Sign & Digital Graphics

May '18

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • May 2018 • 31 Royal Robbins: The artwork for this project was supplied with a natural wood background rendered in Photoshop. That's great, but what type of wood should we then knock on? The design called for a light-colored distressed wood. The problem is that the only exterior light-colored wood in common use, is what, maybe white oak? And even on such an expensive heavy wood, the color would change dramatically over time, so what to do? I opted to paint a light-colored faux wood grain finish directly onto marine Hydrotek. The advantage of doing a faux, or "imaginative stain" on real or engineered wood is that there is some wood grain texture to reveal, and that helps the affect. It also looks more natural than MDO when you hit it with chains and wire brushes because splinters are present in the material. I cut the plywood into strips and gave them a 1/8" routed edge and then painted each board individually and set them into a steel frame. Royal Robbins: Anytime you can add real texture like actual wood grain or physical board seams to a faux painting project, it will be much more convincing. Faux Terra Cotta: The truth wasn't pretty. Some of this store- front tile might not have looked all that great on day one and was very unlikely to clean up well. Step 1: Apply tinted latex bonding primer to the exposed ceramic tile and the sad black oil enamel. Step 2: Paint grout with pearl Modern Masters metallic paint. Step 3: Spritz grout lines with spray bottle filled with watery dark brown wash to dull and age them to mimic old masonry. Step 4: Butter up each tile with slow dry- ing Modern Masters tintable glaze. Step 5: Paint random "leopard spots" with two colors of latex doctored with more glaze and retarder. Step 6: Feather and blend the two colors together with a brush until softly flowing together. Faux Tile: The half-scraped-off tile work and outdated gold leaf window. Starting to "leopard spot" the two colors of glaze. After careful blending, the "terra cotta" look starts to emerge. The trick is to "never give up on it!" No matter how stupid it looks at first, just keep blending until the two colors look indistinguishable. Later I did two glaze colors for each of the six different "candy" tiles so they would match the other side. (It's another story, but I also created an unusual window faux background by brushing MM Gold Rush metallic paint onto enamel-receptive vinyl in my shop and then adhered it to the inside of the glass.)

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