When It’s Time To Say Au Revoir To Orange Peel Textured Walls.

When It’s Time To Say Au Revoir To Orange Peel Textured Walls.

I’m guessing most people wouldn’t choose to have ‘orange peel’ textured walls.  They offer very few redeeming features;  but they’re generally a necessary evil.  Builders favor the textured walls because of the financial benefit: time is money.  Simply put, it’s faster to spray texture on a drywall than applying multiple layers of skim coat for a smooth finish.  And so we just have to live with them, right?

Or not…as the case may be.

My home has orange peel textured walls AND ‘knockdown’ ceilings.  Just one big cellulite cavern, really – with a front door.   I hate it.  With a passion.  And for several years I truly believed that I would have to live with mock-cellulite walls.  Kinda, just suck it up, Diane ‘First World Problem’ Drama Queen.

Then I tried this product, and my world opened up to endless possibilities.  Hallelujah. 

Pure & Original Fresco Lime Paint.

Unquestionably, this is a beautiful product.  I did a tutorial on using it last year, click here   (since that post, the paint  underwent a slight formula change, making it even easier to use).  Now, technically, I could have applied the lime paint over the orange peel (as a way to combat the offensiveness of the texture), but I really wanted it GONE!!   And so  I sat down with a glass of wine and watched this video.  Several times.

And it looked so flipping easy that I just had to try it.  And so I ran out and bought a trowel, and a hawk, and a sanding post and went to work.  And guess what? It turns out it’s pretty easy to skim coat over orange peel.  Who knew? It doesn’t need to be a Level 5 (the smoothest finish possible) because the lime paint will hide a lot of the imperfections. Once you get the hang of using a hand trowel, it’s becomes a little addictive

 (said the actress to the Bishop).  

I’m not proclaiming to be an expert.  At all.  If I walked onto a job site and showed them my troweling prowess, I have no doubt that I would be thrown out and ridiculed mercilessly.  And that’s OK.  Because you don’t have to be an expert to do this.  I found that two coats of the joint compound (with sanding) gave me a smooth enough base to apply the lime paint.   Choice of color?  Has to be Pure & Original Steel Blue.  Hands down, my favorite color.  

When using the Fresco lime paint, you need to treat the walls with P&O’s Wallprim, for adhesion.  I highly encourage you to have P&O tint the Wallprim to the same color you’re going to be using (it will help you no end).  This is a great tutorial video of the product being applied.  

I watched this several times.  With a glass of wine…for I am a creature of habit.

 This is what I ended up with. Basically, if I can do this.  You can do this.

Isn’t it fabulous?  I loved it.  So much variation from one paint color.  This wall was sealed with Dead Flat Eco-Sealer. Yes, a durable dead flat finish.  On a wall.  Praise be!  And I loved it so much I ended up finishing three walls this way. This particular wall is my backdrop when I photograph my finished pieces.  Most of you will recognize it.

And I get a ton of compliments on it.  And I was SO happy with it…  And then I saw this: 

 A huge 28″x 45″ wall stencil called ‘Fortuny’ by Royal Design Studio.  IT IS BEAUTIFUL.   I remember my first introduction to stencils (in the 90’s).  Very basic….a vine of ivy (remember?)  a cluster of roses…..Those days are gone.  Now good wall stencils can mimic intricately detailed wallpaper.  And this is good, because have you seen the price of wallpaper these days?  

Take a look at this Farrow & Ball ‘Silvergate’ wallpaper. Equally beautiful.  But it’s $265 a roll!  For a small room I would need 8 rolls, and I would still need to skimcoat the walls! Not to mention the actual wallpapering.  I wallpapered our first home and almost divorced my husband because of the stress.  With each wall I hated him more.

My marriage can’t handle the stress of gluing paper to walls. 

Stenciling is a good option for me us our family.

But I wanted to try the stencil using the Fresco Lime Paint.  Because…why not?  Given that you get so much variance in color with the lime paint, I decided to use Steel Blue on the Steel Blue base.  

And this is how it turned out.


I absolutely LOVE it! There is so much variance in the color and texture.  On this wall I applied the lime paint quite thickly with a brush.  I wanted a more textured look.  And it really is reminiscent of  aged worn plaster.  Steel Blue on Steel Blue.  It works.  

On my dining room wall I wanted a smoother finish, so I applied the paint with a foam roller and then sanded.  This room doesn’t get great light, so the subtleness really works well.  Same but different.  

In this room it looks like aged worn wallpaper.

(Seriously, my poor stressed camera was about to commit Hari Kari.  Although beautiful, this type of wall is really hard to capture on film.  There is so much variance that my focus feature just about surrendered.  It just non-verbally gave up.  Sometimes I ask too much of it).  Case in point.  The deeper blue is a true representation of the Steel Blue.  The grey at the top of the photos, is just my camera getting it’s revenge on me.  

I love both finishes equally.  Given the huge size of the stencil, the actual process was pretty fast.  And again, because of the variance in texture/color – if you mess up on the stencil it blends in perfectly!

It’s very forgiving.  I like that feature.

My poor little camera was having a difficult time knowing what to focus on!

Look at the photo below.  It’s a great photo, for two reasons.  Firstly, it shows where I purposely dripped water down over the raised detailing (I did this effect in the corner also).  I really wanted the wall to look random, hand finished.  I think that’s probably the reason why I love this product so much: it won’t give you a generic finish.  The second reason I love this photo is that you can see the difference between the orange peel texture and the Fresco lime paint.  This is the walk-through between my dining room and kitchen.  Seriously, how hideous is the orange peel?

It was, at the end of the day, a great experience.  The results speak for themselves.  I really want to do my bedroom walls with this stencil and lime paint.  Think soothing greys….or creams…or….endless possibilities.

Besides, life is too short to embrace orange peel, and it’s too short to be generic.  The challenge is finding something that will take things to a higher level; to be stand-alone in your finishes. I think this product helps you get there.  I, for one, know that life is certainly too short to not challenge yourself.  

Now, where’s your trowel?


{instead catchy ending here}

Diane aka The Paint Factory


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Image Transfer: The Pros, The Cons, And The Other Stuff

Image Transfer: The Pros, The Cons, And The Other Stuff

Tip of the Day:   If you want to turn a quick profit, don’t do image transfer.

Seriously.  Don’t even think about it.  For the time involved in getting a truly ‘authentic’ look (meaning to have the artwork appear to be original to the piece) you would weep a river of  tears if you did the math and found out your hourly pay.  Peanuts, my friends.  Sour, bitter tasting peanuts that almost elicit the gag reflex.  Very unpalatable.

But.  If you want to make a piece of furniture truly unique and stand out from the crowd,  do image transfer.

A good friend asked me why I still focus on this method.  She has a point;  my pieces appeal to such a small niche in the market that often it can take months and months to find a buyer.  My honest answer was ‘ It’s relaxing to me’.   I really  enjoy doing it.  I can spend hours upon hours  searching for the right image.  Magical.    And that ~ the simple JOY factor ~ is priceless.  So I spend my time doing image transfers, making peanuts very little money.  Firmly living in the belief that my life resembles a Shakespearean tragedy.

(such a melodramatic drama queen, am I).

So, what is image transfer?  Using the most simplistic example, think of it as a child’s fake tattoo.  tattoo

Image face down, and rub away at the paper backing.   All that’s left is the image on the surface.   Easy, right?

I’m not sure what my first image transfer was (possibly this small coffee table).  TopI used a vintage black and white photograph of downtown Portland.  The rust patina is achieved by using Modern Masters Reactive Iron paint and patina.   This was a small table, and therefore relatively easy to transfer.  My advice to you: Start small.   Get a feel of removing the paper before you go for a big image.  There’s nothing worse than having your confidence blown by taking on a project that’s too overwhelming.  Don’t do that to yourself.

Before I started playing with image Transfer, I dabbled with decoupage.   By ‘dabbling’ I mean  I’ve done two pieces using small sections of decoupage.  No big whoop de woo.

DrawerDecoupage is the much easier, faster version of image transfer.  Versailles decoupage dresserWith decoupage, you’re gluing an image directly to the piece of furniture.   And there are lots of adhesives to choose from.  Mod Podge is probably the most commonly used one.

With decoupage:  Apply a thin coat of adhesive on the piece of furniture, place the image face side up, smooth out any air bubbles, trim and then seal with several thin coats of adhesive.

The pros:  Easy Application. Inexpensive adhesive can be used.  Any size image can work (eg.  Posters).  Excellent chance that full image will be transferred to the piece.

The Cons:  While it’s a simple process to do, the biggest downfall is that you have to deal with the thickness of the image.  You can’t ‘remove’ the backing, and so the image can appear ‘bulky’.  You also have to deal with trying to blend in the edges of the paper to the rest of the surface.  It might not seem to be a big con, but if you’re tactile (like me) it bugged the heebeegeebees out of me.  I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing this on a big piece of furniture.

I quickly realized that I hated disliked decoupage.

I did try to adapt the decoupage process, by using an engineering print.   Same concept, except with engineering prints you can get your image copied to ANY size – like HUGE – for pennies.  The cons to this method are that the image is grainy (which I actually like), but the paper is very thin and applying a big image to a piece of furniture without going crazy is hard impossible.  It really is a two person job, and because the paper is so fine there’s no wiggle room to readjust the image.  If instant commitment isn’t your thing, you’d be wise to skip this method.


You have no idea how crazed I was after doing this engineering print  (It actually lives in Salem, Oregon now).  Good riddance to it, I say.

So, I quickly moved on to image transfer.  And that’s when I feel in love.  I’m not a natural painter.  I can’t freehand paint.  I leave that to the real artists.  I glue stuff on pieces.

But, I like to think I’m very good at it.  And still learning, thankfully.

The Pros: Because you remove the backing pulp, you don’t have to contend with the ‘edge’ problem.  You can retouch the image with paints to add depth, interest to the piece.  The only material that is being transferred is the image itself, so it leans itself to a more organic end product.

The Cons:  The image has to be reprinted with a laser printer, otherwise you lose some of the clarity of the image.  Laser printers are limited in size. The biggest print you can get is 11″x 17″.   Therefore, if you’re working on a big image, you have to piece the small tiles/blocks together.You have to work with the image ‘facedown’, so placement is paramount.  The last thing you want  (after spending hours removing the pulp) is to discover that the subjects face lies midway between two drawers.  It’s incredibly time-consuming and messy.  You usually end up losing some degree of the printed image (regardless of how careful you are), which will require you to handpaint over those areas (another part that I especially love).

But.  I love doing it.  All of it.

I’ve tried three ‘image transfer’ mediums.

CloseupThe Bath of Psyche (1890) was one of my first transfers using Mod Podge.  It’s ‘Cheap as Chips’ and readily available at most craft stores.  With Mod Podge you don’t need to have the image laser printed.  But it shows.   It worked, but it just wasn’t a clean and crisp transfer.   I love the image itself, but I hated the execution of it.  (I ended up painting over this).  Way to go, Diane (you tragic figure, you).Kathleen watermark

With  The Crystal Ball (1902) I experimented with Annie Sloan Decoupage glue.  I did go the extra step and  laser printed the image.  Much crisper, but I did lose some of the image that needed to be filled in later (this I believe is just the nature of the beast).  ASCP decoupage glue worked, but it’s expensive  and I wasn’t in love with the texture of the glue (every time I looked at the glue I was cruelly reminded of my cellulose stricken thighs. No one wants that vision while working). The Highboy took an entire jar of ASCP decoupage glue ($22.5o for a 125ml jar).  Golly Jeepers!

What I use all the time (what I’m comfortable using) is Artisan Enhancements Transfer Gel.  I’ve been using it for almost three years now.    It’s usually around the $32 mark for a quart size can.  And it lasts a long time! It can also be used as a decoupage medium.

I strongly encourage you to try out different products.   One shoe doesn’t necessarily fit all.  Don’t follow the hype, try stuff yourself.  Get a feel for what feels right for you.  This product is what I choose to use.

Here are a few examples of my pieces using Artisan Enhancements.

PicMonkey Collage2



PicMonkey Collage3


PicMonkey Collage1

I mentioned to  Artisan Enhancements that I was writing a post on decoupage/image transfer and they very nicely offered to send a one quart can of Transfer Gel to someone from my Facebook page!  Yeah!

So hop over to my page, Like it, and leave a comment.  I’ll pick a name from a hat in the New Year and you can try it out!!

And with that, I’ll say Happy New Year lovely people!  Looking forward to enjoying a colorful 2016 with you!


{insert catchy ending phrase here}


Diane aka The Paint Factory


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EFex Moldings Giveaway!

One of the challenges of having a small business is getting your name known.  I think we all recognize that brand recognition is pretty crucial to the growth of a business.  Essentially, that’s why companies pay big money for marketing.  But what do you do when you’re a small ‘run-from-home’ type of business; the kind of business that doesn’t have the financial means to do a big advertising campaign?  (oh, I wish there was a magic solution).

I, personally, rely heavily on personal recommendations, repeat clientele, and the magic of social media. Facebook has been very good for my business; it’s a forum that I feel pretty confident with.  And this little website of mine, is beginning to attract some traffic.

This morning (in my endless endeavor to do anything but clean)I found myself organizing some of my paperwork. And, low and behold,  I found a gift certificate from last year that I have yet to use.  It’s from Efex Moldings, for $80 worth of flexible moldings!!

I used Efex Moldings  on my Paolina piece, and they are incredibly easy to use. And then I had an idea: How would it sound if I asked people to share a particular blog post on their social media (as a way of me trying to reach a new audience), tell me where they shared it  on my Facebook page and I, in turn, would do a Giveaway for the full $80 certificate?  Share the love, kinda deal.  Because it’s a code that you use at checkout, you have the option of ordering EXACTLY what you want and need. They have a ton of different style moldings to choose from!

So, a very low-key giveaway, running for a week.  At the end of the week, I would randomly pick a winner and give them my gift certificate code.  I think it could be a win-win for everyone.

The Giveaway starts today and runs through until next Friday.  

Share this post: (it could be Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter).


And then comment on my business Facebook page, telling me where you shared it: (it’s the ‘sticky’ post at the top of my page).  I need to do this as a way of collecting your names for the drawing.


Thank you all for participating!


{insert catchy ending phrase here}

Diane aka The Paint Factory


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