Donnalynne Lefever is the owner of Lefever Designs and has been in business now for more than 10 years in which she creates faux finishes, murals, tromp l'oiel and artwork of any kind in homes and businesses on walls, floors, ceilings, furniture,etc. mostly in the Metropolitan Washington DC area. She graduated college with a theater degree at the University of Maryland and moved to NYC shortly afterwards to make costumes for Broadway. Upon returning home to Northern Virginia, she met a designer who introduced her to her current field and has been painting ever since. Starting in 1990 she worked with that designer for 3 years, then with a business specializing in faux finishes, murals and tromp l'oiel for an additional 3 years before branching out into her own business. She's taken faux finish classes in the materials she currently works with and numerous art classes as well. One of her favorite materials to work with is leafing; gold, silver or copper. This year, summer 2007, one of her clients/designer had her home featured in the magazine, Washington Spaces, in which a few of the rooms Donnalynne worked on are photographed. She mostly works with designers and by word of mouth which keeps her quite busy. When not creating for others, she creates her own artwork on canvas, clay or other various things. She belongs to the local art organizations of Del Ray Artisans in Alexandria, Virginia and Springfield Art Guild in Virginia in which she is currently co-president.
Painting - How to Strie or Drag Glaze
Professional painter Donnalynne Lefever discusses faux painting and demonstrates how to strie or drag a glaze.
Hi, I am Donnalynne Lefever and now we are going to continue with our first technique actually, doing it on the sample board, it is Dragging and Stri. It is zigzag same thing, it is just it is called two different names. First thing that I recommend, I tell my designers to get their painters to do this and if I know I have the time I try to get this to the painters that do the base painting to do this is if you can paint it vertically on the wall everything. This finish is one of the more difficult finishes to do so, it actually will show up more imperfections if it is not done. Also, hand painting it vertically on the wall, going this direction everything helps to alleviate the little bumps from old paint where the glaze would actually collect into it which just makes it look like a better finish and cleaner finish. It is easy to do when you have the sample boards to get a nice straight finish, but it is much harder when you are doing it on a wall. Anyway, what we are going to do is I have already got my glaze mixture started, what you normally do when you are going to do this is you go ahead and you start to brush the glaze that you want on to your board.
I use the crappy brushes that you can get at most hardware stores. They just really work well. I tend to use only bristle brushes. I don't like synthetic brushes whatsoever and as you are going to go as doing on the wall, you take your brush and you pull straight down. This is how you will do it on the wall till your poster down. You will see how it gets thicker here. You flip your brush and as you flip your brush if it still too dark or gets darker, then what you do is you dip it in water a little bit and then you wipe it off and then that way it helps you to get a more consistent look.
You can make it as dark or as light as you want by going over it as much as you want. Now, this is a typical dragging brush which is old so the bristles are starting to die. This is a newer one but it's also thicker. So, it tends to read a little bit different than this particular one. This is a really old one that has all the bristles have totally gone, gone on it. Whatever, I want to show you with this is since it is dragging, it actually works as well. So, don't actually throw away your old brushes because this creates a whole different kind of look. As you work it in, you can get a much more scratchy look and I just remembered, you can also and I have in the past but not very frequently, done a Stri with steel wool. Steel wool can - a much more course steel wool can also give you a similar look to what this particular one is and this newer brush, I will show you as well, has, that is a little bit darker. So, you can play around with it. If you find that you are not liking the glaze as it is reading, you can add more glaze to your color so that it actually thins it out and makes it even more more thin. So, it would be like that. These samples here have been done to a specific consistency. The only one I have, let me show you, this one is where a light color is over a dark color. Most people don't prefer this choice. They prefer the richness of a darker color over a lighter but this is an option. So, that if your color is too dark or you want to try something different, that one works just well.
So, I think at this point you just want to keep the edges going and you want to, if you do feel you have a problem when you are actually going to the walls and doing one section, going to one wall to the next, you can cheat and tape off a corner and do the entire wall before flipping to go to the next one. I also tend to work since I am right-handed on a ladder from left to right so that the ladder is always out of my way when I need to go down to Stri. In this space, I can reach ceiling to floor but in the large houses if it's a ten foot ceiling I can't do that. So, you have to slowly walk yourself down the ladder. It isn't something you want to do in a big space to start with. I recommended it in a small one and then when you have small or harder spots try a small, little brush that can replicate as well. So, you put the glaze on and you will pull down. So, when it's over doorway or right next to your doorway and your space is like this big and you can barely get your brush in, these little crappy brushes can fake it enough to make it look right and I think that pretty much covers Stri.