Sunday, December 11, 2011

Painting the Drawing Room

I've always been fond of this grey-green hue.  Muddy colors in general appeal to me because they are so complicated and change color with the varying light.  We have the Pantone catalog of colors at the department store where I work in Display, so I spent my lunch hour perusing the thousands of thumbnail swatches and gradually whittled my selection down.

Then it was off to Home Depot, where they wisely started offering 8oz. sample jars of paint for just a few bucks.  Eight ounces doesn't sound like much, but it was still way more than I needed --thank god I didn't buy a whole quart!

Unfortunately, after painting a partial wall, I found the color too bright.  Back to square one, darlings!  Of course I couldn't get too upset --did you hear the Entrance Hall of Merriman Park is now ensconced in Sue Cook's Gallery?  Oh, you already knew?  My, how news travels!

Well anyway,  I decided that since the color was all wrong, instead of just shelving it until it dried up to dust, I'd try doctoring it up, myself.  A few squirts of Alizarin Crimson should do the trick.  Sho' nuff, it worked!  If you ever want to tone down a color, always use its exact opposite on the color wheel (never black)! --works like a charm and you won't get a murky mess.

I chose a velvety brown for the niches.  Mrs. Thorn used a similar scheme in one of her rooms to great effect.  I am not planning on using the bust of George Washington in the niche, but it gives you a hint of what a statue will look like (if ever I find a pair)!

Since I was kind of on a roll, I thought I'd tackle the fireplace.  I was going for a brown marble effect and even though its been ages since I faux-marbled anything, it's a little frightening how it all comes back.  You have to understand, darlings, that I had the misfortune of living through that brief, tragic moment in history when every and I mean everything was faux-painted!  I think I've already written about how my ex-best friend, Todd faux-marbled his entire dining room set: table, chairs, all of it in painstakingly wrought in shiny, black marble.  I was like, "really?  Marble Windsor-style chairs, huh?  They must be really heavy."

Anyway, here's my version, though it turned out a bit lighter than I had imagined.  But I'll live with it for a few days and we'll see if it makes the final cut.

I also managed to drill all the holes for the wiring, my Christmas present is rumored to be a chandelier and wall sconces!  So all in all, a pretty productive weekend! 

Have a great week!


Simon said...[Reply]

Oh John the colour works perfectly, especially with the flooring, and it really brings out your panelling. What a wonderful room, it looks like it could be dressed up or down depending on the mood or requirement. Simply perfection, well done my friend on an outstanding job.

Josje said...[Reply]

I am with you on the muddy colours, I love those too! The grey-green you used is gorgeous. And I like the clour on the fireplace as well. It is such a beautiful room, love the panelling!

cunha said...[Reply]

hello John, great room, I love the fireplace and the niches.

Fi.P said...[Reply]

Hi john,

Beautiful work as usual!! Its all coming together so quickly. It doesn't seem so long ago you were experimenting with your arch mouldings. They look fabulous, the colour is lovely.

You do realize that whole faux Marble effect thing was pushed right back to the recesses of my mind. I'm not sure i should thank you for reminding me.

The Fire place does look great though, very authentic, it works so well with the floor.


Daydreamer said...[Reply]

OOOOHH! Gorgeous! Great job with the color! And the marbling on the fireplace looks wonderful! This room is going to be Divine when it is done! As usual.... your work is very inspiring!

Pedrete said...[Reply]

Me gusta mucho el resultado de la imitación de mármol, se ve muy realista, lo que encuentro un poco plano es el color verde de la pared, pensaba que pintarías las molduras en otra tonalidad y crear así un juego de color más atractivo. De todas formas el resultado final es muy elegante!! Un abrazo enorme!!

Giac said...[Reply]

Hi John,
Fantastic work. The color looks beautiful and the architectural element really stand out. Excellent job on the firplace! The room is very elegant. Great job!
Have a great week,

Irene said...[Reply]

Great progress John, it's all looking marvellous. I love these arches in the corners. They add good interest to the room and the marbled fireplace is spot on. I can't wait to see it furnished now.

jeffry said...[Reply]

John...the room looks wonderfull. The color is very nice....and the "wooden" floor really works!
Great job on the marble painting of the fireplace. And congratulations for being put into Sue Cook's gallery!

John said...[Reply]

Hey, thanks a lot, everyone, for your input and kind words. I was a little worried when Pedrete wrote to say he thought the walls a little too plain and suggested I pick out the moldings in another color. Which is funny, because that was my original plan, and I even tried doing just that, but I dunno, it just seemed too busy. Glen INSISTS I try again, so I'm making him pick up some better paintbrushes because the few I have now are a WRECK for that kind of detailed work! So we'll see...

Fi, sorry for the stroll down Bad Memory Lane! You & Andy have been cracking me up over at Dollshouses & Miniatures!

Gracias, Pedrete, de una opinión sincera! Tal vez ahora mismo la habitación es un poco sosa? Espero que arreglar eso, amigo mío!

Jeffry, I decided to take your advice about the ceiling molding--thanks for the honest opinion! say, did you chose your workshops, yet?

One of my X-mas presents arrived today --a gorgeous console table! But I suppose I have to wait to open it --right?

Andy said...[Reply]

Hi John,

Wow! I love the colour, the fireplace looks great, would love to know how you did that, my attempts at marbling were OK, but not great!

The colour in the niches works well too, the floor looks good, and I love the architectural detailing, you've done an excellent job! and it's not even finished yet, can't wait to see the end result!! (hope this doesn't all sound patronising!)

Now, you've only got a few days left to wait before you get your hands on the console table, so be a good boy and wait for Santa to give you a surprise! ;)

John said...[Reply]

Hi, Andy!

On the contrary, compliments from those whose opinions I esteem mean more to me than you can imagine. So thank you!

As for the marbling --I don't even know where to begin, it's just dabbing on very thin layers of color, smearing them around a little and then drawing in some veins. Repeat until you're happy with it... Oh, finish off with a glossy coat of lacquer. I think the trick is to use thin layers of paint and let the background colors bleed through. It helps if you can look at an actual sample of the type of marble you wish to recreate. Hope that helps.

I'm afraid, Andy, the only surprise I can expect from Santa is a lump of coal! :-[

Andy said...[Reply]

Thanks John,

do you thin down the paint with anything, and what is the best paint to use? I used oils in my marbling, but found them quite thick!

Well, coal is very useful on a cold winters night, so don't be too downbeat about it, but I'm sure you'll get something good ;)

John said...[Reply]

I used artist's acrylic paint on my mantle, thinned with water. In the past I have done entire marbled stage floors in enamel paint, and as you said, enamel is more difficult to work with. (But it's basically the same technique, just use an oil-based solvent to thin the paint, instead of water).

At some point I realized I could marble even large, high-traffic areas with latex paint, and top-coat it with acrylic polyurethane. (Both products are water-based). Much easier to work with, easier clean-up, and way faster drying time!

Andy, try it again with acrylic's MUCH easier!

maria said...[Reply]

Hi John, I just found your blog. Lovely work.
I really love the room your working on, it looks so real and luxurious. The marbeling is exelent, so is the rest. I start to follow you.

Andy said...[Reply]

Thanks John, I'll give that a go!

do you use a feather for the veins or a very fine brush?

John said...[Reply]

Hi, Maria! Thanks so much, I'm glad you like the drawing room so far and I am so happy you're following my blog! Cheers!

John said...[Reply]

Hey, Andy!

I usually just use a brush. Either works --though I rarely seem to have a feather lying around (unless you count the pink ostrich boa) ;-)