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60’s revival Manhattan Stripe Mural – A How To

Grand Illusion Decorative Painting was hired to create a modernist office mural in downtown Manhattan. The client wanted to liven up the employee lounge area. The client’s ultimate goal was to offer a place for relaxation but also to casually discuss projects. The finished product was well received by employees as a “non-corporate” look.  Pierre Finkelstein of Grand Illusion Decorative Painting shows you how he created this finish.

HOW TO CREATE THIS FINISH

Use our step-by-step instruction below

MATERIALS NEEDED:

Here is a list of the tools & supplies you will need to achieve this technique.  Supplies available at fauxbrushes.com are linked below and listed at the bottom of the page.

1

DESIGN IDEA AND APPROVAL

STEP 1 – DESIGN IDEA AND APPROVAL: The client approved the idea of a large vibrant mural on a prominent, curved wall (27’x8’). The mural needed to be playful, yet professional.  At the time, the highly viewed show “Mad Men” was at its peak and 1960’s revival in the workplace was popular.

To capture this look, GIDP looked to two designers for inspiration: Alexander Girard (who created a fantastic collection of striped fabric patterns used for commercial spaces and airlines) and Saul Bass (the graphic designer who illustrated for movies and corporate logos).  An idea to use colored bands was approved.

2

MAKE A MAQUETTE

STEP 2 – MAKE A MAQUETTE:  Next step was making a maquette or model of the mural.  Using Adobe Illustrator and Pantone colors, GIDP decided on a color combination. With the overall palette of colors, many many hours were spent working with different separations, rhythm of colors, and the degree of slant. Pierre was careful that the final design did not look like a bar code.

While only 67 colors were needed, almost 100 colors were mixed.  A strike of each color was made so they could be moved into different positions.  Once the rhythm looked right, the colored “matchsticks” were taped in place.  This was the final maquette that was made.

3

COLOR MIXING

STEP 3 – COLOR MIXING:  Color mixing commenced using latex paint and Color Tints.  Basecoat was used and then tinted further using fluid opaque Acrylic Colors.

4

ONSITE DRAWING

STEP 4 – ONSITE DRAWING: Slanted colored stripes were a challenging design to transfer onto the wall. The process started by making marks.

Then calculations were made for each stripe for a variable width to fit within a 27’ space (with a slant).

5

SNAP CHALK LINE

STEP 5 – SNAP CHALK LINE:  Next a snap line was used. This was a good way to get a straight line between two points that were too far away for a ruler. 

To draw a chalk line, shake your snap line to coat it in chalk.  Attach one end of the snap line to the starting point and fully extend your snap line to the ending point and lock it in place – make sure it’s taut.  Then “SNAP” the string against the wall. It will leave a straight chalk line on the wall.  Remove and repeat as necessary to create multiple lines.

6

TAPE ALTERNATE STRIPES

STEP 6 – TAPE ALTERNATE STRIPES: Using safe-release tape, alternate stripes were added.

7

BASECOAT ALTERNATE STRIPES

STEP 7 – BASECOAT ALTERNATE STRIPES:  Of course, the other side needed to be painted so next up was to basecoat the alternate stripes. Some stripe colors needed up to 4 coats!

8

REVERSE TAPE AND PAINT FINAL STRIPES

STEP 8 – REVERSE TAPE AND PAINT FINAL STRIPES:  Next step to finishing the stripes was to reverse the tape. Reversing the tape means to change the position of tape in order to mask the opposite areas. For the GIDP mural, the crew removed the tape from the finished sections and retaped the stripes (so that they were taping off the other stripe that needs to be painted).

9

PROTECT AND FINISH

STEP 9 – PROTECT AND FINISH: A Varnish was applied to protect the finish.

COMPLETED FINISH

Two fingers of bourbon and a Lucky Strike, anyone?

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