Modern Mastery: Shauna Gallagher

California-based Decorative and Fine Artist Shauna Gallagher has been a creative friend of Modern Masters for many years. She teaches masterful workshops with our products while running a full-time decorative painting and fine arts studio. We recently caught up with her as she chatted about her studio and shared a few beautiful Modern Masters projects with us.

Artist: Shauna Gallagher | Modern Mastery Feature on the Modern Masters Blog

Shauna Gallagher

Shauna Gallagher is both a fine and decorative artist with more than twenty years of experience in the interior design industry. With a degree in Interior Design, and an education in Fine Art, she found the world of decorative finishing to be the perfect marriage of her love for art and interiors. Shauna is a nationally recognized instructor in the art of faux finishing, and has instructed over 1000 students throughout her career. Her work has graced many of the finest homes and businesses throughout Northern California. Some of her accomplishments include founding a decorative art school, guest appearances on DIY Channel’s House Crashers, and co-authoring Sunset’s book titled Faux and Decorative Finishing. Her greatest joy in work is the satisfaction of transforming clients’ spaces into personal retreats, and teaching other artists to develop their own viable creative career.

Black Venetian Plaster on Walls by artist Shauna Gallagher | Modern Mastery Feature | Modern Masters Blog

A beautiful ebony-colored Venetian Plaster on a bathroom feature wall. The product is the Venetian Plaster Ultra-Deep Tint Base that has been pigmented black and finished with the Venetian Plaster Satin Clear Topcoat.

How has Modern Masters enhanced your business?

Modern Masters has enhanced my business in many ways. The products are not only superior in quality, but they are consistent and dependable. I love that many of the products are considered green, as I am very conscientious of the environment. For me, even in this digital age, I like to do business with people. And knowing the history of the company, and the people behind the company, has made me an even more loyal patron to Modern Masters. I had the privilege of turning my decorative art school into a Modern Masters Training Center at the onset of the Platinum Series product line, and it gave me the opportunity to train further and know these products very well, and even mix and push them to test their abilities. I am a believer in Modern Masters, and I still teach and promote their products every chance I get.

Modern Masters Products used to enhance a Kitchen's Range Hood and Cabinetry | Project by Shauna Gallagher | Modern Mastery Feature

Modern Masters Glazing Cream Colorants and Glazes enhance Kitchen Cabinetry Finish | Artistry by Decorative Artist Shauna Gallagher | Modern Mastery Feature on the Modern Masters Blog

Kitchen Island Cabinetry Paint Treatment with Modern Masters Glazing Cream Colors and Glaze | Project by Shauna Gallahger | Modern Mastery Feature

This project features a custom hood and kitchen island. The range hood is finished in Metallic Plaster. The wood carving is stained using Glazing Cream Colors and Furniture Glazing Cream, and the island is glazed with the same products.

Garage Doors with Patina | Modern Masters Metal Effects | Project by Shauna Gallagher | Modern Mastery Feature on Modern Masters Blog

Incredible garage doors with Metal Effects! Shauna used the Copper Reactive Metallic Paint with both the Blue and Green Patina Aging Solutions. She overglazed the patina with the Wall Glazing Cream and Glazing Cream Colors and finally sealed all with the Permacoat Xtreme, a topcoat specifically for Metal Effects.

What is your go-to Modern Masters product?

My “go-to” Modern Masters product is hands down, without exception, the Dead Flat Varnish. I am never without a gallon in my studio!! It has great adhesion and I use it as a clear primer, I use it as a barrier coat, I use it as a glaze, I use it to shorten the open time of the Glazing Cream if needed, and I use it as a top coat. Sometimes I add it to a satin Varathane, if I desire a lower sheen for finishing cabinets or furniture. I use the Exterior Dead Flat Varnish on exterior projects of all sorts: Front doors, garage doors, outdoor glazing over stucco, brick, stone, concrete, pots, furniture, and just about any exterior artwork or project that I do. I love Dead Flat Varnish!!

Incredible Before & After Table Transformation with Modern Masters Products | Amazing Artistry by Shauna Gallagher | Modern Mastery Feature on the Modern Masters Blog

Have you ever seen such an amazing Before & After on a furniture project? This table was made over from a damaged inlay to a solid marble inset look. On the inset, Shauna used Venetian Plaster, Glazing Cream Colorants, and Furniture Glazing Cream. On the apron and legs, she used Wall Glazing Cream, Glazing Cream Colorants and Dead Flat Varnish. Wow!

Gorgeous Stenciled and Luxe Wall Treatment with Metallic Plaster | Project by Decorative and Fine Artist Shauna Gallagher | Modern Mastery Feature on the Modern Masters Blog

This wall is Shauna’s Broken Brocade finish for the Sacramento shop Urban 57. It features a Champagne base from the Metallic Paint Collection. The raised stencil from Royal Design Studio is created using Metallic Plaster in Gunmetal. The Metallic Plasters over the stencil include custom mixes of Champagne, Antique Lace, Silver Fox, and Parchment. The finish is over-glazed using Wall Glazing Cream tinted with Glazing Cream Colorant.

What is your most memorable and/or rewarding project?

My most memorable and rewarding project would be a custom 16,000 foot residence that I worked on for many months. This project was so rewarding because I was not only able to create gorgeous finishes at the top of my craft, but I was also able to put together a team of 12 people to help execute the project.  What a gratifying experience to provide a livelihood for so many artists while being privileged to work in a gorgeous estate. We did Venetian Plaster on all the walls, custom cabinet finishes, gilded and stenciled walls in bathrooms, Ornamental Plaster Relief on an elliptical 22 foot long ceiling dome, a gilded and antiqued dome, a dome with a mural, murals on two  33 foot long barrel ceilings, and other small specialty finishes throughout.  What a special home, and what an experience!

Decorative Finishes for Sacramento's Liquidology Bar | Artistry by Shauna Gallagher | Modern Mastery Feature on the Modern Masters Blog

Unique Wall and Floor Finishes for the Liquidology Bar by Decorative Artist Shauna Gallagher | Modern Mastery Feature on the Modern Masters Blog

Gorgeous Wall Finish Treatment with Embedded Coins | Artistry by Shauna Gallagher | Modern Mastery Feature on the Modern Masters Blog

Beautiful surface treatments abound at the Liquidology Bar! The walls are an Ombré Metallic Plaster with embedded mica coins from Madagascar. The ceiling ductwork is a Faux Galvanized Metal using the Metallic Paint Collection and glazed with Furniture Glazing Cream and Glazing Cream Colorants. The floor is glazed over the existing bamboo using first a floor primer, then a tinted Floor Varathane using Glazing Cream Colorants. Finally, the checkout counter and metallic barnwood wall behind it are both faux finished using Glazing Cream Colorants, Metallic Paint Collection, Dead Flat Varnish, and Furniture Glazing Cream. Incredible work!

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We hope you’ve enjoyed the incredible artistry of Shauna Gallagher. Be sure to visit her studio website to see her portfolio and follow her latest painting projects on her Red Heart Art Instagram account. Many thanks to Shauna for taking the time to share her beautiful and stylish Modern Masters projects with us. We hope you’ve been as inspired as we are!

4 thoughts on “Modern Mastery: Shauna Gallagher

  1. I love this look! When you say ombre metallic plaster, what two colors were used? Any other techniques or colorants used to make it look like this?

    • Hi, Rachelle! By ombre, we believe Ms. Gallagher troweled several Metallic Plaster colors – in gray, creams and silver tones – into one another at the same time, creating a flowing colored finish. We’d say she used three, rather than two colors. You would be working wet on wet to achieve the mixing of color into one another. While we don’t have more info on her technique, we do have a blog post that showcases more of a very similar finish, in deeper colors: We hope this has helped! Let us know if we can help further. 🙂

  2. Beautiful space!!! I am currently trying to achieve the same look for my cabinets- would you be able to suggest what may of been used for the black cabinets on the back of the island? Thanks!

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