Saturday, November 24, 2018

Homespun Things...DIY Faux Tortoiseshell Finish Step Two...

Here is Part Two of my DIY Faux Tortoiseshell finish.
Part One is here.
You can also see more photos of the completed finish in Part One.
So you've finished your base layer of orange and metallic gold, and your first layer of the faux tortoiseshell look, incorporating your other colours.
We are now on to adding the darker layers.
Mix some Burnt Sienna acrylic paint with water. You want a really watery mixture. Trust me on this.
The top left corner of this pic, gives you an idea of the final product to aim for, but that starts with dipping your wet Mop brush into the diluted Burnt Umber, and adding little dashes like this...
Work in small sections remember, and dry with a hairdryer as you go.

As each section partially dries, take one of your flannelette squares, and gently dab the middle of each blob, to lift some of the paint away. You want plenty of that glowing orange and metallic gold base showing through.

Now mix some Raw Sienna with a bit of Metallic Gold, and dilute it 50:50 with water.
Take your Round Gold Taklon R-9250 size 10 brush, wet it, wipe it on the edge of your cup or bowl, and dredge it in the colour.

Use this to start forming translucent cell shapes over your previous work. You can join some of your darker cells with this, and also cover some partially or entirely, but make sure you are leaving plenty of that all important bright base peeking through.

As previously, work in small sections, partially dry with the hair dryer, and use a clean, dry flannelette square to lift paint away from the centre of your cell shapes.

It should be looking like this.
Here below, you can see the layers.
Orange and metallic gold, topped with Burnt Umber 'dashes', and Raw Sienna/Metallic Gold 'cells'.
Now you're going to mix another very watery solution of 50:50 Burnt Umber and Black.
Take this brush...'s just a cheapie from that set of Artists Brushes you get from discount stores. It's a sable one. Mine is in dastardly condition, but you get the gist.
As before, wet it well, wipe it partially dry and dredge in the watery paint mixture.
In this pic, you can actually see how thin the blobs of paint are. I am literally just dredging, dabbing, lifting...
….add some little 'hyphens' here and there...

Grab your tiniest brush of all, or use the same one you just used for the 'hyphens and blobs', dredge in watery paint, and hit it against the handle of a larger brush to create 'splatters'.
Add more tiny 'splatters' by hand if you want to.

Repeat, and repeat again. Keep going. It's all going to be worth it!

Dark 'dashes'. Orange 'cells'.

Watery 'blob's and 'hyphens'.

Splatters and flicks.

Dab some with your flannelette squares in the centre to lift colour away and allow the layers to peek through.

For me, it was only after four days, 3 hours morning and afternoon, that I was rewarded with my completed project!
Here's my tortoiseshell-ed piece of ply, being glued into place by Super Husband.
All done, and ready for the edges of the ply to be coloured black with a felt tip pen...

I added some gold flourishes with an etching stencil and some Gold Leaf Rub 'n' Buff, and Husband added a layer of clear Two Pac and this bubbling happened.
I was beside myself.
But a second coat smoothed it out. You don't have to use Two Pac, a clear gloss will do.
In the end, the custom glass top (about $140), looked more glamourous over it anyway.

And for all the effort I put into the gold flourishes... barely know they're there.
But I know they're there, and that's good enough ;-)

I absolutely adore my Faux Tortoiseshell desk, and I'm so proud of it.
What do you think?

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  1. I thought this is so pretty but what do you use it for. Then whoo that is marvelous! Beautiful job!

    1. Hahaha! I will add a pic of the desk at the top Vickie! Thanks for pointing that out. I'm glad you approve. Mimi xxx

  2. That is a testament to your patience. That table is absolutely a work of art. Beautiful work, well done!!!

    1. Yes much patience involved Stephanie! I didn't know I had it in! Mimi xxx

  3. That looks very classy! A lot of hard work, but worth it in the end and I think that the glass is the perfect finishing touch. XX

  4. Wow you have certainly provided comprehensive instructions on how to create that effect but guess what? I'm not doin' it. Print out chocolate wrappers..yes! That desk was a lot of work my girl and a fantastic effort. I think it looks great. What a lovely little nook you have made there. Really loved seeing the finished project all set up. Janiebabe x

  5. Well done, Mimi. You certainly have worked hard to get it looking so good. No wonder you are pleased.

  6. I just wanted to say that I miss your posts, and I sincerely hope that life is treating you and your loved ones well, Mimi.
    Merry Christmas


I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx