Saturday, 27 May 2017

DON'T FENCE ME IN ( a stone arch tutorial)

Benvenuto indietro!
 Just to satisfy any curiosity regarding what I decided regarding the wood nymph with 3 arms; as you can see
I changed it
in the picture of the 2 dancing maidens-
the raised right arm, 
 doesn't actually belong to either of them.

but it works!

 Now on to the tutorial

I am making a stone archway leading from the entry of the Villa, 
into the kitchen 
using plastic garden fencing purchased from the dollar store.

The hard plastic fencing comes in snap together sections made up of 4 arches with center spears.  
It's available in either white or black. 
I chose white because I wasn't certain about what color I was going to finish it in.

This is what the fencing cost in Canada.

I cut 2 of the arched sections free from the fence panel
I scored the joins with an utility knife and then snapped them apart using an old pair of wire snips
The rough edges were cleaned off with a utility blade
I measured the frame for its height, and cut it down to the right size. 

Matte board was cut to fit around the arch and glued onto the frame using E6000 glue.

(The second wall template on the kitchen side, has not yet been glued around the arch, because I still can't decide on a wallpaper.)

Gaps around the frame, were filled with drywall patch

To finish the arch, I repaired any rips and blocked up the open gaps in the frame using masking tape and/or foam core board.

 I painted the interiors of both arches with black acrylic paint and let it dry.

then I wedged pieces of scrap foam board inside of one of the frames and made sure that the second arch would fit snugly over top,
 making adjustments for a tight fit, where needed. 
Then I glued the two halves together using E6000 glue and ran a bead of glue down the inside center where the two halves were joined.  
They were clamped together until dry. 

I scraped off any excess glue and painted the entire frame in a white acrylic paint.

Then using a spatula I layered on drywall patch, filling in any gaps around the frame as well.
This was then sprayed with hairspray to seal it and gave it another coat of acrylic paint.
I applied a coat of drywall patch to the front surfaces to disguise the "tooled metal" texture, hoping to make it look more like old stone. 
 I normally use hairspray to seal the raw plaster 
 I decide that there had to be a better way to get a stone effect without taking so many steps, 
so I experimented a bit and came up with a recipe which worked out much better for me; 
a type of LIQUID STONE
here's my small batch recipe: 
all amounts are in approximate measurements but are easily adjusted up or down 
 1 tablespoon GESSO
1& 1/2 tablespoons DRY WALL PATCH
[gives a transparent finish when mixed with acrylic paint,
 but in this case it serves as a sealer + binder ]
1 teaspoon OF WATER.

the products were mixed until smooth and the consistency of a Heavy Cream.
They were then troweled onto the face of the arch with a flexible spatula.

the photos below
show what it looked like after the
liquid stone recipe

If you find it too shiny after it has dried as I did, then add a bit more drywall patch and a few more drops of water.
You want it to have some gloss, but not too much.
I applied 2 coats.
any rough bits I burnished over using the metal spatula. 
The resulting finish is smooth with a light gloss
now for the color

Using an assortment of grated chalk pastels, water, brushes and sponges, I painted over the arch with a very thin, watery mix of all the above colors
 adding the color with a brush and subtracting it with a sponge.
I continued with this process
 until I was satisfied with the final color of my stone.

The white liquid stone base resists the water,

 while the powdery nature of the chalk pastels, dries splotchy,
enabling me to build up the colors with the white still showing through under the various grays.  
The more water mixed in with the chalks-the more translucent the finish; 
with more chalk than water- the more color density.

so this is what it looks like now

Not Bad
if I do say so myself :D
Hope you've enjoyed this
"trash to treasure" 

See you again soon! 
caio caio