A couple of years ago, my expertise was called on by my mom to do something rather dramatic in the den for her. Dad, finally gave up his den area, because he spent more time in his basement workshop. Mom, on the other hand, needed an office space to work in for her newest venture.
I had done some painting jobs and even tackled a couple of faux projects with some success. I actually enjoyed decorative painting a lot more than straight painting jobs, because it afforded me more of a creative outlet.
What I wanted to try and do, was something I had seen on a cable TV show. The technique was called “Smooshing”.
The term sounds like a couple of teens learning how to kiss, but the actual faux technique will produce better results. The technique looked easy enough to do, but having never done this Smooshing technique before, I wanted to play with it.
Faux painting, or decorative painting can be a lot of fun. A lot of people will shy away from doing decorative painting projects, because many of these projects involve specific steps that need to be taken. If you want a faux project to work out right, then you do need to pay attention to some details. Otherwise, it’s just a lot of fun!
Faux painting is not rocket science at all. I am still surprised that a lot of professional painters will not take on a faux painting project, if a customer requests this.
I am not an expert with faux painting. I’m just crazy enough to like the challenge and can’t wait to see what I come up with. Almost like an amateur chef, playing around with food recipes.
I showed my mother a picture of a smoosh, then told her that this is what I had in mind. She hated the color, of course. I told her that it was the technique, not the color, she should be concerned with. Well, mom loved the technique. A good smoosh, adds a depth of illusion, almost like crushed suede.
Mom picked out the two colors that I would be working with. Both colors were in the same family group. One color being much lighter, than the other. A pastel, then a deeper midtone to glaze over the lighter color, with the smoosh.
I went to the family paint store to get my supplies. I needed some tips from Dave, the resident expert. We both agreed that latex paint would be the best route. I bought a gallon of the background color, then one quart of the midtone color, and a quart of glaze.
In both cases, I opted for a semi-gloss finish. You never want to glaze over a flat finish. This will create too much drag and look blotched. A semi-gloss finish will give me a smoother, working background, without the glaze being sucked into the wall color.
Glazing liquid is very popular with faux painting. In fact, the only reason it’s made at all, is for faux painting. Think of a can of paint, without any color. This would be glazing liquid. The glazing material has everything that is added to paint, except the color.
When paint is manufactured, most of the properties of it are not the color itself, but the vehicle and everything else that makes paint stick, dry evenly, sustain and endure on your walls for years.
When mixing paint or color to the glaze, you have control over how opaque, or how transparent the glaze will be; when you apply it over a solid color. This is how many of the different faux finishes are achieved.
For the smoosh project, I wanted to control just how much of a ratio of the paint I wanted to ad to the glaze to get the effect that I was looking for.
I painted a few small squares of cardboard with the base color, then let this dry. Afterward, I mixed in about a quarter of the midtone paint to the glaze, stirred it up, then took a piece of Saranwrap, put some glaze to it, then I smooshed it into one of the painted squares. I let this dry, took a look, then added a little bit more paint, then smooshed again on another painted square. I stopped after the second painted square. This was just the right ratio of a blend that I wanted for the smoosh on my mom’s new office space.
The next day, I prepped the walls of the old den, then applied two solid coats of the base color on all walls.. The next day, I unfolded four cheap plastic drop cloths I bought and rolled out the glaze to one wall, quickly. I then applied one drop cloth on that wall and began to put this into place over the entire wall. After this was firmly in place, I smooshed the wall. This involved moving the drop cloth around just a little bit over the whole wall. After this, I carefully grabbed the top corner of the drop cloth, then peeled it carefully away from the wall, until it was entirely removed.
Tada! The first wall looked great, so I repeated my steps to the other three walls, cleaned up, let it all dry, then helped my mom move into her new office two days later. She loved the final smoosh and now thinks I am some kind of faux genius.
Smooshing is almost a no-brainer, in the world of faux finishes. It takes little time to actually accomplish, and creates very dramatic results. Anyone can take on a smoosh project. Like any other faux project, just ensure that you have everything set up, before you do it.