I had a long ways to go and a short time to get there. After spending almost 2 hours doing nothing but taping, I was exhausted. Up and down the ladder, dragging it around the room, tearing off bits of tape for impossibly sharp corners and so many electrical face plates (I’m thinking they may be the pop off sort because there were no screws, but I didn’t want to take the chance), I began to feel defeated. OK, so taping isn’t my favourite activity. But a good prep yields great results.
There were 5 architectural panels on the walls, making the room look grand. The trim had been painted a gloss white and the framed spaces were filled in with a brown a few shades darker than the rest of the walls walls. The darker brown served as my base coat. For the soft, simplified marble texture (inspired by the second step in another marbling project) I mixed a glaze from the lighter wall colour and sponged in texture with the barker brown. The glaze is semi transparent, so the panels are still a wee bit darker, but tied in nicely because there’s no jarring colour changes.
2 larger panels 5’x7′ (35 square feet x 2 = 70 square feet) and 3 smaller panels 2.5’x7 (17.5 square feet x 3 = 52.5 square feet)… That’s a tonne of wall space! And to keep it consistent from one corner to the next… never mind the whole room! Yeah, I panicked a bit.
I started with the large panel behind the bed. “This will give me a good idea about how long all the panels will take. I know this technique goes fast, but there’s just so much!” I confided with the home owner. 40 minutes. That’s it? 40 minutes for the big panels, 20 for the small… I had the whole room texturized in 2.5 hours. Whew! No where near as daunting as I thought it would be. Still, the lettering would take time and I would need a steady hand for it. Get a good nights rest and comeback fresh the next day.
Hours: 3.5 just for the text.
It looks simple enough, right? But I’m not a calligrapher with years and years of practice doing nothing but decorative writing. There are actually a lot of steps that go into custom lettering.
First, I would need a template, which I created in Illustrator using a decorative font and then manipulating it with the kind of line work I wanted, like the heart shaped flourishes on the “Always”. This was printed out actual size on multiple sheets of 8.5 x 11 paper (I know right? doesn’t every artist have their own large format printer?) and then taped together.
Secondly, now I need to transfer it to the wall. On location I covered the back with coloured chalk then positioned it so that it was centred on the wall, floating comfortably above the high headboard. I used a pencil with a hard point to trace it and ensure that I pressed enough chalk to the wall that it would be readable for me.
Step three: painting. I filled it in with a light base coat using the leftover glaze from the texturing – again it’s semi transparent so, silly me, it needed at least 2 coats; quick sloppy coats seeings as it matched the faux texture and would be covered up anyway. I then applied 2 coats of gold metallic paint. It too is a semi-transparent medium, so to avoid the appearance of too many brush marks… Normally I would like the brush marks, but because this was over texture, it needed to be more consistent. Finally, I edged the text here and there with a fine chocolate brown line like a drop shadow. It anchored the gold and made the whole thing easier to read.
Gold is a funny colour because it shifts in the light as you move around the room. I some places it seems to disappear into the texture, but then take a step to the right and it’s completely lit up – a rather nice effect for a dreamy sentiment. The home owner actually hand a black, store bought wall decal of this slogan, but with all the other hand painted details in her home, she thought the sticker would look cheep. Good call!
“Wow!! It looks amazing! I LOVE IT!!! You’re the best! Thank you sooooooo much! It looks a million times better than I expected!!! (5 love emojies)” – Rosaria