I’ve been playing with ‘Fresco‘ on ‘smalls’ for a few months now. What? You haven’t heard of Fresco? Well aren’t you in for a treat!
Fresco is Fusion Mineral Paint’s texturising powder additive. It does everything except your dishes…well almost.
Add a little bit of Fresco powder to your paint and you’ll get ….well texture. It will thicken your paint and help highlight your strokes etc. Perfect if you’re wanting a heavier finish that’s not totally flat. Add a little more powder and you can achieve little ridges and raised areas that can be highlighted with dry brushing or decorative waxes. Add a LOT and you can create the most wonderful sea swept, age old crustiness you can imagine! Place your super thick freshly painted Fresco surface out in the hot sun (or hit it with a heat gun) and watch cracks appear at random and little bits of crazing.You can use an art trowel to get it on extra thickly. Use two colours and the results are limitless!
I think Fresco is the most exciting paint product we’ve seen in 2017 so far!
Here are some signs I made using a medium amount of Fresco in my first layer of paint.
And a crusty bottle! See all the delicious cracks?A crusty ‘sea swept’ terracotta pot after the Fresco treatment….So after playing with the Fresco on small things like these, I decided it was time to try it all out on a full sized piece.
I had this Queen Anne sideboard in my stash and had intended to paint it a pretty white, but where’s the challenge in that? It SO needed to be Frescoed!
The big spanse of ‘nothingness’ on the doors was just screaming out for something bold, so I chose to create a raised stencil on each door front and each of the drawer fronts. Fusion’s Sandstone Texture is the perfect medium for raised stencils. It’s thick enough to hold it’s form and yet spreads easily.
I laid down my stencil and lightly spread the Sandstone Texture over it. You can make your stencil as shallow or as deep as you wish but just remember that the thicker the stencil, the longer it will take to dry. I didn’t do mine very thick and it was a lovely sunny day so it was dry within a couple of hours. It was about this time that I realised I was so intent on what I was doing that I neglected to take a photo!
This piece was pretty shiny so I sanded it all over with 180 sand paper and gave it two coats of Zinsser Bullseye Clear Shellac as I was pretty sure it was going to be a bleeder (most Queen Anne furniture is). My first coat of paint was Fusion ‘Champlain‘….one of my favourite Fusion neutrals and I mixed my Fresco in with this layer. I painted right over my dry raised stencils.
Once that coat was dry I painted a coat of Fusion ‘Algonquin‘ (another favourite). One of the fab things about Fresco is that it dries super hard. So when it’s time to sand…wet and dry sandpaper is the go. 240 grit wet and dry sandpaper to be exact.
You need to have a bowl of water to keep rinsing and dipping your sandpaper into and have a dry cloth in the other hand. Sand a little…wipe dry…sand a little…wipe dry. Wiping dry regularly during your wet sanding allows you to see how much you’ve sanded off. The water re-emulsifies the paint to a degree which makes it hard to see just how much has been remover. Sand a little…wipe dry. This is the part where the magic happens! I loved the results! What do you think? And because Fusion has a built in top coat……there was no need to wax or poly the paint work. Done!
I wanted to leave the top wood but I didn’t like the orange so I sanded the top back to bare wood….one coat of paint stripper then my speed file did the rest. Do you have a Speed File? Honestly it’s the best piece of equipment I’ve acquired this year…..a birthday gift from my daughter (who needs perfume anyway….!). It’s just like a loooong sanding block but it sands FAST. The sanding sheets just clip in at each end and they come in a couple of sizes. That’s the sideboard top there all sanded and ready to stain. I used Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in the colour ‘Curio‘ to stain the top. Milk Paint makes a fantastic stain. Just mix 1 part Milk Paint to 3 parts water and away you go! Paint on….wipe back. Two coats just ten minutes apart gave me a lovely deep walnut top that I later finished with a couple of coats of polyurethane to seal and protect the finish.Lovely hey!
I’ll definitely be using Fresco on a big piece again very soon, maybe next time with blues and greens for a true beachy look. I really enjoyed working with it!
Try it….I guarantee you’ll be smitten!
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