Painting – How to Do a Plastic Finish Applying Method

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 33,453
    Professional painter Donnalynne Lefever discusses faux painting and demonstrates how to do a plastic finish applying method.

    Donnalynne Lefever

    Donnalynne Lefever is the owner of Lefever Designs and has been in business now for more than 10 years in which she creates faux finishes, murals, tromp l'oiel and artwork of any kind in homes and businesses on walls, floors, ceilings, furniture,etc. mostly in the Metropolitan Washington DC area. She graduated college with a theater degree at the University of Maryland and moved to NYC shortly afterwards to make costumes for Broadway. Upon returning home to Northern Virginia, she met a designer who introduced her to her current field and has been painting ever since. Starting in 1990 she worked with that designer for 3 years, then with a business specializing in faux finishes, murals and tromp l'oiel for an additional 3 years before branching out into her own business. She's taken faux finish classes in the materials she currently works with and numerous art classes as well. One of her favorite materials to work with is leafing; gold, silver or copper. This year, summer 2007, one of her clients/designer had her home featured in the magazine, Washington Spaces, in which a few of the rooms Donnalynne worked on are photographed. She mostly works with designers and by word of mouth which keeps her quite busy. When not creating for others, she creates her own artwork on canvas, clay or other various things. She belongs to the local art organizations of Del Ray Artisans in Alexandria, Virginia and Springfield Art Guild in Virginia in which she is currently co-president.

    Hi, my name is Donnalynne Lefever and now we are ready to move on to the plastic again but this time we are going to apply it instead of subtract it as we did in the previous sample. What we are going to do here which is what is a little bit different as this is a little harder than the first one because it can tend to blob and get messy. So, I have got a couple of different choices that I particularly like and a couple of different kinds of colors because it might make a difference. These here are samples of the plastic where you can actually see the imprint. These are both with metallic paint. I am going to use one of the metallic paints and I am going to use one that's regular. So, you can see the difference on this particular sample.

    I am going to start with the metallic one. This one is actually called Interference Gold and what that means is that on one light it looks in one direction or one color in one direction and another color in another direction. So, it actually ends up looking silver and grey or silver and gold I should say. I will get it right. Anyway, you just take a small dab of the paint and you stick it on a palette. All meat trays are good palettes. What you want to do is I recommend that once you put your blob of your paint in the interference gold, a good thing to use and this is weird as this may sound are the food gloves that the ladies use. So, you can get these really crappy gloves. I don't know, I think I got these at one of the grocery stores. Anyway, I usually put like two of them together, glove them up. Sometimes, if you like three better, that's fine.

    What you do is you slightly dip the paint in, like that and you start dabbing it on to your palette. That means you only have a limited amount of paint that is on here so it helps to prevent you from getting big blobs and then you start dabbing it. You can see it come up, I don't know, can you see this coming up? It just gives you a nice soft look and you can blob that. You can do it as thick or as thin as you want. If you can crunch it up more, which I don't have it crunched very well, it should give you smaller, there it is. A little bit of a smaller imprint.

    The other thing you can do as you can do the same thing with the bigger plastic that we just used in the other. This can be less controllable sometimes but you can still do it. I have too much paint as you can see I am dipping around in it because I have too much. So, anyway, there you go again. That actually looks pretty close but whichever one you feel like you like or which one is comfortable or is you are more than welcome to use. Now, I want to try it and show you what it would do with the color. This is also very easy. When it comes to going into the corners however, the other one when you do the subtractive method you can shove your actual plastic into a corner. This one, you may end up having to use a small brush and start to just lightly dab your corners and your edges so that it has a more finished look to it. But if you do dab it, it will be a lot easier on you. If you glob it then you are going to not like yourself.

    Anyway, so, we will do the same thing so as you can see with the glaze what kind of difference you will get. In this case, it is this particular plastic is, see it is doing something really funny. There we go, but this one may have to be on a little heavier. You just play around and see what it is that you like or you don't like. If you don't like it don't do it. Let us do it in the gloves that we can just see if this one works a little better or you may end up finding that to do this method, you need straight paint. This is a technique, one of the few techniques that can be actually painted on flat paint as your base point and you can use full strength paint. This is a full strength paint, there is no glaze in the interference. This is glaze so this maybe your indicator that you don't like it with the glaze in it or you just need a lot more pigment or paint. So, if you are making your mixture, this maybe one that you need a whole lot more. So, if you are doing the 75-25 you might need more of the 50-50 but it does make interesting look, just different.

    Anyways, that is the Plastic Applying Method.