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Faux Marble Columns In Japan – A How To

A former student and friend of Pierre Finkelstein contracted GIDP for a faux marble job in Japan. The GIDP was already in Tokyo for a painting event and traveled north to the bustling village of Utsonomiya. There were three columns that needed paint. One was outside in the entrance and the other two were for the main space. Since the interior ones were not ready to be installed, they were elevated horizontally with two strong poles and horses. The exterior column was painted vertically outside.

Typically, faux marble finishes are completed in a 3-layer process; 1- background, 2- veining, 3- overglazing. The finish in this post is similar and has 3-layers to complete. Pierre Finkelstein of Grand Illusion Decorative Painting shows you how he created this finish.

Utsonomiya

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

CHOOSING A SAMPLE

STEP 1 – CHOOSING A SAMPLE:  Before the client knew what he wanted, Pierre tested his samples on the column for a visual aid. The client decided he wanted a red, dynamic marble. Samples were provided to help narrow down the decision. 

Different Samples
2

PROPER PREPARATION

STEP 2 – PROPER PREPARATION: The basecoating was already completed for the crew by a local contractor. Proper preparation for a faux marble finish requires a Level 5 substrate. This is the highest level of preparation. In order to look like the actual form in nature, a smooth, refined finish is required. Substrates must be properly cleaned, primed, and a basecoat must be applied to achieve this level of finish. Sanding and dusting between coats is a must. Basecoats are tinted and must be boxed and tested so it is a true match to the control sample.

3

BACKGROUND LAYER - MIX AND APPLY GLAZE

STEP 3 – BACKGROUND LAYER – MIX AND APPLY GLAZE:  Paints used in this faux marble technique are primarily fluid Acrylic Colors with a proportion of acylic Glazing Medium. Depending on how big the project is, the use of slow-dry colorants and mediums are used to achieve the correct viscosity and open time. The glazes were put into condiment bottles for easy pouring onto the palette. A medium-toned mother glaze was mixed in a palette cup. Because of the large size of the area, a mother glaze was mixed along with 3 other tonalities.

  • Mother Glaze – Transparent orangy-red
  • Glaze 1- Deep red
  • Glaze 2- Raw umber purple dark
  • Glaze 3- Golden yellow

The mother glaze was applied with a size 8 Domed Glazing Brush and stretched to give an even distribution of glaze. See job recipe card below.

4

BACKGROUND LAYER - GLAZE STREAKS OF COLORS

STEP 4 – BACKGROUND LAYER – GLAZE STREAKS OF COLORS:  The crew applied big strokes of pre-mixed glaze colors in the direction of the marble with a Pointed Glazing Brush

Pattern on the sample

Next to break up the glaze, they used fresh water and a rag to clean a samina-haired Chiqueteur to break up the colored glazes. Then, without disturbing the original direction, smoothed just a touch with a round Softener Brush

It is important to create a prominent direction and a steep angle (not 45 degrees).

After breaking up the glaze. Let Dry.

5

RAIN DAMAGE ! MUST REDO

STEP 5 – RAIN DAMAGE ! MUST REDO: Rainy season is a bummer! The next day, the exterior column was damaged and the glaze ran down the side of the column. Jobsite conditions are never fully controllable and the glaze on the column needed to be wiped off and preparations were made to start over.

6

VEINING LAYER - GLAZE, STRECH AND DISPERSE

STEP 6 – VEINING LAYER – GLAZE, STRETCH AND DISPERSE: The veining layer is 2 steps. First, alcohol was used to create a negative painting technique and then, background veins were added. A mother glaze was mixed using transparent warm purple – no white. GIDP covered the surfaces and glazed medium heavy, using a Domed Glazing Brush.

Next, they stretched the glaze with a Spalter for an even surface.

Then with alcohol, they dispersed the glaze. Using a 3 Headed Chiqueteur, they dipped the brush into clean, denatured alcohol. When dispensing the glaze with alcohol, it’s important to crush the brush on the palette and pick up moderate amounts of solvent. The surface is then “tickled” with a  pouncing motion, allowing the alcohol to eat away at the glaze. The marks will expand until the alcohol is evaporated so the marks need to be kept small. 

Dispersion on the Sample
7

VEINING LAYER - ADD DARK VEINS

STEP 7 – VEINING LAYER – ADD DARK VEINS: Using the transparent purple mother glaze plus a few dark colors on the palette, veining began. A samina-haired Veiner and Brecher were used for this technique.

8

VEINING LAYER - ASCENT WITH LIGHT VEINS

STEP 8 – VEINING LAYER – ASCENT WITH LIGHT VEINS:  An opaque peach color glaze was mixed for additional fragmenting veins. These background veins were medium to small, so smaller veining brushes were used. Let dry.

9

OVERGLAZE LAYER - ADD FISSURES

STEP 9 – OVERGLAZE LAYER – ADD FISSURES:  Finally, the larger fissure-type veins were added to create drama, quickly. Since the client wanted more of a fantasy marble, extra fissures were added. A fully opaque white was mixed with other colors on the palette.    Notice how the fissures do not follow the underlying direction of the marble but still thoughtfully placed.

10

OVERGLAZING LAYER - OVERGLAZE FISSURES

STEP 10 – OVERGLAZING LAYER – OVERGLAZE FISSURES: Using a transparent earthy purple glaze, the white fissures were overglazed using the samina-haired 3-headed Brecher for marble (alternatively, a 2 Headed Brecher can be used for the same effect). The veining was softened with Softener and a rag was used to wipe off the marks that were beyond the fissures.

11

PROTECT AND FINISH

STEP 11 – PROTECT AND FINISH:  Two coats of satin Varnish were applied in the desired sheen to protect the finish.

COMPLETED FINISH

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