Workshop Series – Faux painting spindles

Welcome to the Workshop Series, brought to you by

Funky Junk Interiors and Mustard Seed Creations!

This week, Miss Mustard Seed has a special guest that is going to talk about living in a world of whites.  I’m personally going to be in the front row seat on this one!

This week on Funky Junk, we’re diving into a special effect kind of topic. 🙂 

Faux Painting 101

Faux painting is all about fooling Mother Nature. What you’re doing is painting in such a way where you’ll achieve a look that you think is real. The deal with this one? It’s all about the paint.

Faux painting is a VAST topic and is achieved in several ways:

(pic from The Magic Brush’s website)

Adding texture, glazing for depth, gilding, stenciling, stamping and so much more are all techniques used to fool the eye.

And don’t forget about specialty paints on the market! This is one small example of a CNC routered letter sample, painted in a special paint that creates real rust. You can make anything rusty! Or look like metal, or stainless, or gold.  Many of these specialty paints can be found at Michaels or Hobby Lobby.

Here are some gorgeous examples of faux painting.

Faux and antiqued cabinets

dramatic dresser treatment

Awesome tutorial on glazing

amazing wall technique

All pics courtesy of The Magic Brush

As you can see, there’s alot of depth to this topic, so let’s start with a simple tutorial any beginner can try. And who better to show us than a pro faux finisher!

~ Faux finishing metal spindles ~

Welcome, Jennifer, from The Magic Brush!

Hello! I am Jennifer from The Magic Brush Faux Finishing. I have owned my own faux finishing company for 9 years. I am not an artist per se… I am first a wife to one spirited husband, and then a mom to 3 very cool kids and a business owner who just happens to love changing things. Most of my days are spent trying to juggle it all.

What an honor to be asked by Funky Junk Interiors to be a guest blogger today! Thanks Donna! I hope my post will do your blog justice!

I wanted to give Funky Junk’s followers a project that they could do at home themselves. Sometimes people just need to see something once for that “aha” moment to click and empower them to go try it themselves. Let’s get started!

Many of my faux finishing clients are replacing their wooden spindles with iron ones. The cost of iron spindles depends on the number you need, the design and the paint finish you order on them.

One way to save on the cost of iron spindles is to order them in RAW iron and paint them yourself! We changed all of the white spindles in my house to this a few years ago for a couple hundred dollars.

We ordered them in raw iron like this:

And then I got to work faux finishing them! I always use at least 2 metallic paints to faux spindles. These 2 colors are my favorite…. “Antique Bronze” and “Blackened Bronze”. They are both made my Modern Masters and available in most paint stores (Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore dealers). I know there are many metallic paints on the market… but these, in my opinion, are the best!

Donna ~ “Another great brand I’ve personally used is Sophisticated Finishes” found at Michaels. It’s a similar product. These metallics have the most amazing shimmer ever! Very realistic coppers, silvers and golds.”

The secret tool for faux finishing spindles is this (drum rollllllllllll please):

A men’s shaving thingy-ma-jig! They can be found at Walmart, garage sales, eBay, etc. They make pouncing paint on a round surfaces a breeze!

We dip the brush in the paint and pounce it on the spindles. Remember… less is more. Use very little paint on your tool. In fact, dip it in paint and wipe most of it off the tool with a rag first. Too much paint with look “goopy”. And goopy is never good!

I usually work in sections…. doing the entire top half of a spindle with both colors. Feel free to double dip using one tool for both colors. Double dipping is totally allowed in faux finishing!

It took me literally 10 minutes to change my spindles from this:

To this:

Here is a closeup.

Donna – “The glowy warmth has an amazing effect against the wood! Nice choice!”

Donna – “Take note how the lighter colour was used in areas the sunlight would hit. This creates a pop of dimension, especially to objects in darker areas of your home. You can make the sunlight come in wherever you choose. 🙂 “

This is a picture of another spindle job that we did where the clients ordered the iron in black for the base. We did 2 metallic colors over the black as well. Don’t cover up all of your base color… when it shows a little, then you see 3 colors which is really pleasing to the eye!

Even though this tutorial is centered around spindles… you could use this technique on anything small. Picture frames, iron bar stools, plant stands, ceiling medallions, etc. etc.

At the risk of ruining any TV career I may have (ha!)…… I had my son tape me fauxing the spindles in my basement that I had never gotten around to doing. It is a complete and utter disaster of a video. Because I love you all….. I’ll forewarn you of my mistakes:

  • 1) Always clean up the room you are taping in (this was right before Christmas when we were in the middle of our basement remodel).
  • 2) Always put on some makeup before being taped for a video.
  • 3) Always put a really loud, but precious, 2 year old in another room before beginning to tape.
  • 4) Always teach your 8 year old how to say goodbye before he just stops taping.

Bless you for even watching it. It was really a slow moving train wreck… but my first ever video on a blog! Donna you are a peach for airing it! I will take your advice and invest in a tripod and a babysitter before I get videoed again!

Donna – “Hahaha! Great work!”

I hope you enjoyed my spindle tutorial. Be sure to stop by my blog at The Magic Brush to see more painting projects!

Thank-you Jennifer! I’ve long been a stalker of your work. Your blog and website are amazing, not to mention your relaxed humorous ways. You are the real deal. 🙂

Know what I really like about this gal? She writes about failures on her blog too.  I just read this one again and I was gasping for air… (right click/new window the link so you come back! We aren’t done yet!!)

Ode to a Ping Pong Wreath

Woman Beats Chandelier 

How funny are those?!? Her blog is loaded with them. 🙂

So, any faux finishing questions for Jennifer? Product questions? Techniques? Just remember, if you riddle her with questions galore, I’ll have to twist her arm to come back again with another topic. 🙂

~ This post is sponsored by ~

Make Mine Beautiful’s DIY Work Aprons

* Special pricing for this week *

Workshop Series Apron giveaway event – March 31st

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  1. Oh my! I am still giggling! Love the two year old…!!! The faux finishing is fabulous! And so simple…thanks so much for sharing the technique. And what paint to use…whew! A lot of times you don’t know what to buy! So thanks! And thank you Donna for hosting another great interview.

  2. Thanks so much for the tutorial. Never would have thought a shaving brush could be a paintbrush. Loved your video, Jennifer. Your kids were the stars! Seriously, it was very helpful to see how quickly you pounced on the paint in the video. I always try to cover too much when I attempt this sort of thing and am never happy with results. Do you have any tips for glazing walls?

  3. I just love Jennifer! She has done some amazing work in my own house! Should I rip out my bannisters now??? Ha!
    She has tons of inspiring things on her blog!

  4. Ha ha ha!!! Of course the faux painting is good …. but I LOVE “Woman beats chandelier”!! It is just what I needed today. Thanks for the lift and sharing Jennifoer with us today.
    HUGS! Betty 🙂

  5. I love seeing Jennifer’s projects! Her recent chalkboard post is one of my favorites {until her next post, I’m sure}! I would love for my kitchen cabinets to turn out like hers, as well. That is pretty much the look I am going for over my oak cabinets. Very talented lady!

  6. I too am a long time admirer of Jennifer’s. I always find her posts informative with a twist of humor. I have to agree with the shaving brush idea. My faux painter was using one on a job once and after explaining why, I had to get one for myself. It sure does cut down job time on small projects.

    Enjoyed the tutorial. Now I have to go back and find that ping pong wreath!

  7. I will echo everyone’s comments about Jennifer being a favorite!! She is so talented and her blog always inspires me (and usually makes me laugh). I am tempted to go out and buy a shaving brush and paint and get to work on my rod iron spindles!! Actually, I better just call Jen!

  8. Oh my gosh, that’s great! We have black iron rail and spindles on our staircase that remind me of something that belongs outside. They would soooo benefit from a little makeover, but it never even occured to me to paint them. Duh!! Now, I just need my kids to get older so I can remove the oh so attractive sheet of wafer board zip-tied to them as a childproofing effort. *sigh*

  9. Love this. So inspiring and the video was great. I love the way he just stopped taping. lol I have a rod iron spindle lamp that is black and now I know just how to make it over. Thanks so much.

  10. Great post, Donna & Jen! When I first started painting I worked for a wrought iron company and did tons of railings! Ugh!

    Jen’s work is so beautiful. I’m glad she’s guest posting here.

    And Donna, thanks for visiting the other day and hosting a great party for the weekend. I’ll be back!

  11. Wow…Great post! It is amazing how doing something so simple can make such a great difference! I secretly stock Jen also, she is so talented. Her blog is so inspiring and it always makes me giggle. I am so glad you had her as a guest, we hope to have more tips and tutorials from her. Thanks.

  12. Yes, Jen has an amazing website with so many tips of the trade. She’s able to juggle her work with her kids, who are too cute! Love to see Noah’s work with the camera. The kid has talent and personality!

  13. Thank you all for your sweet comments!

    Hey Rose….. my advice for wall glazing is first to make sure you are glazing on a wall that is NOT flat paint. Glaze and flat paint aren’t good together.

    Then, make sure your mix of paint to glaze is 3:1 or 4:1.

    And finally… have a second pair of hands available to help you.

    For beginning glazers… I love the woolie tool ( or sponges dipped in the mix and rubbed on the wall. Feel free to email me with more specific questions.

    Happy glazing!