Reversible and Non-reversible Medium

There are many uses for both reversible and non-reversible mediums in decorative painting.  A reversible medium can be taken back to a glaze with water (or alcohol like shellac).  Non-reversible mediums are far more common and are permanent (unless a solvent is used to remove). Reversible Mediums: Gouache Glaze = Gum Arabic + H2O + […]

Color palette for the decorative painter

Here is the color palette for the decorative painter that we use at GIDP to create most of our finishes.  Based on my experience in business and teaching, I’ve found these colors to be essential for creating most finishes (with an emphasis on faux marble and woodgraining).  See previous posts on our job site kits. […]

Satin wood faux bois

This is a 2-step, Satin wood faux bois.  Even though some of the movements take practice to master, the process is very fast and it only needs 1 glaze color. Below is a step-by-step explanation of how it was done on a baseboard sample. The base coat is a light straw in a Satin water […]

Ebony Woodgrain

Here is a how-to for Ebony woodgrain.  It is a 3-step process to create this rich and heavily-grained wood.  If you use a fast drying medium like matte medium,  it’s possible to do all 3 steps in one day — or at least 2. Below is a light version of real Ebony wood.   Often, you […]

Real Faux Stone

This a real faux stone because it mimics cut stone and not just a textured surface, which is a common mistake when creating faux stone.  This may look ok, but it isn’t realistic.  Real, cut stone would be smooth to the touch but pitted (recesses). To start, a tinted (off-white) primer was applied. The texture […]

SALON Lecce, Italy 2015

Once again I return inspired from the annual Salon, held in Lecce, Italy. Salon is an annual, international event for decorative painters and this year, we celebrated our 20th year.  I’ve been lucky enough to attend every one. Here is the group photo. Our lovely, friendly, and amusing hosts Stefano Luca and Katerina Manisco. Here […]

Shellac

Shellac is a very useful tool in the decorative painter’s toolkit.  It is one of the most versatile and yet under utilized medium.  We have a small jar on every job because of it’s many uses (see below).  Shellac is one of the oldest paint mediums, used in Ancient Egyptian and Roman times as a […]

Making a plaster mold

With a this missing piece of the ceiling, this post shows how to make a plaster mold.  We don’t make a habit out of fixing plaster or making molds, but for small, spot repairs, it makes sense that we do it.   It’s always good to have skills that expand beyond painting. A small ornament was […]

Plaster molding ceiling repair

A large ornament fell from the ceiling in the gallery at the Frick Collection,  requiring a plaster molding ceiling repair.  This is PART 2  – how we affixed the ornament back in place.  See the related posts:  PART 1- Ceiling repair at Frick Collection and upcoming   PART 3 – How to make a plaster mold. […]

Ceiling repair at Frick Collection

Part 1 of 3 We had one day to complete this ceiling repair at The Frick Collection (1 E 70th St in Manhattan).  We received a call about a piece of plaster that had fallen from the 90 year-old ceiling in the main gallery.   Apparently, there was water damage from the roof that had left […]