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Decorative Painting: Stippling and Other Finishes 

Stippling is a fine speckled finish created using a special brush called a stippler. After brushing the glaze over the base coat, pounce the stippler lightly over the surface. Avoid creating seams and marks by working quickly and keeping a wet edge. Scratch marks can be avoided by not dragging the strokes. Use an edge stippler to stipple narrow areas where the large stippler won't fit.

You may want to use many different techniques on one piece of furniture. To help divide surfaces into more easily workable areas, mask off sections using medium tack tape like painters or easy release tape.

When detailing, or applying thin lines of color, first prime the detail pen by gently pumping it up and down on a sheet of paper. Use a ruler and detail pen to create metallic or gloss effects.

To create a faux leather, or pigskin look, use a dampened sea sponge and dab the glaze mixture over the base coat then immediately press a crumpled paper towel into the glaze.

Crackling, a time worn effect, can be created by mixing animal hide glue and water. Brush a thin coat of the glue mixture over the base coat and smooth it out. Allow it to set up for 15 to 30 minutes or until it's tacky. With even, continuous strokes, apply the coat of paint. It's important not to overbrush or overwork the paint - that would stop the crackling effect.

Antiquing is often used to create the look of a graceful aging. With a clean rag, wipe the glaze over the surface. Then wipe off the excess.

Pickling is a frosted or whitewashed look applied directly over a base coat. The more pickling finish that's used, the more bleached the piece will appear. As with antiquing, wipe the pickling finish over the surface, then wipe off the excess with a clean rag.

Products used in this How-to


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