Wednesday, February 27, 2013

DIY- Faux Tortoise Painting

I need a 10 step program to stop my obsession with all things tortoise. However, until then, I will proceed onward. These dining chairs were about to get the boot because they weigh a gazillion pounds and they needed to be painted a fun color. Until I got the idea to tortoise paint them. Hello? Now they will live at my house.

It's super easy and if you actually put some effort into it, you could create masterpiece. I painted these without my (tortoise) glasses on and in a super hurry because we were using them in a photo shoot the next day but, here's the gist of it.

I started with a chair that was brown and I did not paint a full base coat over it. I did see, on a couple of tutorials, where they painted a base coat of the yellow first.- just FYI, I didn't do that since my chairs had this brown and black rubbed finish to begin with.

I used three acrylic paint colors: Yellow ochre, raw umber, and black. I used Reeves brand from AC Moore

Step 1

I took the yellow ochre acrylic paint and with a natural sponge, 
I sponged it onto the chair in a leopard spot(ish) pattern.


I took the Raw Umber brown and repeated the sponge techinque but tried to over lay on the yellow slightly. Here's the video and just ignore my voice- It was like 11pm folks. :)

Step 3
Take the black paint and blot onto the areas, filling in much of the unpainted areas and "dotting" it onto and around the yellow spots. The key here is to try and clean up the edges around the smeared spots and use the black as a coverage for the unpainted areas. If you cover up too much of the yellow, you can always let it dry and repeat the yellow spots process. Keep in mind that I did all 4 chairs in under an hour, so if you actually took your time and did this in good lighting, you could really knock this project out of the park.

Here is the video of step 3 process...

Once you get the perfect effect. I would recommend sealing it with a high gloss.

Next time I would not blend the yellow as much, making bolder yellow spots. Keeping some bright yellow with spotted black around the edges is the best effect. I would redo some of my yellow spots if I had more time, better lighting and wearing my glasses but, you get the idea. Here is the finished look.

Let me know if you try this and it works. I plan on painting many more pieces!
I realize my photos are not good but the project is super easy and the chairs actually look great.

The real photo shoot of this dining room taken the following day by the fabulous Sarah Winchester are coming soon! Stay tuned...

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