Embossed Allover Designs
When we were at the Design Bloggers Conference, designer extraordinaire Tobi Fairley took the stage. She was giving great advice all over the place and then she said “Your blog should showcase your work about 70% of the time”. You can imagine how I started cringing and sliding down my seat because that’s not this blog at all. I’m lucky if I get to 15%, methinks. I find comfort in that Fauxology was never meant to be a journal of my work — it’s more like the journal of my obsession with love of decorative painting. I believe I will always continue down that road.
Today, however, you get part of the 15%. This project is one area of a beautiful home we spent a few months in. Both the husband and wife were very involved in the design and wanted something out of the ordinary for the foyer-to-living-room entrance. They loved the embossed stenciling we were doing in another area and wanted to incorporate it using an allover design.
We scoured stencil catalogs and Dover publications and our clients ended up finding designs they liked in a book. Since we had no time to order a custom Modello or stencil, we cut our own, created a grid and got to work mapping it out.
Here’s where I tell you that using single stencils to create an allover pattern is NOT something to recommend. First, my brother came up with the idea to transfer the grid pattern to craft paper and make holes for where center elements would need to be…
Then, we put pushpins in the centers of the design and drew out the pattern loosely on the wall to make the stencil placement easier…or so we thought.
The drawn pattern didn’t make everything as easy as we’d hoped since we had to adjust time and time again when embossing.
Of course, the stencil glue would lift some parts of the wall and the Venetian Plaster did seep under the stencil. We would immediately clean up the seepage because you never want it to dry that way.
Here’s the basic design layout coming around…
Then we filled in the centers and the wall edges. (I’d like to take a moment to say how much I now truly appreciate large production allover stencils with registrations marks that stencil companies offer.)
After the pattern was down and dry, we went to town with tiny artist brushes cleaning up all the background color. Then we started overglazing.
Using an idea we spied on The Gilded Barn blog and with some tips from the writer, Tamra Cook, we outlined the edges of the finish with a chocolate Venetian Plaster, added metallic highlights over the top and tapped in decorative nail heads. You can see it better in the second pic below.
I don’t even want to tell you how long it took — but our clients were SO happy and it really is a sight to see in person. Our clients tell us that when guests walk in the first thing they do is walk right up to it, run their hands over it and ask about it in detail. It was definitely enjoyable to have it all come together. Tomorrow we go back to the 85% — I’ll see you then!