Faux Stone Columns
Although I have a few different techniques I use for replicating a Travertine marble, it has always brought a question to mind of which is it really? A?
There are so many variations I have seen lately that it really should have a category all it’s own, but for the sake of this post, I will call it a “faux stone” being that I am using one of my favorite faux stone products to replicate this particular travertine stone with anyway.
Being that I wanted this post to be more informational than instructional I did some research and found a couple of links that define the substrate which of course the first one being Wikipedia’s explanation of “What is Travertine?”, but the second site I found goes a bit further with the explanation and has written about the care and maintenance of not only Travertine but several other stones and marble and thought it may be useful to some of you.
There were eight columns to receive the faux stone application involving five layers all done with a trowel and a plastic spatula that I discovered to work beautifully in the areas where I needed to have a very small tool to work four of the columns that were against the walls.
As you can see it was a pretty tight area to deal with and what I used instead of a trowel was a couple of those tan spatula’s that are used for Bondo which is a body filler that is used for auto bodywork on vehicles. I had a few of them lying around and thought I would give them a try and to my surprise, they worked beautifully for backfilling the texture I applied in the previous step.
The client wanted the faux stone columns to match the flooring but didn’t want the dark veining. Being that the flooring varied in color value I chose to use an open palette rather than mixing up one or two colors of glaze. I get much more control over my values and translucency using this technique. I also use the same technique on
I used Faux Effects Quartzstone as my medium because I love the translucency for a faux stone. The base coat was their Texture coat off white which was a little on the warm side I but knew I could adjust this as I worked over the textured layer with the different values.
Using an “Open Palette” technique really needs to be practiced before attempting this on an actual job when using the Faux Effects Quartzstone because of its absorbent qualities. I have been working with it for many years and know it’s limits so I would recommend just using a couple of pre-mixed glazes for those who are still learning the importance of color value.
Color temperature was probably the biggest challenge because it changed quite radically in the flooring believe it or not. As some would not have worried so much about it, I for one paid particular attention to it because when you are working with eight columns in one room and a very discerning client you better make sure that all the faux stone columns appear to match with each other but yet match with each section of flooring that you see behind and under them on an individual basis which was another reason why I chose to use an open palette.
After applying the color over the textured layer, the backfill layer was applied the next day giving the glaze a chance to dry. Even though it had overnight to dry it still had a softness to it which is perfect for what was needed to complete the finished faux stone look. You see to achieve the subtle transitions in values and to create the depth I used Faux Effects Faux Creme Clear as my glazing medium. When backfilling with the Quartzstone it actually will bring up some color out of the glaze transitioning the values. (totally awesome) But timing is everything of course and if the glaze goes completely dry before backfilling then you won’t get that transitional look. Does it really matter? Well, I guess it really depends on how exacting you are as an artist and how discerning the client is.
After backfilling the faux stone columns I let them stand for a few days and did a light sanding on them to knock down the roughness but you need to be careful not to over-sand the color that may be lying on top.
You may not notice the subtle differences in each of the faux stone columns, but it’s there. If I were to have used a single tinted glaze on all the faux stone columns then they would have still looked the same but different from the flooring which could have been an issue and in today’s market you don’t want any kind of stuff like that going on.
I hope you can see the quality of this faux stone technique and I should have made a video of it but there were a couple of reasons why I didn’t which is unimportant