More Pages

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Faux Painting a Water Texture

On the Ceiling?  

Well, yes...on the ceiling!  I mean Steampunk is unconventional, right?  So why not?  

My treatment for this room will overall be somewhat unconventional, I guess!  The "theme" of the room is intended to give the subtle impression that one might be underwater.  

Hence, the water texture on the ceiling.  See there IS a thought or two in my is not ENTIRELY empty!

First, I must reveal that I am not "the painter" in the family.  My wife is an excellent painter, and can bring about pure magic when she wants to.  So I gave her the task of helping me figure out the ceiling.  I knew I wanted a water texture...but I  had no idea how to go about it.  

So I left a picture of the general feeling of what I wanted and waltzed off to work and forgot about it all. Here is the picture I provided. 

I came home to several options that she created.  There were actually 5 or 6 options!  How is that for delivering!  I just love having such a useful wife around.  (and I kind of like her a lot too!)

I chose one that I particularly liked as the beginning point.   Here is a picture of the one I liked best. 

This was a fun project!  All loosey goosey...and for me that is an unusual experience.  I personally don't think I am uptight, but there are those who have intimated such a thing!  

I will tell you that letting down and "playing" is NOT an easy task for me...perhaps that is why this hobby is such a great fit for me. 

At any rate, I had a lot of fun.  I'll lay down the process somewhat, though I forgot (of course!) to take a picture or two of parts of the process.  So you'll have to fill in gaps here and there!

The process started with a solid coat of turquoise green...a mixture between equal parts of white, and a Delta Ceramcoat acrylic called 'Christmas Green'. It turned out to be the exact color I was hoping for.  I wanted to come to a related color to the color of the paper I plan to convert into a floor. (pictured at the end of the post!)

I immediately followed that (after listening to the instructions from the lovely Vana White) with an "incomplete" coat of the same color with additional white acrylic added. 

This gave me a varied base coat that goes a long way toward creating the water look by itself. 

The next step was to lay out some new white paint, and add an extender to it.  I used the Floating Medium from Folk Art.

This is where I forgot to take pictures....SORRY!  But I think I can explain using the photo of the final version.

To create the variation, I used white paint and a very thin brush...finer than a pencil point.  I dipped the end of the brush in the white paint and drew lines and other patterns on the ceiling base color.  For the lines, the technique is to lightly hold the brush against the "canvas" and to twist the brush in your hands, not trying to control the outcome.  This was the loosey goosey part!  I had to let down and let it all go.  My tendency is to try and "order" create a pattern...but while SOME photos of water textures do demonstrate a pattern, that pattern is a very fluid pattern, and frankly, beyond MY ken!

So with gay abandon, I painted thin lines, big white spots, long lines, short lines, fat blobs, you name it...I did it.   The SECRET (as graciously shared by my beautiful wife) is the Floating Medium!  Once I finished playing with paint, (and at various times while painting) I used a CLEAN brush with Floating Medium (no paint in it) to go over the lines, blobs, et. al. here and there.  This blurred the lines to create a wonderful, truly water like effect!  

I finished up, and as I am prone to do, walked just far enough away to force myself to see things differently (i.e. not lines of paint, but a WATER TEXTURE).  :0)    I loved it!  I squealed, clapped and did the dance of joy!...(OK, minor exaggeration that...but I was happy!) 

Thanks to my wife, and her wonderful instructions, my Steampunk Chateau occupants will have a glorious textured ceiling...water texture that is!  May those tiny occupants enjoy that wonderful ceiling as much as I do! 

Hope the process (even without the pictures...duh!) was useful to see!

Until next time!

Doug S


  1. Hello Doug,
    I love it! the water effect is beautiful and very convincing. I love the idea of water on the reminds me of a Madonna video for a song called Love Profusion where the sky and sea get switched around towards the end of the video.
    This will be an AMAZING room.
    Big hug,

    1. Hi Giac,

      I think I watched one too many Disney movies (reference "The Little Mermaid...Hey, stop laughing! My kids were - sort of - young when I watched it!) with underwater kingdoms....and you know...the Jules Verne reference - you always get found out eventually. It sort of escapes somewhere along the line, whether you want it to or not! :0)

      I hope the room will be what I want it to become...we shall see!

      Thanks Giac!


  2. Hi Doug,
    Like Giac, I get a buzz when I see a new post from you! This ceiling is something else. The fact that you are building a steampunk theme chateau, gives you free reign to really go for it :) Your imagination can take over and it will all fit....if that sounds right. I'm still drooling over the 'Til next time.
    All the best

    1. Hey Vivian! We must have cross posted...almost like meeting you in person! lol I refreshed after answering Giac, and there you were!

      I love that you are enjoying my (er-hmmm LITTLE) project! You are so right. There are pros and cons to a Steampunk theme...the PRO is that you get to do about anything you want...the CON is that you HAVE to do everything...grin... Not all that many ready made Steampunk minis out there..! That is OK though, since I love learning...this will be that kind of project...where I will never stop having to learn more!

      Glad you like the floor! I am still plugging along on that...Made some progress, but THAT is not something you do when you are all ragged out...which I have been! So it moves slowly!

      "Talk" to you soon! :0)



Welcome to the blog! I appreciate your visit, and welcome your comments!