Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
CLICK ON THE RABBIT ( yes, those are cabinets) TO SEE MY PORTFOLIO, AND LEARN MORE ABOUT MY SERVICES...theartofthehome.com

Friday, July 13, 2012

Can you smell the cedar?

Whew!  Finished.  This is a home in the country, just outside of Belle Plaine.  The interior has a traditional feel, with western accents, and a back deck overlooking their horse pasture and barns.  This time, though, my job wasn't inside (who needs a mural, with such beautiful views from every window?).  This time my job was woodgraining the front entry and garage doors. 

A pretty country home, with new "cedar" doors.
What?  Didn't I do this a couple of weeks ago?  Nope, that was a different garage door, in a dark mahogany finish and large swirled grain (which I would love to show you, but for some reason, the photos won't download properly, grrr).  Apparently, this is the summer of garage doors, and this week's order was for something to match the stone on the foundation.  One look at the side view of the house told me not only to match the stone, but to also match the cedar deck on the back.

A typical cedar garage door...except it's not cedar.  You can make any wood grain you like with paint.   
These doors had a fine grain on the rails and stiles (those are the crosspieces that frame the panels), and a different, more oak-like texture on the panels.  I worked with what was there on the former, and mostly ignored the grain on the latter.  I had Paul Romleski, from Buckets of Color, paint me a base coat, of Benjamin Moore's Venetian Gold.  I'm sure that in the right setting it's gorgeous, but when I arrived, everyone was pretty worried about the "Putrid Pumpkin" (no, they still aren't offering me the job of naming paint colors).  The base coat color always worries people. 

Front door and sidelights also faux finished to look like cedar.
I spent about an hour custom mixing the top coat (in deep tone base of the same paint as the base color) and testing, and though originally I had intended to use a single color, I ended up using three.  Why do the simple thing, when I can layer on those divine little details?  And why stop there?  Once I got the grain going, I glanced at their cedar deck chairs, and knew it needed knots. 

These I did with thumb and finger tips, much to the amusement of the clients. They really enjoyed watching it transform over the course of a few days, and were totally pleased with the results, which were far more realistic than they expected. Even I wasn't sure how it would turn out, since unlike on flat surfaces, I don't have nearly as much control on these embossed doors. Took a bit longer with the knots, but they were so worth doing.

This door was heavily embossed in a straight grain, which worked for creating cedar.  I used three colors of paint, yellow ochre, rust, and a deep raw umber.  I brushed it on and rubbed it in with a rag until it had the depth and blend I wanted.  In some cases, I dry brushed a bit of grain detail back on top, then added knots.
It got too dark to finish last night, but this morning went pretty quick, and I finished just in time. As I pulled the tape, the heat and humidity were climbing fast. This is to be expected, as it does this almost every year for Belle Plaine's Bar-B-Que Days weekend. I had to finish early, because arriving along with the sticky heat this afternoon (and the carnival rides) were my friends Luke and Ruby, two Aussie dogs who spend a weekend with me each summer, while their humans vacation without them. I got home with just enough time to build old arthritic Luke a ramp down one side of the back stairs, which he appears to have no intention of using. In fact, after a brief survey of the yard, they both seem pretty content to stay inside, right below the air conditioner. I think they have the right idea.  Hmmm...Do you think the cotton candy vendor delivers?

Ruby, right beside the art table...

...and Luke, as far under my drafting stool as he can possibly be.

Enjoy your weekend, wherever you spend it! If you are working on D-I-Y projects and run into snags, feel free to email me with questions, or leave them in the "comments" below. If I know how to do whatever you're doing, I'll be happy to try to help. dawnmariedelara@gmail.com

If you would like to hire me to turn your plain doors into "wood", check out my website, theartofthehome.com. My portfolio is there, along with all the contact and business info you might need.

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