I got asked a lot how I painted a large Union Jack patterned desk a week or so ago so…
Here I’ll show you step by step how I transformed a simple little desk into a Union Jack desk.
Step 1 – find a suitable piece of furniture, make sure it’s clean, bear in mind that a flag is generally twice as wide as it is tall – but you can cheat a bit I guess
I’ve started off masking off the area I want the flag to be and painted it Old White, the rest of the desk I’ve painted in Graphite. Two coats of each. I’ve left a little gap in-between, you’ll see what that’s for later on.
Using the guide at the top of this post I masked out the areas where I would use Emperor’s Silk for the Red, Aubusson Blue for, well… the Blue. This is the trickiest bit, if you’re good at mental arithmetic I guess that would help. I use plain old masking tape but I do use a scalpel for any cutting – throwback to my graphic designer days! try not to press the tape down too hard, but then don’t make it too flimsy. It’s a fine line between pulling off paint and the tape just coming off!
Here’s the Emperor’s Silk down, I like mine quite textured but I guess you could paint it in a smooth style if you like. I brush away from the masking tape so as to avoid any paint bleeding under the tape.
I’ve applied the Aubusson in the same manner, leave each layer to dry in between.
Ah, the moment of truth. Carefully, and I mean carefully, peel off all your masking tape. Mine pulled up quite a bit of paint but I just touched up those area with an artists brush. I like my pieces looking a little rough. I don’t like perfect!
This is when I used some Copper Leaf to fill in the gap around the flag. Again I used masking tape and applied Gold Size in the strip where I wanted the Copper to stick. When the Size was ready ( that’s when it turns clear after a few minutes ) I used the scalpel to score a line next to the masking tape, and then carefully peeled the masking tape off – leaving a fairly straight border of size. Then I used a dry brush to put down the Copper Leaf. Brush away any extra bits and retouch as necessary.
This is where I think it comes to life, because I’ve applied my paint in a textured manner it shows off all those imperfections and brush strokes when you apply Dark Wax. Always use the Dark Wax in conjunction with the Clear Wax for a job like this. Although having said that, I did use just Dark Wax over the Graphite body – hey, there’s always exceptions to the rules.
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