Painting – How to Do a Stippling Technique

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 63,818
    Professional painter Donnalynne Lefever discusses faux painting and demonstrates how to do a stripping technique.

    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 going to move on to the next technique which is stippling. Before me, I have a couple different tools that come in really handy. These are stippling brushes. Obviously, one will cover more territory than the other one. There is a big difference with the brushes. They do make a very refined look of a stipple. However, they can get quite heavy when you are actually pounding at the wall, especially on this size. I used to have ones that had handles that again, as you stippled up and down the wall it just really got exhausting on you. So, I don't use this one very often. This one obviously, I have used. You can see it's really getting started to get dirty. It's a nice shape one but again, it can get heavy as you pound.

    The newer option for stippling is a towel and it actually works really pretty cool. So, I am going to show you how to stipple with both the brush and the towel and I am going to tell you what you need to do. You will have to have a little crappy brush to go into all corners. This neither will fit into a corner so or the edges. So, you will have to go back over and the other thing is this, if it gets too thick I will purposely let it get too thick on one side. You can see how you can dab it out with one of these crappy brushes. So, again, same glaze mixture, whatever mixture you choose, same bases, all the stuff is basically the same. Anyway, you go ahead and brush your glaze on to your surface. Don't do -- when you are actually doing these kinds of finishes on the wall, don't do anything more than double this at a time until you get used to how you are going to do it. So, if you put too much glaze on at the time before moving forward you can have it dry on you before you can go and also, as you work on the wall and you are going in sections, let us say you go in a section here, then go to the section here then work back on to this edge. Even it's a long, thin section as you go down so, that you can keep it as wet as possible as you move.

    So, once you get this, all it is. It is literally just dabbing and it makes like a little dinky polka dot kind of look. If you want it to be a little darker then just put it on a little thicker but that is basically the brush and it can sometimes can get very consistent but you do have to watch this edge here so like if you were going then do your next section and you are going over to do it. Again, I like the irregular look better than the straight up and down. It just makes it better in the long run. You go back in to your next step and then just look right back over and it all blends out but again, don't work too huge to start with or you will not be happy.

    So, anyway, I am going to show you now the difference with doing it with a towel. The biggest difference with a towel is that it's a whole lot lighter. So, as you are sitting there ramming your arm at the wall because that's literally what you are doing is ramming your arm at the wall, you will find it a little bit nicer on your body. So, anyway what you do is to take a towel, usually, these I think I got these at Costco but you can get these kind of towels anywhere. They are just little, I think these were auto towels but you just take it in half and fold it in half. When they are nice and new and fluffy or this one has been washed which I wash all of them, I reuse all my towels and rags. As you can see I also save containers, plastic containers are really good for your mixing of your glazes. They keep them wet longer. The trays, meat trays, vegetable trays all that stuff looks really well for all of your palettes and stuff.

    So, anyway, with the towel as smooth as possible, watch out for the edges here. You can go over it if they do hit, but you want to kind of try to tuck them under, at least a little bit and so, you basically do this exact same thing. Now, with your actual towel what will happen is it will start to accumulate and I am going to do this again. It will accumulate more and more glaze and get really thick and gloppy. So, you will have to change it relatively, frequently once it gets really thick and I mean thick. So, I just want to show you again. On a little sample like this, it's fine. If you are doing a room that's a size of a living room, you are going to go through a couple of towels. You will not be able to go through one.

    So, basically, that's using the towel versus the brush. They are pretty close on most instances. Now, as you can see where it's darker in the center or I just messed up there hitting that, you dab your brush to try to get rid of that line. The same thing works when you are doing it in the edges. So, like let us say you are actually, the edge of your wall is here. You will need this to dab into that space, same thing with the corners. You can not do it with this and you can not do it with this. They will just smoosh right into everything. So, these are all useful tools for doing the stippling and making it look really cool. You can make it lighter by just keep going over it. You can also thumb brace this a little bit if you wish to and that just means adding a little more glaze and going lighter. I am choosing not to that today because it's a little more difficult but if you have the experience, feel free to try anything you want and that's it for stippling.