Decorative know how – faux marble in six easy steps

Home decorators looking for something a little different are often faced with expensive products and time consuming solutions, making many of us opt for more everyday options like wallpaper and basic paint finishes. However one lasting favorite offers an inexpensive solution that can be used almost anywhere and mimics that most ancient and noble of finishes – marble.

With the right approach, and a little patience, you can recreate marble on almost any surface using basic paints and glaze.

Tools for the job
For a pale marbling effect you will need:

1) Undercoat or eggshell paint for the background (dependent on surface)
2) Artists oil paints in umber and varying shades of grey (for the veins seen in marble)
3) Translucent glaze to create a natural sheen for the finish
4) Brushes – household paint brushes, a soft flat artists brush, soft makeup brush, natural sponge, lint free rags
5) Glass paper and white spirit

Mixing the paint
The marble effect is created by applying layers of tinted glaze, veins and mottling over a white or pale basecoat. You then work in gradual variations of tone to the background color by dabbing on artist’s oil paint or tinted eggshell paint. Use the brushes and natural sponge to break up the color of the basecoat.

You need to mix the paint in the appropriate ratios. For an opaque glaze, good proportions to work with are:

– Three parts oil based scumble
– Five parts of white eggshell
– Two parts white spirit.

Mix the paint with the glaze then add the white spirit to give a creamy consistency. You can create a more translucent glaze by tinting it with stainers or oil paints and then add equal amounts of white spirit.

Six easy steps
1) Rub down the surface to be decorated and apply undercoat (on wood or metal) or eggshell (on walls) in a suitable color. A well-prepared surface will be free of splinters or flaking paint. The paint effect will look better if you take care over this stage.

2) If necessary, apply a further coat to act as a base coat for the decorative finish. Tint it slightly with grey oil paint and use a sponge to create lightly mottled areas.

3) Using artists’ oil and an artists brush start to create a random trellis of diagonal veins across the surface. Traditional colors to use are burnt sienna and dark grey on pale marble and whites and greens on black backgrounds.

4) Strengthen some of the veins with darker colors, and then soften the effect by brushing over the surface with a soft feather or soft brush.

5) Use a natural sponge to create variations in tone, lifting off color or applying more color where needed.

6) To create the natural luster of marble apply a translucent glaze, with a light umber tint. In some patches, add extra coats of glaze for a natural effect. Finish by applying a coat of clear gloss varnish followed by a coat of satin varnish to give the surface added sheen and greater depth.

Luxurious and opulent
Creating your own marble effect is as easy as following the directions above. The cost of the paint is minimal but creates an expensive looking effect. Marble has long been used as a luxurious and opulent building material, leaving a unique finish that can be easily mimicked with a little effort.

The real beauty of this technique is that because the materials are inexpensive it allows you to try different colors and finishes to match your décor. Experiment with different shades and tones and try varying the depth of the veins to really bring the work alive. With a little practice, and some patience, you might be amazed at the results.

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Empire Furniture For Home Decorating

Choosing up the hardwood floor or the home decorating plan or idea that better fits in with Empire furniture can be a little bit difficult. There are some very good books of designs to base your decor idea. You can then get from them interesting complements and ornaments for all the corners of your house, of course based on the colonial style. One the most famous books at the date was the – Illustrated history of furniture, by Frederick Litchfield. You can read some tips from that book along the following paragraphs. We want to encourage the readers to follow its ideas because they can help you to find your own style.

Materials And Ornaments For Careful Finishes

On secretaries and tables, a common ornament of this description of furniture, is a column of mahogany, with a capital and base of bronze (either gilt, part gilt, or green), in the form of the head of a sphinx with the foot of an animal; console tables are supported by sphinxes and griffins; and candelabra and wall brackets for candles have winged figures of females, stiff in modeling and constrained in attitude, but almost invariably of good material with careful finish.

The bas-reliefs in metal which ornament the panels of the friezes of cabinets, or the marble bases of clocks, are either reproductions of mythological subjects from old Italian gems and seals, or represent the battles of the Emperor, in which Napoleon is portrayed as a Roman general. There was plenty of room to replace so much that had disappeared during the Revolution, and a vast quantity of decorative furniture was made during the few years which elapsed before the disaster of Waterloo caused the disappearance of a power which had been almost meteoric in its career.

What Books To Consult

The best authority on Empire Furniture is the book of designs, published in 1809 by the architects Percier and Fontaine, which is the more valuable as a work of reference, from the fact that every design represented was actually carried out, and is not a mere exercise of fancy, as is the case with many such books. In the preface the authors modestly state that they are entirely indebted to the antique for the reproduction of the different ornaments; and the originals, from which some of the designs were taken,are still preserved in a fragmentary form in the Museum of the Vatican.

Classic Designs And Ideas

An arm chair and a stool, together with that of the tripod table which are favorable examples of the richly-mounted and more decorative furniture of this style. While they are not free from the stiffness and constraint which are inseparable from classic designs as applied to furniture, the rich color of the mahogany, the high finish and good gilding of the bronze mounts, and the costly silk with which they are covered, render them attractive and give them a value of their own. By reading the books proposed above you definitely can break the look of the interior design of your house, and will learn how to include empire furniture into home decorating ideas and plans.

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