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Exterior Sign Painting in Soho – A How To

Before Grand Illusion Decorative Painting, Pierre Finkelstein began his decorative painting career as a sign painter.  Sign painting is a true disappearing art so this job was rare and welcome especially in the springtime in SoHo New York City.  The task on this job was to recreate the previous exact sign that had been damaged.

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

PROPER PREPARATION

STEP 1 – PROPER PREPARATION: A scaffold was erected and the sign was sanded and dusted.

2

APPLY TEXTURED PRIMER

STEP 2 – APPLY TEXTURED PRIMER: A tinted water-based Primer was mixed with an aggregate to form a scratch coat. Two coats of the primer were rolled on and stippled with a Codtail Brush.

3

APPLY TEXTURED BASECOAT

STEP 3 – APPLY TEXTURED BASECOAT: With the same application method, a tinted Basecoat was applied.  As the textured paint was drying, the stippled texture was knocked down with a trowel

4

ADD "RUST" EFFECT

STEP 4 – ADD “RUST” EFFECT: Using a Spalter Brush (size 80),  the area was dry-brushed with a few rust tones.

Using a Flat, 2 Header Brush, a verdigris green color was applied over 80% of the surface.

5

TRANSFER THE POUNCE PATTERN

STEP 5 – TRANSFER THE POUNCE PATTERN: A large pounce pattern was created for the letters.

After snapping some lines to register the design, the pattern was positioned and the design was transferred using a large shop-made pounce pad.

To get the drop shadow – double letter illusion, the design was simply shifted and re-pounced.

6

LETTERING THE SIGN

STEP 6 – LETTERING THE SIGN: Using the Deerhoof Brush (or Rondin) and the Samina Lettering Brush  (for the detailed areas), the letters were blocked with two coats of white tinted latex Paint.

Note: The Deerhoof Brush, provides amazing control of your line while dispersing a long stroke of opaque paint.  It makes for fast coverage.

Drop shadows were added with a Striping Edge, filbert shaped and Bordeaux haired Striping Brushes along with a dark tinted latex Paint.

The Samina Lettering Brush was the best tool for the rounded sections.

7

APPLY AGING EFFECT TO LETTERS

STEP 7 – APPLY AGING EFFECT LETTERS: After the letters were complete, they were scuffed with a coarse 100 grit sandpaper.

To further age the sign, a rust color was added using a dry-brush technique.  Harsh lines were softened using a bristle  Softening Brush. 

8

OVERGLAZING THE SIGN

STEP 8 – OVERGLAZING THE SIGN: The final decorative painting step involved a final overglazing with raw umber and an acrylic Glazing Medium.

9

PROTECT AND FINISH

STEP 9 –PROTECT AND FINISH: The sign was then varnished with two coats of a uv matte varnish for protection.

COMPLETED FINISH

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