Sunday, March 2, 2014

Furniture Appliques and Moldings

Have you seen these gorgeous mirrors and
 paneled walls and admired them
wishing you too had such detailed millwork in your home?
                                        We decided to do a project using Efex latex appliques in our home
on our plain jane living room fireplace mantle.
 "Before" photo of the  mantle in my living room.
The "after" photo showing the finished results.
Justin and Colin were busy running the shop while I stayed home to 
create a new look for the mantle using the new Efex moldings.
It couldn't have been easier!
 I am so impressed with the quality and the results,
and the fact that it is super easy to use.
If you can trace a shape, and cut with a razor or scissors, you can do this.
The entire project took one hour the first day to apply the moldings
and then a half hour the following day to paint.
I designed the look using three styles of moldings:
(2) of the Floral strip # 325, (3) of the swags #234 
and (4) of the Floral and Leaf drops.

The latex moldings are applied using a coating of contact cement to both
the backside surface of the molding as well as the area you plan to stick it on.
 I wanted a classical french look, so I arranged some 
of the appliques in the fashion I wanted for the mantel. 
I measured and made sure they would work, and since 
there are different sizes of swags and drops
 you can easily find something that works.  
Hold up the moldings and trace around the pieces one at a time.
Then I traced with a pencil around the moldings
 as I held them against the mantle.
You will paint the contact cement in this area, 
and when all finished you will paint over the 
moldings so the pencil marks and any extra cement will disappear.
It doesn't have to be perfect, just as a guide for 
you to know where to stick your moldings.
 Paint inside the traced areas with a throw away 
chip brush and the contact cement. I used a fairly light coating,
 so it wasn't dripping or running. 
Paint the backs of the appliques.  
Spread out a drop cloth and paint over that.
Wear gloves as its very sticky.  
Clean up is with mineral spirits.  This contact cement
is pretty smelly stuff, fair warning.
So bear that in mind, get some ventilation or do small bits at a time.
I did the entire mantle all at the same time, 
and it took me less than one hour.
Then put the kitchen timer on for 15-20 minutes.
After that time, the cement should feel almost dry.
At that point you will connect your moldings with their proper
spots on the painted cement.  It grabs and holds, even on a vertical surface.
I was worried it would fall off, but it didn't.
After you get it all in place, then press over it to make sure 
its on good and solid. I pressed it down with the back of a 
flat butter knife to make sure it was making good contact.
 I put the long 42" floral strip first. I dry fit the pieces ahead of time, 
which means holding it up to see if it will fit and then making cuts for a custom fit.
The moldings will stretch a bit, so you have a bit of wiggle room. 
They will stretch around curves too.
 I cut another strip to fit against where this one ran out.
You can see my pencil line and the yellow adhesive.
Then I started adding the drops and swags.
I waited overnight to paint it with regular latex paint. 
 As soon as the paint went on
it was the best feeling ever!  So dramatic, and so easy!
You can use any paint you like, including Chalk Paint®, but I wanted to match all 
the woodwork in the room, and change the mantle back to white from grey.
It came out looking so authentic and  beautiful! 
What an amazing transformation!!
The Efex moldings are so affordable too so I am dreaming of other things to create.
I have at least three projects in mind....
Here is just a little peek when I had them laid out on
 my sofa while I was deciding what to use.
There are classic looks as well as the French styles I love.


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