Quite often the best things in life are the simple things. In the case of this executive office suite transformation, a simple finishing technique pays off with dramatic results in a subtle pattern that balances the right amount of motion and light reflection on the walls and ceiling.

Designer Julie Wait Fryauf, ASID, of Julie Wait Designs in Rogers, Ark., wanted to capture her client’s love of deep-sea fishing in the design theme for the president’s office and executive bathroom of the company PB2 Architecture & Engineering, in Rogers, Ark.

Working with Faux Effects instructor, decorative artist and faux finisher, Deb Drager of Wichita, Kan., the custom finish Ocean Mist in LusterStone was created to provide the ideal solution.

Interior designers and architects look for finishing solutions that reflect the sophistication and style of their clients. These important specifiers will either ask their established contractors to expand their services to include these application techniques, or they will seek out new contractors that can get the job done in-house.

Professional painters and finishers who add even the most basic finishes to their product offerings will find that their business will grow in a natural progression directly related to the scope of services that they can offer.

Decorative architectural trowel-on coatings produce beautiful natural reflective patterns. As demonstrated in the following step-by-step how-to example, we can see how this material is easy to use. No burnishing is required for designer-quality results. However, knowledge of professional painting and finishing techniques is a plus when creating sample finishes for potential clients.

Because of its versatility, finishers can bring designer quality finishes to their clients in almost limitless color combinations that are possible from the many pre-mixed colors that are available.

Playing with faux finish products is encouraged to eventually master advanced application techniques and to expand one’s portfolio of finishing methods. Through experimentation, a wide variety of dull or high-sheen dimensional finishes, or stunning combinations of highs and lows are possible.

SIDEBAR: Step-by-step instructions

Following are instructions for creating the effect that is featured on the office walls. Following these same steps, one can also achieve the dramatic “Fiery Lobster” effects as highlighted in the executive washroom ceiling and matching mirrors.

Step 1: Paint wall with two coats Black SetCoat

Step 2: Double-load steel trowel with both Charred Olive & Cobalt paints and apply in a “pop-trowel” in random areas across surface.

Step 3: While colors are still wet, use the edge of trowel to blend colors, and flat-scrape to a smooth overall 90 percent coverage, leaving small organic areas of the black base showing through.

Step 4: Repeat steps above with second application, loading the trowel with both Cobalt and Frosted Denim shades, and fill in 100 percent of the surface area.

The final results of this multidimensional architectural finish were quite pleasing to the client, who appreciated that the color, “Ocean Mist,” reflected his love of the sea.

Small paint roller
Steel trowel