Design Tips & Trends

  • Airbrush Weathering

    Quoted in an article by by Keith Forsyth titled Airbrush Armor - Weathering - 10.20.14

    "Using an Airbrush is one of the most effective methods of applying camouflage and weathering to you model. In this series, sponsored by Testors we hope to provide you with both inspiration and information on how to produce both simple and complex effects. In this feature Keith Forsyth adds a ‘well worn’ look to the recent Meng-Model Leopard 1A3/A4."

  • Crackle Finishing

    Aging or antiquing techniques such as crackle finishing have become very popular over the past several years. This is partly due to design aesthetics and partly due to the introduction of products that have made it easier to achieve the effect. If you can’t find that perfect “antique” piece for your design scheme, you can recreate it. Or maybe you have an item such as an old picture frame or a piece of furniture that just isn’t worth stripping. Whatever the reasons, crackle finishing is a creative way to get the effect of aged, weathered paint and add a distinctive look to your home.

  • Rag-Rolling

    Rag-Rolling gives surfaces a dramatic effect reminiscent of crushed velvet, parchment or chamois leather. Like Sponging, there are techniques where you rag on or rag off. Different rag fabrics will create different effects. Popular materials include linen, chamois or burlap. But almost any natural fiber material will work as long as it is clean and lint-free. Layering glazes works well with this technique as long as each layer is allowed to dry completely.

  • Sponging

    Sponging is one of the quicker decorative effects to apply. With sponge-on painting, you apply a wash or glaze over a base coat with a dampened sponge to create a mottled or textured look. You can apply more than one wash or glaze coat, but each coat you apply must be allowed to dry completely before the next application. Sponge-off is a variation of the technique in which you apply a uniform glaze coat over a solid color base coat with a brush or roller. Before the glaze coat begins to dry, use the sponge to remove some of the glaze to expose the coat under it. The best effects are made with a natural sponge, which has varied holes, instead of a cellulose sponge with more uniform holes. There are many color options to consider for various effects. Lighter colors are typically applied over darker tones to crate depth. Darker colors over lighter ones create can create more definition and texture. Different values of color in the same family can be used for a tone-on-tone damask effect.

  • Stenciling

    Stencil painting is a great way to add a variety of creative design looks to your home. From fun and whimsical to upscale looks with damask design and scrolling, you can create patterns or artistic accents that add new life and color. Stencil patterns can be applied by spraying or stippling with a stenciling brush. Spraying is particularly useful when applying over textured surfaces. The main advantage of a stencil brush over a normal paint brush is that it reduces the chances of paint getting under the edge of the stencil because of its shorter, stiffer bristles. If your stencil design calls for different colors, you may want to have a separate brush for each color rather than rinsing the brush each time.