there is a twist. Are you curious?
In my previous post I had to lay out the scenario first before proceeding to the Distressed Faux Wood Panels and how this whole mural project came about and why.
The background of the trompe loeil panels was done in a Luster Stone Faux Fresco Finish which I created some time ago when contemporary/modern interior designs were trendy. Like anything trendy it comes and goes about every ten years or so which does keep you on your toes but the beauty of these trends is usually once you experience them you are prepared for the next time they come full circle in interior design. This is one of the main reasons I don’t throw anything away I suppose or maybe I am just a “hoarder”
Hmmmm, wait a minute that’s a scarey thought. Isn’t there some kind of T.V. show with that title? I don’t watch television but I think I did hear it was pretty terrible, most of the garbage on T.V. insults my intelligence so I don’t watch it, besides I don’t have time for it anyway.
Well before I drop back into my cozy little abyss that I like to call the rabbit hole to let me get back on subject here before I lose you all. I suppose the older you get the stranger the mind becomes as an artist but ya know what? I like it.
At any rate on this post, I am just going to go over where I am at so far with this Grey Oaks Country Club mural project so far. This mural project involves 12 stairway art panels that I explained in the previous post of how I have come to painting them on canvas in the makeshift studio that I rented to make this project happen. What happened to my Bonita Springs Studio you ask? hehe let’s just say the new owners and I couldn’t agree with each other, …..another business owner who doesn’t see or want to see how artists can bring them more customers if it’s done right. My Marco Island restaurant mural project proved it to be true.
After discussing the project with the client and explaining the benefits of including art work within the canvas panels the client did see the why and the how this would save money in the long run and he also saw the value of the canvas as being removable because it is hung like wallpaper and could be transferred to a new location if needed. I love it when clients/business owners think outside of the box.
Distressed Faux Wood can be done in several ways and with different mediums, it just depends on what and where the faux wood finish is going to be used. For example, I would not recommend this technique for furniture or cabinet work because it is not designed for that kind of heavy use. This is meant for decorative art and not little Johnny’s high chair.
The process has basic Trompe loeil work also which I try to include in all my work to create some realism. I used Fredrix Polyflax Canvas which is a cotton blend and not 100% cotton which doesn’t shrink as bad when primed. However it usually only comes pre-primed on one side and you must prime the backside also as it needs to be sealed because of the 100% natural bee’s wax that is to be used in this technique.
First, determine your panel layout by finding both your horizontal and vertical center of the panel that you will be applying the canvas too and transferring those measurements to your canvas also. The end of the “crosshairs” should match on both surfaces which will be used as reference points when it comes time to hang the canvas that will keep it straight and square. Nothing worse than having a crooked canvas hanging on the wall. If your not sure or haven’t had the experience of hanging wallpaper you may want to just hire out the hanging part.
Once you have determined your layout on your canvas for your faux wood panel paint a base coat of raw sienna with a touch of either burnt umber or raw umber depending on the color of what your faux wood tone to be. This will be the color that will show after the distressing takes place.
In my example, I matched the color of the wood staircase in the customers’ home.
After your base coat has dried overnight take and melt a 100% of natural beeswax in a candle making kit (melting pot) and using a chip brush on a thin coat of beeswax over the entire surface and let dry overnight. Don’t worry about drips and runs as this will only add to the effect
Be sure to use 100% natural bees wax as this will get harder than a candle wax over time.
After the wax is dry paint your second color of acrylic paint over the wax and let dry overnight. Note do not use a satin base paint. I used a flat white 100% acrylic.
The longer you wait the better the effect if you try scraping the paint off too early you may get an unnatural look so be patient. The longer you wait the harder it gets. One thing you will notice is the more pressure you use to scrape off the wax the more you are likely to push the wax through the paint without removing it, remember acrylic paint is porous and the wax will actually bleed through the paint.
This is why it’s important to prime the back of the canvas with at least two coats of a high-quality primer or gesso because if you push that wax through the backside of the canvas the wallpaper adhesive will not bond to it and hold the canvas down.
After you are satisfied with the distressing you will want to overglaze the surface with a very thin wash. In this case, I used Cerulean blue a touch of yellow ocher and raw umber, which makes a nice cool gray and is a nice color for a weathered barn wood.
This is the overall view of where we are so far for this Grey Oaks home staircase mural project
As you can see this is a rather simple technique to achieve a pretty convincing look and this actually came from a book by Michel Nadaii who is but only one of my favorite decorative artists who I have had a chance to meet many years ago. I would highly recommend purchasing this book whether you are a pro or a novice as it refers to many different techniques to the “Art of Decoration”
The first part of this mural project is about the background of this distressed faux wood panel you may want to look at
In my next post, I will be explaining
“Weathered Wood | Trompe Loeil”
reference to this finish,