Friday, November 4, 2011

A-Bit-More-Than-A-Long-Weekend DIY

Got this photo in an email from Country Living magazine today, and had to share this project with you.

My friends all know I am a faux painting addict.  It started when we built our house 11 years ago.  I wanted to paint clouds on my son's bedroom walls.  After watching the VERY SHORT instructional video, I said to myself "There's GOT to be more to it than that".  I made my mom, who was also very handy, watch.  She said the same thing.  So, after getting the appropriate supplies, I was a very good girl and followed the directions on the videotape (yes, that's how long ago this was) to the letter, and sure enough, we ended up with a room full of beautiful clouds.  I even got a little creative towards the end and painted some to look like shapes like a dinosaur, a star, a cowboy hat, etc.  Kids naturally see shapes in clouds, so why couldn't I tuck some in for good measure?!

Skip ahead a few years to when my kids and I saw an episode of "Room by Room" on HGTV where they did a makeover of a boy's room to look like a log cabin.  I KNEW I had to try it somewhere in our house, but where.  The immediate choice was the master bedroom because it, sadly, was still "builders' white".  The issue became how the closet sticks into the room, creating a few really bendy, small walls.  The log cabin idea got backburnered.

So skip ahead again.  It's New Year's Day 2006.  Our drier died a horrible, painful death.  We decided to take advantage of all the sales, and replace both the washer and drier, just in case.  Since both the old machines were going bye-bye, my wonderful hubby says "You always wanted to paint the mudroom, and you wanted to find a way to get behind the machines to do it right.  Here's your chance."  Wow!  I never thought of the mudroom!  That night on the way home, we hit Home Depot to get the paints, some glaze, and some specialty brushes.

Now, let me fill you on some details.  First, the mudroom has the same bendy-wall-closet-issue as the bedroom, but, being the mudroom, it is significantly smaller, and if this technique turned out as an epic fail, we could always just close the door.  Second, the specialty brushes.  I painted our bathroom to look like denim (also from "Room by Room"), so we already had a brush that would make paint look like fabric.  In fact, it was when I was painting the denim that I noticed how much some of the strokes looked like wood grain.  Being the frugal gal I am, instead of leaving one of my children as payment for the wood grain brush, I bought a whisk broom and a deck brush, and for less I might add, than the cost of the specialty tools and brushes.

Since the old appliances came out that very night (which was a Monday), and the new ones were coming on Saturday, I had to get started in a hurry.  After everything was totally emptied out of the mudroom, I made sure to dust all the walls with a dry cloth.  Then I measured my walls to be sure of their exact size, taking the baseboards into account.  I divided that number by 10, because I wanted my logs to be about 10".  I used a level to make light pencil marks on the wall, and used a wide painter's tape to make the "chinking" (aka the mud between the logs).  Fortunately for me, the mudroom was also still "builders' white".  If you would like to do this technique to a room that does not have a light-colored base paint on the walls, you'll have to paint the room first.  My tape was level, but never perfectly straight.  That makes my logs look like they were handhewn.

Also, I decided I wanted a faux window over the sink, so the room didn't seem so closed in, and as log as I was making a log cabin, I wanted a fireplace in the corner.  I marked off these locations, using a level and measuring carefully for the window.  For the fireplace, I wanted it to be "built" of stone, so to have the edges look like they are rough-cut, I tore little pieces of painter's tape to mark them. 

Then came the first two coats of base color for my logs.  I opted for a cool, almost hot-chocolate color for my base.  It had a nice, aged grey undertone to it.  Make sure you let each coat dry thoroughly before you add the next coat.

Now for the fun stuff.  Mix up a glaze mixture of 1 part glaze to 1 part paint.  I used a dark chocolate brown.  Do only 1 section at a time, and YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST KEEP A WET EDGE!  I let my second coat of base paint dry overnight and got good rest before I started the glazing.  It works much better if you have a buddy (I had small children and goldfish, so I had to do it myself).  Pour your glaze mixture into a paint pan, and use a good paint roller.  Roll the paint on in sections, then while it is still wet, drag your {object of choice} over it to create the effect of a grainline.  The glaze helps keep the paint wet longer, but you still need to work pretty quickly.  I started with the whisk broom, just to establish some general lines, then went back over everything with the deck brush.  In some places if I wasn't happy with my results, I even used the "fabric" brush.  Remember, no 2 trees are exactly alike in nature, so have some fun playing around.  When you have made it all the way around the room, let your logs dry at least overnight.  Then you can remove your painter's tape and admire your work! P.S.  I used this same technique, but with different colors to do the mantle on the fireplace.

This is how it turned out.

To dress it up a little more, I added the mirror in the corner shown above. The mirror has similar panes to the faux window, and acts like a window on that wall by reflecting a portion of the faux window. I'm also looking at making a curtain rod and some curtains to dress up my faux window.
Here is a closeup of the faux window I added to my mudroom.

We recently put in a Solatube skylight in above the sink, so it looks like daylight comes in through my window.  Very cool!
And here is the finished faux fireplace, which we just finished mid-October.  Bubba helped me do the faux stones (also a very easy technique - I'll share it soon).
See the photo of the "inspiration fireplace" still taped on the wall for reference?  Bubba painted most of the lower stones.  Also both kids helped to sketch them before we painted them in.

Just like the clouds, some of the stones make hidden pictures.  See if you can find the dog's head, a goldfish, a heart, the state of Wisconsin and the island of Oahu.

Like how I hung the picture to look like it's sitting on the mantle?  We're still trying to figure out how to put a faux fire in the firebox, but I think it's still pretty cool the way it is.

Try it yourself!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful, unique idea & I love your 'windows'. Thanks for commenting on my site.