For my decorative painting work, I do plenty of “traditional” faux finishes – but I love when get to create completely new faux paint designs!
This was the case with my recent project for my client Jodi. Jodi wanted to do something dramatic and fun with the ceiling in her powder room, but at first she wasn’t sure exactly what to do. When we met, she was thinking of doing a gold finish, but then she looked at her mirror and asked if we could do something that picked up on the look of the horn tiles that make up the frame of the mirror (see picture below). My answer was an enthusiastic YES!
Since Jodi was going for drama and fun, I loved the idea of blowing up the look of the tiles and replicating it on the ceiling. As I looked at the space, my one concern was that the look could lose some of the drama as it met the grey walls, so I recommended we do a white border to frame the tiles – and Jodi was immediately on board.
As always, my first step was to do a test board – showing a small version of the tiles on a 2’x2’ panel to make sure the look I envisioned was in line with what Jodi wanted. The “tiles” in the ceiling ended up being about 20”x20”, so I did a scale version with 10”x10” squares to give Jodi a good idea of how the abutting tiles would look. When we met to look at the concept, Jodi said; “I love it!” – and I was on to the final project!
My first step on-site was to do all of my measurements to make sure I could make a consistently sized border and fit in 12 evenly sized square(ish) tiles. To make this work, I laid out the border and then created a template for the squares (which needed to be slightly off square at 19.5”x19.75”) so I could make sure everything would fit. I then taped the border and painted a base coat of a medium tan in the field where the tiles would go.
With the tiles drawn out and taped, I was then on to painting them! Unlike many faux finishes – there was no specific technique to create this look. Each square ended up being a mini-painting of a horn tile that I created by just blending paints like I would in a painting or mural. As I worked my way around the ceiling, I mapped out different grain directions and colors to make sure the overall effect was balanced but dramatic.
Once this step was done, I finished it with a high-gloss coating to really make it pop!