Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Faux Tortoise Shell Finish...Maybe?

I remember seeing a book at Home Depot as a teenager and I saw the  how to do faux Tortoise shell finish in there.  I didn't buy it and to this day I wish I had... so thanks to google and etc. I searched the web for a suitable substitute.... what I found was:
This guy: optimism and white paint
This guy: xrestore
And, this chick: gorgeous shiny things
Of course, I didn't do it quite the way any of them did it... :-)  Not to mention that I had ordered a 1990's book by Annie Sloan all about how to faux tortoise shell....  but that just came today.  A day late and dollar short of course.

This little guy came from my dad's warehouse. A treasure
trove for sure.  I initially painted it all black, distressed it
and stained the recessed area and was about to call it
a day.  Then I thought- this would be a perfect piece to
try tortoise shell on... its not a family heirloom and its
obviously not been loved, so I sanded the recessed area
down and decided to try it:

Most faux tortoise shell how to's tell you that you need a
yellow base.  So, after I sanded it down I painted it yellow,
not a perfect paint job.  Just enough to cover it.

EEK... So, I did this with Burnt Umber and
Coffee Bean plaid paints. I was kinda
wanting it to look like a chevron spine type
thing.  That's why I did the diagonal lines
instead of random all over...

Then I put glaze coats over it.  I just watered down the
Coffee Bean and Burnt Umber and kept applying them
I still applied it in the diagonal chevron pattern...
looks a little better...

Oh, ya.  I needed the black lines too. 
I read on one of the how to's that I should
sand it after I put on the black... ok. I think
that could have been skipped.  It just
brought out more of the base yellow....

So, a few dozen more glaze coats.  I read somewhere
on the www. that glazes are basically just thinned
out versions of whatever paint you want.  So, since I
didn't have any fancy glazes or anything- that's what I
did.  I just kept thinning out my 2 browns and brushed
them on.  Then I decided to add a little copper metallic
paint. So, I thinned that down and started brushing a
few coats of that one too.  That's what's wet in the upper
left and starting to dry on the upper right...
You can see the copper glaze better here.  I also :-) decided
to add just a hint of a gold metallic paint too. I wanted a
glitzy tortoise shell, I guess... A couple dozen more glaze
coats and:...

This is what I ended up with.  I put 1 coat of polyurethane
on.  I think it looks pretty good for my first faux tortoise
shell.  Now that I have my Annie Sloan how to book I'll
be trying a version of her tips next :-)

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