Ever wonder how you can take simple architectural element and turn it into a piece that resembles weathered plaster? It's easier than you think. Personally, I love the weathered-plaster look, but not the price. I have a lighting project I am working on and I needed a ceiling medallion to cover up a gaping hole that will be left behind from an really cheap, ugly, gold, Reagan-era bubble light. 1980s.. I know you called...and you can have your light back.
For $6.87 (yes, exactly) we purchased this plastic ceiling medallion, but it needs a little help and age. Like fine wine, somethings do get better with age ;) There are many techniques to age a piece, but this one is simple and effective.
I coated it first with gesso. What's gesso(jesso)? It's primer for artists so the paint sticks to the canvas surface. The great thing about gesso is that unlike regular silky smooth latex primer, it has a rough texture when painted. I love it for the underlying texture because 200 years ago, they didn't have acrylic primer, but they did have gesso.
After the primer dries, paint mixture of Burnt Umber and Spice Brown. A little of my primer is not quite dry and is mixed in a bit, but what can I say, I am really impatient. If you want to add some crackle, you can do that step between the dark coat and top coat (we'll go into crackle another day.).
After your "dark" coat is dry; rub a candle over all of the raised areas, this will help you later with paint removal (Oops! I almost forgot to take this picture!).
Paint your top coat.
Let it dry. And dry... and dry.... why is this taking so long?
After it's FINALLY dry,get the surface slightly wet with a damp paper towel, and then rub lightly all over with sand paper or a sanding block to remove the top layer. Use just enough pressure to take of a layer to two. If you push too hard, you'll go down to the plastic.
When your sanding is done and you've dusted the piece off, go over it with a brown glaze.
Now...your element is ready to go and you can "love" your new faux plaster piece!