How To Get the Look – Faux Pietre Dure
Our inspiration for this project was this beautiful console with an inlaid marble top which would eventually be used for a sink. The client did choose a glass vessel so that you can still appreciate the marble.
Our before shot.
This faux pietre dure technique was developed by Jne Medellin. As a member of the Virginia Chapter of the Capital Area Decorative Artisans I took a class given by Jne demonstrating her technique of using Modellos with Behr venetian plaster and tinted waxes to achieve the look of inlaid stone. I showed my class sample board to my client and she was sold on the technique. The design was to do black venetian plaster on the ceiling. The walls above the chair rail (which we added) were matched to the marble floor and the vanity was duplicated in its entirety on four areas with the central vase feature only on either side of the entrance door and the vanity itself.
I did sketches of the design and elevations to scale to determine the borders and placement of the designs to accommodate an unsymmetrical layout and computer generated elevations.
Not perfect but a good enough visual for my client and us. The final drawings were done by Modello using dimensioned photos of the actual vanity top. Initially I ordered only one set of the positive and negative Modellos for a sample panel to make sure that the color palette matched the vanity, the design was scaled correctly and to discover any other glitches.
Jne with our completed sample. We discovered that we needed more flowers in the center of the bouquet and more berries. We changed the urn details, colors and placement of some of the leaves for easier application of the venetian plaster.
Firenze Fine Marmorino used on the ceiling, walls above the chair rail and most of the design elements. Firenze custom mixed the marmorino to the colors I had selected using Benjamin Moore colors for my palette and we also chose the colors in the flowers and leaves using their color samples.
Era Veneciano with Ebano Powder used for the gold borders. The Ebano Powder gave us black marble stones we needed to duplicate the gold outside edge.
Cera Deco – Neutral Wax
Step 1. Prepped the walls and ceiling with Novaprimer.
Step 2. Applied the negative Modello and troweled black venetian plaster. We waxed the plaster before removing the negative modello.
The white area is the Modello. For the borders we used tape. The ceiling and walls were completed before the panels.
Jne working on the positive modello. It took 3 of us 12 long days to complete this project. As you can see we had to do some additional taping because of the delicate nature of the design.
Rebecca Hotep working on the positive modello.
The final step was to use our tinted waxes to add some veining and stone like qualities to all the details. Special thanks to Jne and Rebecca for their excellent work on this work of art.