Mimicking Marble for a Fabulous Foyer Wood Floor

If you were viewing this foyer floor in person at New York’s Gracie Mansion—the official residence of the Big Apple’s mayor—you’d initially think you were gazing upon a beautiful marble floor, and that’s just what the painters want you to believe. Upon closer inspection, you’d realize you are standing on wood planks, and that the marble is, in fact, an illusion. While the marble is an illusion, the life-changing opportunity it presented for people living with HIV/AIDS was real. The workers responsible for restoring the floor during the mansion’s most recent remodel came from Chelsea’s The Alpha Workshops, a nonprofit school for and employer of HIV-positive artisans. They were tasked with mimicking the style of itinerant painters from the 1790s, the era during which the mansion was built, says Workshop Executive Director Kenneth Wampler. The workers began with a freshly sanded floor, chalk lines and painter’s tape. Using variously sized paintbrushes and painter’s combs, they applied off-white, cream and brown glazes on the white squares, and white and pale gray glazes on the black squares; last was a waterbased urethane clear finish coat. So how does one achieve this faux look? Practice. “I can tell you from reading a lot of faux painting techniques that it is never well-described,” Wampler says. “The way you paint a good faux marble is by practicing painting faux marble.”

Reprinted from http://hardwoodfloorsmag.com