Faux Finishes, Sprayed Finishes
Learn to use your existing spray equipment for special painted faux effects.
By Gary Lord
for painting with a spray gun. The windows are covered in clear plastic, as is the fireplace, the door and the stairway banister. The floor is covered with drop cloths, and all other flat horizontal surfaces are also masked off. The outlet covers have been removed and the HVAC vents have been sealed off. The spray equipment you have may vary, but gather it together and make sure it is clean and ready for use.
Instead of adding white clouds to a blue background, blue will be sprayed onto a cloud-colored background. Apply the base color with a paint roller and allow it to dry. This wall was painted with Benjamin Moore 890 latex paint. Use a flat latex paint for the ceiling, but use a satin or eggshell base for walls so they can be cleaned if soiled. A cup gun was used for this demonstration. Thin some Benjamin Moore 769 with water to achieve the consistency of light cream and strain the paint through nylon panty hose to remove any lumps. Fill the spray cup about three-quarters full and fasten it to the gun. Make sure it is securely fastened! For this gun, set the pressure between 30-to-40 psi.
Have a piece of cardboard handy to test your spray. If the paint appears grainy and is hard to spray, as is shown here, the paint is too thick. If the paint is too thin, it will be runny and will bead on the wall. Keep the spray gun at a 90-degree angle to the wall, about six to 12 inches away from the wall.
The first color is the sky color, Benjamin Moore 769. Pull the trigger about halfway and lightly spray to establish the size, shape and location of your clouds. Make the first pass very light so corrections will be simple. By pulling back on the trigger all the way, you can quickly fill in large, blue sky areas. To prevent runs and buildup, start moving the gun before you pull the trigger, and release the trigger before you stop.
Now that your clouds are roughed in, step back and see if you are satisfied with the overall composition. If so, shape your clouds with the same sky blue color and fill in any thin areas. Depending on the look you are going for, this could be a completed sky. Note that diagonal drifts to your sky work better than horizontal or vertical.
To add further shape and definition to your clouds, shade with Benjamin Moore 038 flat latex paint.
Highlight the areas closest to your imaginary light source with Benjamin Moore 370. To finish the mural, load the gun with the base color, Benjamin Moore 890, and lightly mist over the clouds and into the blue. This will soften the clouds and the sky together. Hold the gun back farther from the surface to mist the area.
The completed sprayed sky.