Most people love to see “before” and “after” pictures, but what about “in-between” photos? Everyone loves great make-over pictures of a remodel, but rarely do we ever see pictures half way through a job which could give a reader a visual “how-to” guide. I stumbled upon Danielle Blue’s Flicker Photostream, which included some wonderful pictures of remodels featuring faux painting. Painting, especially faux techniques can be tremendously complicated even for the average painter. Being a faux painter myself, I have developed my color combinations simply by experimenting. In one of the photos you can see they taped off a grid on top of a sanded wood floor which anyone with no experience could accomplish. Painting inside the lines is something anyone can do. The hardest part to creating a grid pattern, or any pattern for that matter is to get the overall measurements correct while taping. For my own floor in a rental I sanded down parquet floors, and taped off a pattern using the edges of the square parquet. Mine was relatively simple in that I already had the grid laid out for me. Putting some extra time in the taping and measuring will assure you a great finish. Another key element to creating this look is to have sanded floors which can be very laborious. For our floors we rented a belt floor sander from an equipment shop, and instead of painting, we stained the floors.
If you look at the detailed pictures of their floor photos, it looks as though they are simply painting on the pattern. If you do choose to paint on the pattern, I would suggest going with Coverstain, which can be tinted most any lighter colors. After working with so many different paint products, I highly suggest Cover Stain. The paint is an oil finish, but it dries to a flat finish. It is a primer, and sticks to everything. It is also really easy to sand once it is dry, (after 2 days), but dries to the touch after 1 hour. Then, you can add a polyurethane over top of the stenciling.
Cover Stain is wonderful for several more reasons. It is very easy to paint with, and evens out the paint strokes as it dries. I prefer oil, but every once in a while I try a new oil paint and it is impossible to work with, which can give oil paint such a bad reputation. In addition Cover Stain can be tinted a wide variety of colors. I buy my Coverstain at my local Ace Hardware because I need it tinted. If I want a darker color, I simply just add some additional oil paint if I cannot get the color tinted dark enough.
If you are anything like me, you are very particular with your patterns, and you may not find the perfect pattern online. If so, consider purchasing the Cutless Stencil Pen which allows you to cut your own stencils. Simply find the pattern you want and copy it on to a clear piece of plastic. In the past I have used overhead projector paper, which doesn’t work so well unless it is quite thick. Self Adhesive Stencil Film might also work nicely, and may prevent the bleeding from the sides of the stencil on the floors. Traditional Stencil film also works. Again if these are not thick enough, consider a heavy weight overhead projector clear paper. Check out Valley Craftsmen for more faux finishing pictures.