Modern Mastery: Bella House Faux

We have long followed the beautiful work of mother daughter duo Bella House Paint and Faux. It’s our pleasure to feature both Sydney and Donna’s incredible artistry along with some of their projects featuring Modern Masters!

The gorgeous decorative painting projects of Bella House Faux studio | Modern Mastery feature by Modern MastersBella House Paint and Faux is a mother and daughter team with extensive experience in Art, Design, and Construction. Since 2003, Sydney (left) and Donna (right) have been dedicated to producing the most refined finishes available in today’s homes, offices, and commercial spaces while also working with talented designers and contractors. Their expertise includes everything from glitzy layered wall finishes, Venetian plaster, kitchen cabinet makeovers, exterior wood graining on garage doors, and recently, art on canvas. From the foothills in California to the heart of the great State of Texas and beyond, Donna and Sydney have travel to many locations to create gorgeous fine finishes.

Canvas Art created by Bella House Faux | Modern Masters Metallic Plaster and Trowels | Modern Mastery Studio Feature

Stunning art canvas created with the help of Glazing Cream Colors and trowels.

Modern Masters Glazing Cream Colors, Exterior Dead Flat Varnish, and MasterClear® Supreme were used by Bella House Faux to paint faux wood residential garage doors | Modern Mastery Blog Feature

These beautiful faux wood garage doors were created with the help of Glazing Cream Colors, Exterior Dead Flat Varnish, and MasterClear® Supreme.

How has Modern Masters enhanced your business?

We are thankful to have found dependable, durable, easy to learn products that ensure the integrity and beauty of each project we take on. Our sales dramatically increased when we presented gorgeous Modern Masters samples to our clients. Modern Masters always has that extra special and unique look that is desired by our high end clientele. We have outstanding confidence in the  products because we have used them for so many years. We know we can count on consistency in color and application.

Mix of Modern Masters Metallic Plaster on Walls | Dark and rich plaster wall finish by Bella House Faux | Modern Mastery Blog Feature

A mix of Gunmetal and Tungsten Metallic Plaster on the walls completes a chic retreat.

Bella House Faux used Modern Masters Glazing Cream Colors and MasterClear® Supreme to faux woodgrain kitchen cabinets - gorgeous finish! The studio is profiled is the Modern Mastery blog series feature.

Furniture & Cabinetry Glazing Cream mixed with Coffee Bean, Van Dyke Brown, and Aged Mahogany Glazing Cream Colors create a beautiful faux bois finish. MasterClear® Supreme provides complete durability.

What is your go-to Modern Masters product and/or color?

We have a couple! Modern Masters Exterior Dead Flat Varnish is liquid gold to us. We can always be confident that our finishes will maintain their durability when we use DFV. By far our favorite product for wall finishes always include Metallic Plaster. They are timeless yet glitzy and always give that wow factor we love.

Light Wood Beams were faux into a darker, richer color and look by Bella House Faux | Project collaboration with Auger Construction, Inc. | Modern Masters Glazing Cream Colors and Wall Glazing Cream | Modern Mastery Blog Feature

Bella House Faux frequently collaborates with Auger Construction, Inc. and this is one of their many projects together. The wood beams were made darker and richer with Glazing Cream Colors and helps bring the rustic and elegant design of the dining room together.

Landscape Mural for Nursery Accent Wall | Modern Masters Glazing Cream Colors and Dead Flat Varnish | Project by Bella House Faux | Studio Feature in the Modern Mastery series on the Cafe Blog

Such a sweet nursery! The landscape mural was painted with Glazing Cream Colors and Wall Glazing Cream for a soft and soothing focal point.

Wood Pallet Plank Focal Wall painted and created with the help of Modern Masters Glazing Cream Colors | Reading Nook Feature Wall | Project by Bella House Faux | Accent Wall Ideas | Modern Mastery feature

Colored and distressed Wood Plank Wall by Bella House Faux | Modern Masters Glazing Cream Colors and Glazes

Glazing Cream Colors are versatile and come in a beautiful array of colors. Bella House Faux uses them to color and stain wood planks for one of a kind custom wall finishes.

What is your top art tip?
When it comes to art, never be afraid to take a risk,have fun and always use high quality materials. If you create with love and joy, it will come through in your work.

 

Gorgeous Metallic Plaster Wall Finish by Bella House Faux | Grey Plaster Finish for Kitchens | Modern Masters | Modern Mastery Blog Feature

A luxe troweled treatment with our Metallic Plaster enhances a kitchen.

Aren’t the finishes incredible? We enjoy how they run the gamut from industrial to refined to chic to rustic elegance with such ease – and all with a perfectly polished, professional look! We hope you’ve enjoyed our Modern Mastery feature of the Bella House Paint and Faux studio. Be sure to continue to follow their artistry on their Instagram as well! Thank you, Donna and Sydney, for sharing your Modern Masters projects with us!

Modern Mastery: Jeff Monsein

Splat Paint is one of the premier decorative painting studios on the Gulf Coast of Florida and was founded by owner Jeff Monsein. Located in Tampa, we have followed their prestigious portfolio of work as they have tackled historic projects, theme parks, residential and hospitality projects, as well as larger commercial spaces, such as hospitals and stadiums. We are honored to showcase some of their Modern Masters projects for our Modern Mastery series.

Jeff Monsein of Splat Paint | Modern Mastery Series

For the past 18 years, Jeff Monsein has owned and operated Splat Paint, a successful, full-service, arts company. Custom, artistic finishes and murals are what Splat Paint is all about. Their specialties range from high quality murals, painted and textured faux finishes to decorative metallic work and painted and distressed furniture. His work has been purchased for private collections and has been auctioned at fund raisers for philanthropic organizations. In addition to appearances in numerous publications, Mr. Monsein was the on-air DIY Arts correspondent for DayTime TV (seen in 120 markets across the USA)  from 2009 to 2011 and was the DIY Faux Finishing speaker at the Tampa Bay Times Home Show from 2009 – 2015.  Mr. Monsein and his talented team of artists have cultivated an impressive following and a distinctive portfolio of paintings, murals, sculptures, ornate plastering, decorative metalwork, mosaics and more for private, business and non-profit clients in Florida, Maryland, California, North Carolina and Mexico (Cabo San Lucas.)

Beautiful ornamental ceiling painted with the help of Modern Masters Metallic Paints | Artist: Jeff Monsein | Modern Mastery Series on the Cafe Blog

Beautiful ornamental ceiling in soothing colors painted with the help of Metallic Paints

Silver Metallic Glaze over a raisedalligator stencil | Crocodile wall finish with Modern Masters Metallic Paints | Artist: Jeff Monsein of Splat Paint | Modern Mastery artist feature series

This alligator hide wall finish has a raised pattern glazed with Silver Metallic Paint

HOW HAS MODERN MASTERS ENHANCED YOUR BUSINESS?

Modern Masters products have really enhanced our business. Not only are they reliable and extremely durable, but they are also easily available, which makes a huge difference in my business. Being able to stop by my local store, Tanner Paint, and pick up whatever I want, whenever I want has been fantastic.  Ease of use, availability, durability, and flexibility has made the Metallic Paint Collection from Modern Masters our number one choice.

Indian inspired Home Theatre painted and stenciled by artist Jeff Monsein of Splat Paint | Modern Masters Metallic Paints | Artist Feature

This Indian inspired theater features rich wall and ceiling finishes and stenciled patterns with Metallic Paints

Modern Masters Metallic Paints enhance custom made fretwork for a niche | Artist: Jeff Monsein of Splat Paint | Modern Mastery feature

Modern Masters Metallic Paints enhance custom made fretwork for a niche

Modern Masters Metallic Finishes on an ornate ceiling medallion and ceiling | Artist: Splat Paint in Tampa, FL | Modern Mastery series

Metallic Paint finishes on an ornate ceiling and medallion for a kitchen and family room

Simple flourish ornamental pattern on a groin ceiling painted with Modern Masters Metallic Paints | Artist: Jeff Monsein of Splat Paint | Modern Mastery artist feature

A groin ceiling receives a simple, light and sophisticated pattern with Metallic Paints. Just a little adds so much!

WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE, CHALLENGING, AND/OR REWARDING PROJECT?

An ornate dome was one of our most memorable projects. It was 35 feet up in the air. The dome was oval but we made it look round and it was super complicated. It took us most of the first week to just lay it out! We created 4-layer stencils for each of the ‘honeycombs’ and used Modern Masters Metallic Paint for the gold details. It was very challenging and we were so proud when it finally all came together. Two incredible artists, Timothy Innamorator and Jair Medina, partnered with me to create it.

 

Working on an ornate dome with a four-layer stencil and Modern Masters Metallic Paints! See the final results on the Modern Mastery series featuring the work of Jeff Monsein of Splat Paint!

Artists Timothy Innamorator and Jair Medina working on the design. The scaffolding reaches 35′ in height!

Modern Masters Metallic Paint details on an ornamental dome ceiling | Artistry by Jeff Monsein of Splat Paint

WHAT IS YOUR TOP ART TIP?

One: it’s only paint. Don’t be afraid to try something. If it doesn’t work, you can always repaint it.
Two: Practice, practice practice. You can only improve by doing. For the first years, I researched and painted every single day, constantly trying to improve my skills. You can’t always do it right the first time. And making a mistake is a good lesson if you learn from it.
Working on the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater, FL | Decorative Painting Studio: Splat Paint | Modern Masters Metallic Paint
Modern Masters Metallic Paint enhances the Capitol Theater in Clearwater, FL | Decorative Arts Studio: Splat Paint of Tampa, FL | Modern Mastery Artist Feature Series
The Capitol Theater in Clearwater, FL, need an update and contracted Splat Paint. With the Metallic Paints, they created and painted all the raised details as well as the stenciled ceiling tiles.

Modern Masters Metallic Paints helped create the large faux cracks on a coffered ceiling | Artist: Jeff Monsein of Splat Paint | Modern Mastery series

Large faux cracks painted with Metallic Paints and shimmer and interest to the insets of a large coffered ceiling

Ornamental patterned ceiling insets within wood beams | Modern Masters Metallic Paitns | Artist: Jeff Monsein of Splat Paint | Modern Mastery series

The Metallic Paints enhance a beautiful pattern set within the insets of a large ceiling as well as the raised details along the wood beams

We hope you’ve enjoyed the incredible work of artist Jeff Monsein and his team! Make sure you follow Splat Paint on both Facebook and Instagram to keep up with their latest projects. Many thanks to Jeff Monsein for taking the time to chat with us and share his incredible projects. Stay inspired, friends!

Modern Mastery: Carmen Benoit

We first featured the work of Arizona-based Carmen Benoit while doing a feature on children’s rooms and have avidly followed her creative work since then. We’re very excited to feature her artistry in our Modern Mastery series for you to enjoy.

Carmen Benoit of Carmen Illustrates | Modern Mastery feature on the Modern Masters blog

Carmen Benoit of Carmen Illustrates

Carmen has been painting since she was a child, winning numerous awards along the way. She furthered her education by receiving a Fine Arts degree from Arizona State University. She started creating textile patterns and art for the clothing industry after graduation. And running into Carmen’s designs happened frequently. Whether it was seeing women buying her dresses at Lord & Taylor to watching Renee Zellweger sport another design as she’s romancing Tom Cruise in the film Jerry Maguire or even on the beach in Hawaii, seeing a couple laying on towels she had designed for the Disney Cruise Lines private label collection.

 

As exciting as the textile industry proved to be, Carmen felt she could do more. So in 1998, she decided to create her own business, Carmen Illustrates, that would allow her to work with people on a more personal level to create custom living and working environments. She specializes in creative environments for home decor, children’s rooms and commercial spaces. Her design options range from wall finishing and texturing to thematic murals, trompe l’oeil, and three-dimensional artwork. Absolutely any hand-painted technique can be incorporated, from loose and whimsical to fine art detail and photo-realism.

 

Modern Masters Shimmerstone, Venetian Plaster, and Metallic Paints combine to help create an incredible raised ceiling design by artist Carmen Benoit | Modern Mastery feature
Modern Masters Shimmerstone, Venetian Plaster, and Metallic Paints combine to help create an incredible raised ceiling design by artist Carmen Benoit | Modern Mastery feature
 ShimmerStone, Venetian Plaster, and Metallic Paints were combined with a V-Mask vinyl stencil to help create an incredible embossed ceiling design. The outer perimeter was also patterned and troweled with Antique Lace Metallic Plaster.

 

How has Modern Masters enhanced your business?
I was first drawn to the Modern Masters line through the rich colors offered in the Metallic Paint Collection and then slowly started incorporating their other products. Their Venetian Plaster is a staple product that I go to often for the traditional finish. . .its thick body works great for dimensional stencil effects and when thinned with about 15 – 20% water and brushed on furniture, it creates a really nice chalky refined finish. I also love using the Venetian Plaster as a base for mural work or fine painting as the acrylic pigment soaks so beautifully into the plaster as opposed to sitting on the surface giving it a nice authentic feel to the artwork. The other product I find using on a regular basis is their Wall Glazing Cream. It has a wonderful consistency and is not sticky at all which I have experienced with other glaze mediums and has a nice open time. I use it on walls finishes, for thinning my metallic colors, furniture, or anything I just want to build with nice, thin layers.

 

The cabinet was first sanded primed. A custom colored gray Venetian Plasters was thinned with water and brushed on vertically, giving a nice chalky finish. Diluted versions of Warm Silver and Champagne Metallic Paints were then used as a wash. The Wall Glazing Cream mixed with a little umber slight aged the piece and Silver/Platinum Matte Metallic was lightly added in the insets. Finally, moire like elements were painted in front of the cabinet in Champagne Metallic Paint. | Modern Masters | Painted Cabinet Artist: Carmen Benoit of Carmen Illustrates
 The cabinet was first sanded primed.  A custom colored gray Venetian Plasters was thinned with water about 15 – 20% and brushed on vertically, giving a nice chalky finish.  Diluted versions of Warm Silver and Champagne Metallic Paints were then used as a wash. The Wall Glazing Cream mixed with a little umber slight aged the piece and Platinum/Silver Matte Metallic was lightly added in the insets. Finally, moire like elements were painted in front of the cabinet in Champagne Metallic Paint.

 

Multiple colors of Modern Masters Front Door Paint create a unique front door | Modern Mastery: Carmen Benoit
Custom mixes of several Front Door Paint colors, including Motivated and Fortunate, helped Carmen create an inviting entrance for her own front door.

 

What is your dream art project?
If I were to put on my jammies and dream out loud it would definitely involve some travel to an exotic far off place. Europe for its history and wealth of knowledge, Morocco for its abundance of marvelous pattern and textures , and San Miquelle de Allende Mexico for its color and vigor, to name a few…working on perhaps a boutique hotel or destination space. I also love collaborating with other creatives, exploring new ways of approaching the creative process.

 

A custom mix of silver toned Modern Masters Metallic Paints add a geometric flair to a home gym. | Artist: Carmen Benoit of Carmen Illustrates
 A custom mix of silver toned Modern Masters Metallic Paints add a geometric flair to a home gym.

 

What was your most memorable, challenging, and/or rewarding project?
A project that I did with Kim Harvey Creamer Interiors to create an interactive and sensory rich garden-themed bedroom quarters for a mentally and physically disabled special needs adult. The wheelchair access and durability of the walls were paramount. Every square inch was painted and had to have a purpose to either educate or to stimulate.

Extensive planning was done to take into account imagery, colors, fabrics, and sheen levels. Interactive sound and light elements that were built into the wall to coordinate with mural elements. The main walls were done in a soft white with silver flecks that ombre down to deeper tones of grey, achieved with my fave Wall Glazing Cream and Glazing Cream Colors. The murals consisted of the family dog ready to go for a walk, a bird that would make sounds when activated by a button and a balloon that lit up when the sound of being filled with hot air.

Garden murals flanked either side of the bed with real tree limbs that was painted and fastened to the wall with birds and ribbons. A huge garden house constructed on site around the specialty bed was painted with black and white shingles, stripes and polka dots accented with splashes of color. The room had to function in so many ways but mostly as a positive uplifting space made to inspire and to make life a little more beautiful and easier for its occupant. It was truly magical and even more exciting to see my client’s face when she saw it for the first time.

Garden Themed Room and Wall Mural for a Special Needs Client | Artist: Carmen Benoit of Carmen Illustrates | Modern Masters Blog
Garden Themed Room and Wall Mural for a Special Needs Client | Artist: Carmen Benoit of Carmen Illustrates | Modern Masters Blog
Garden Themed Room and Wall Mural for a Special Needs Client | Artist: Carmen Benoit of Carmen Illustrates | Modern Masters Blog
Garden Themed Room and Wall Mural for a Special Needs Client | Artist: Carmen Benoit of Carmen Illustrates | Modern Masters Blog
Isn’t her work incredible? Thank you, Carmen, for sharing your extraordinary work with us! We hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the heart and art of Carmen Benoit and be sure to visit her company website, Carmen Illustrates, for more. You can also follow her on Facebook and Instagram. Stay inspired!

 

Modern Mastery: Chris Vaught Studios

We spied a beautiful painted agate wall finish by Chris Vaught Studios on Instagram and were inspired to discover more! Her talented artistry has graced many beautiful spaces and we are honored to share several of her Modern Masters projects with you.

Modern Mastery: Chris Vaught Studios | Modern Masters Cafe Blog

Chris Vaught is an artist and decorative painter working on residential projects with designers and homeowners in the Maryland/Virginia/DC areas. She started her company, Chris Vaught Studios, in 1995, and has had the opportunity to work on a wide spectrum of projects including large commissioned paintings, whole room murals, and expansive wall finishes in both commercial and residential settings.

Here background in fine arts, and experience in residential design provide a solid foundation for creating custom finishes and unique art for an audience with ranging tastes. She shares, “I feel fortunate and blessed to work with designers and clients who appreciate the beauty of thoughtfully executed embellishment, surface decoration, and ornamentation.”

Stenciled Accent Wall with Modern Masters Metallic Paints | Project by Chris Vaught Studios | Modern Mastery Series

Stenciled bedroom accent wall with a ragged finish. The pattern was stenciled with both Champagne Metallic Paint and Peart White Metallic Paint custom tinted to an elegant gray blue.

WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO MODERN MASTERS PRODUCT?

The Modern Masters products I use most frequently are the Metallic Paint Collection and the Dead Flat Varnish. I find the Metallic Paints to have great adhesion and shine, and all the colors mix beautifully together to get custom colors. I use them on everything from wall finishes to furniture, and frames, often glazing over with a tinted varnish to add depth. The Dead Flat Varnish is my tried and true for ceilings, where a glare can obscure the design, and on my murals, when I am seeking a super matte finish. The Dead Flat Varnish is especially useful over dark colors and doesn’t diminish the surface’s color or detail.

Master bath landscape mural finished with Dead Flat Varnish for a matte look with protection | Project by Chris Vaught Studios | Modern Masters

Thibaut inspired mural by Chris Vaught Studios finished with Modern Masters Dead Flat Varnish | Modern Mastery Artist Feature

Lake Norman Ceiling Mural | Sheen variations from the various artist acrylics and products used were eliminated at the end with Modern Masters Dead Flat Varnish | Project by Chris Vaught Studios | Modern Mastery Blog Series Feature

Three murals, one amazing product! A garden landscape in a bath, Thibaut inspired art in a foyer and Lake Normal ceiling map were all finished with Dead Flat Varnish after painting for a flat, matte look.

Living Room Brick Accent Wall had been painted with a few colors. Modern Masters Dead Flat Varnish eliminated all the various sheens and gave it an overall realistic matte look. Project: Chris Vaught Studios | Modern Mastery Blog Feature

A living room accent wall had been painted with various latex paint colors in several sheen variations. Dead Flat Varnish helped provide a beautiful overall matte look and feel – perfect for the rustic brick!

WHAT IS YOUR TOP FINISHING TIP?

My top studio practice tip is to make samples for everything and keep copious notes in a notebook that doesn’t ever leave the studio! I create samples for every upcoming project, unless I have an existing sample that will work. I often work in batches, numbering each sample board on the back, and entering details from base coat color to detailed product information at each step into my notebook. I make my notes as I work, having learned the hard way how easy it is to forget the details later. Samples can also get lost or damaged, but keeping a designated notebook with the “recipe” has proved invaluable to me over the years.

Media Feature Wall created with Modern Masters ShimmerStone, Metallic Paints, and Glass Bead Gel | Gorgeous marble stone inspired finish by Chris Vaught Studios | Modern Mastery Blog Feature

A sophisticated faux marble stone look was created with ShimmerStone, Glass Bead Gel, and the Metallic Paint Collection. What a stunning media wall!

Handpainted geode wall finish with various Metallic Paints and Glass Bead Gel by Modern Masters | Project by Chris Vaught Studios

A handpainted geode wall finish was created with gold, silver and pearl Metallic Paints and Glass Bead Gel for a gorgeous, eye-catching look.

Master Bath Trim painted with Steel Gray Metallic paint and other custom tinted Metallic Paints by Modern Masters | Project by Chris Vaught Studios in DC | Modern Mastery Artist Feature Series

The trim in this modern master bath was painted with Steel Gray Metallic Paint and other custom tinted Metallic Paints.

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM PROJECT?

My dream project at the moment would be a Chinoiserie type mural project, imitating the look of a beautiful hand painted vintage silk wallcovering. I envision this gorgeous, classic treatment juxtaposed with contemporary furnishings, in a dining room or perhaps a lounge, for an eclectic look. Any takers out there?

Modern Masters ShimmerStone on Walls and Metallic Paint Collection on chinoriserie armoire panels | Beautiful decorative painting by Chris Vaught Studios | Modern Mastery Cafe Blog Feature Series

ShimmerStone was troweled on the wall for a lush lustre and the armoire and chinoiserie artwork on the panels were handpainted with various colors from the Metallic Paint Collection.

From modern to traditional and everything in between, she tackles various design styles easily and with panache! We hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the incredible artistry of Chris Vaught Studios and we thank her for sharing her Modern Masters projects with us. Please be sure to follow her studio on Facebook and Instagram as she continues to share her many beautiful projects.

Modern Mastery: Billet Collins

We spotted the beautiful artistry of the D.C. based firm, Billet Collins, on Instagram. They use several Modern Masters products with a talented eye and hand, and we are honored to feature them in our Modern Mastery blog series.

The DC based decorative painting firm of Billet Collins | Modern Mastery feature on the Modern Masters Cafe Blog

Mother-daughter duo Barbara Billet and Kellie Collins Hodges of Billet Collins usually say that their first commissioned project was the renovation of Washington DC’s Union Station in 1985. But the background story is much more exciting!

The inspiration for Billet Collins came while mother Barbara was a child. She traveled the world with her family, following her father from one undercover government assignment to the next. Barbara learned from her father about color and design and how to paint with exacting precision in projects that meant life or death in his trade. Barbara raised her daughters with the drive for excellence and brought that legacy with her when she and daughters, Kellie and Amy, opened their studio.

Since that first project with Union Station, Billet Collins has developed their portfolio to include award winning hand painted finishes and patterns for residential, commercial and historic projects throughout the United States. They will also be sharing their expertise by teaching a workshop on creating award winning floors at IDAL 2018. Their work has been in Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Home & Design, Traditional Home, Veranda and HGTV.

Glazed Walls with a Linen Finish and writing desk with an antique finish | Modern Masters Tintable Glaze | Modern Master projects by Billet Collins on the Cafe Blog

In Washington DC, designers go for a tailored style. Billet Collins started with glazed walls in a linen finish and patterned the frieze for architectural interest. The writing desk was glazed with a antiqued finish in a strong saffron color using Tintable Glaze. This project won Best of Interior Design with Washington’s Spaces magazine

Handpainted writing desk by Billet Collins | Modern Masters Tintable Glaze | Decorative Painting Studio feature on the Modern Masters Caf eBlog

A writing desk was painted for the homeowner’s light filled office. A few layers of gesso, paint, and Tintable Glaze gave this just the right patina.

Stenciled and finished ceiling design with Modern Masters Metallic Paints | Project by Billet Collins

A patterned ceiling medallion handpainted with the Metallic Paint Collection.

HOW HAS MODERN MASTERS ENHANCED YOUR BUSINESS?

Using Modern Masters has enabled our business to stay consistent and grow. Their products are reliable to use so our projects come out exactly as we expect them to, which keeps us on schedule. We are able to offer clients consistent pricing. All of this is great and allows us to work fast and efficiently, and is great for our bottom line!

Tone on Tone Glazed and Distressed Mural on Dining Room Walls | Modern Masters project by Billet Collins | Modern Mastery Studio Feature on the Cafe Blog

The tone on tone mural was glazed and distressed with the help of Tintable Glaze.

Handpainted ornamental chest of drawers with Metallic Paint highlights | Modern Masters project by Billet Collins

A beautiful handpainted and lime glazed chest of drawers was highlighted with the Metallic Paint Collection.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE MODERN MASTERS PRODUCTS?

The Dead Flat Varnish, Tintable Glaze, Venetian Plaster, Metallic Paint Collection and the Extender for Metallic Paint are several of our favorite Modern Masters products that we use regularly. All are super easy to use, from application to clean up.

Terracotta hued Venetian Plaster wall close-up | Artistry by Billet Collins | Modern Masters feature on the Cafe Blog

Close-up of the Venetian Plaster in a custom terracotta hue.

A tone on tone accent wall mural created with the help of Modern Masters Tintable Glaze | Project by Billet Collins

Light and airy chinoiserie style mural glazed with the help of the Tintable Glaze.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE, CHALLENGING, OR REWARDING PROJECT?

  • Challenging: Gilding Union Station. A scaffolding adventure and a national landmark.
  • Memorable: Glazing woodwork at Hillwood Museum. We got to peek in to all the cabinets that normally held Marjorie Merriweather Post’s collection of porcelain china and Russian art.
  • Rewarding: Faux bois in an entire home in Annapolis. Glorious views of the water and the most beautiful woodwork.

Strie glazed walls | Modern Masters Tintable Glaze | Project by Billet Collins | Modern Mastery Decorative Painting feature on the Cafe Blog

Linen strie glazed walls with the help of the Tintable Glaze.Gorgeous!

Many thanks to the Billet Collins team for sharing their incredible projects and insights with us! We hope you’ve find their artistry as beautiful and as inspiring as we do. To continue to see their amazing projects, please visit their Billet Collins website and blog and be sure to follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

Modern Mastery: Theresa Cheek

Theresa Cheek of Art’s the Answer has long been a supporter of the decorative painting field, being an incredible decorative artist herself. She has written the Art’s the Answer blog for many years and contributed numerous articles and features on the industry. We are honored to feature her Modern Masters projects in the latest entry of our Modern Mastery series.

Decorative Painter and Artist Theresa Cheek featured in the Modern Mastery Series on the Modern Masters Cafe Blog | Extraordinary Decorative Painting ProjectsBased in East Texas, Theresa Cheek has owned her design and decorative painting studio, Art’s the Answer, for over 20 years. She loves making things look “old and crumbly“ and specializes in murals, gilding, plaster, egg tempera, faux finishes, and trompe l’oeil. Theresa shares, “With a BFA in Art History, I was always drawn to studio art along with the history of paint techniques.Travels to Europe for almost two decades opened my eyes to grotesque, frescoes and trompe l’oeil.  I have been a decorative artist for almost 30 years studying with many top European and American artists. I enjoy working with restoration, gilding and textural surfaces giving my clients unique, custom environments.”

Chinoiserie Wall Mural painted with Champagne Metallic Paint by Modern Masters | Modern Mastery feature of decorative artist Theresa Cheek of Art's the Answer in the Modern Masters Cafe Blog

Beautiful Neutral and ethereal Chinoserie style mural enhanced with Champagne Metallic Paint.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE MODERN MASTERS FINISHES?

I love the plaster finishes Modern Masters provides. Their consistency is smooth and rich in color. You can combine them with coordinating Metallic Paints or get a totally different look juxtaposing Metallic Plaster with concrete, flat paint, or other organic products for a modern industrial interpretation.

Projects with Modern Masters plaster and metallic products by decorative painter Theresa Cheek | Modern Mastery series on the Cafe Blog

Beautiful Metallic Plaster wall finish and ornamental details with the Metallic Paint Collection.

Bohemian and elegantly distressed and layer stenciled wall with the Modern Masters Metallic Paint Collection over a blue base | Modern Mastery series on the Cafe Blog on artist Theresa Cheek of Art's the Answer

Elegantly distressed and layered wallpaper finish stenciled with the Metallic Paint Collection.

WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO MODERN MASTERS PRODUCT OR COLOR?

Modern Masters makes my life so much easier by providing quality products that have quick clean up and are easily accessible. My go to would be the Metallic Paint Collection – Pharaoh’s Gold and Olympic Gold are used by me on a weekly basis! Many times I use them in mural work to give a chatoyant-a luminescence to the edge of a leaf or other elements in a chinoiserie themed mural. They can mimic gilding and add sheen requiring usually 1-2 coats only to cover. No sealants needed to prevent tarnishing.  No smelly strong solvents and easy water clean up!

Handpainted Wall Panels with the Metallic Paint Collection from Modern Masters | Artist: Theresa Cheek

Handpainted wall panels painted with the Metallic Paint Collection.

Pharaoh's Gold Metallic Paint from Modern Masters highlights an ornamental ceiling | Modern Mastery series on the Modern Masters Cafe Blog focuses on artist Theresa Cheek of Art's the Answer

Theresa uses the Metallic Paints to highlight ornamental details and give a gold leaf style look on ceilings, trim, furniture, doors, panels, and more.

Pharaoh's Gold Paint enhances ornamental details easily | Artist: Theresa Cheek | Modern Masters Cafe Blog Artist Feature

WHAT IS YOUR TOP ART TIP?

One tip I would give is to become familiar with your products. Learn some basic chemical knowledge so you will understand when something fails or does not consistently produce the same results. Keep notes. Experiment. Try to look at the product with fresh eyes as to what it can achieve. When working on a powder room project, I needed to give the walls an extra touch…something to take it to a truly custom look. Using printmaking techniques, I cut squares of burlap, wet them and then dry brushed on Olympic Gold Metallic Paint and printed them onto the walls in a random fashion. The effect was perfect! I had never considered using Modern Masters to print with before and now had another technique to use for future jobs by not limiting the product to traditional application.

Modern Masters Metallic Paints makes an excellent base for a gold leaf gilded ceiling! See other projects by decorative artist Theresa Cheek on the Modern Masters Cafe Blog

The Metallic Paint collection makes an excellent base and enhances the look of gold leafed surfaces.

We hope you’ve enjoyed Theresa’s incredible projects with our Modern Masters products! Be sure to follow her online adventures on her blog as well as her Instagram and Facebook page. Many thanks to Theresa for her time and sharing her gorgeous project images. Be on the lookout for the next installment of our Modern Mastery series and stay inspired!

Modern Mastery: Tracy Wade

We discovered Tracy Wade’s stunning decorative painting through Facebook. She shared many of her projects with us and we thought her artistry with our Modern Masters products was incredible. We’re very happy to share the work of her studio, Tracy Wade Design, as part of our ongoing Modern Mastery series.

Tracy Wade of Tracy Wade Designs | Modern Mastery feature on the Modern Masters Cafe Blog | Incredible Decorative Painting Projects and Wall and Ceiling Finishes

Tracy Wade started her decorative painting business, Tracy Wade Design, in 1992. She took her first stencil cutting class 1988 and had not even touched a stencil prior to that! She says, “I have always been a very creative person, happiest when I am making things with my hands, from sewing and artwork to cooking and gardening.”

She soon started hiring employees as she found that a team made it much more fun to do all the work! She learned quite a bit running a crew and team recommendations became invaluable whenever they hit a snag in a project. She explains, “Most of this information is still used by us almost every day. I teach my team everything we have learned along the way, from the basics of a work station, the importance of prep work, and application to tear down, clean up and pack up. We have been called a very efficient group, like wheels in the cog. Only thing is our cog comes with fluff!”.

Stenciled Decorative Wall Treatment with Modern Masters Venetian Plaster and Metallic Plaster | Artist: Tracy Wade Designs | Modern Mastery Feature on the Modern Masters Blog

Tracy custom cut her own stencil and mixed both Venetian Plaster and Metallic Plaster over metallic foils to create this amazing linear patterned wall treatment.

Modern Silver, Grey, and Black Bedroom Wall Finish with Modern Masters Metallic Plaster | Project by Tracy Wade Designs | Modern Mastery Project Feature on the Modern Masters Cafe Blog

This Metallic Plaster project was one of the hottest shares for Modern Masters in 2017. The mottled plaster bedroom wall finish was created with the color Tungsten over pewter foil, followed by a Black Pearl Metallic Paint glaze. Stunning!

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE MODERN MASTERS FINISHES?

I love working with the Metallic Plasters and the Metallic Paint Collection. Statuary Bronze is one of my favorite colors, which I have in my own home. I use rollers for texture along with wall paper brushes, cut trowels, and many other fun tools. Adding foils and the Glass Bead Gel, which I often add glitter into, can turn any room into a show stopping space to experience.

Rich and Lush Bedroom Interior Design with Decorative Wall and Ceiling Finishes | Modern Masters Metallic Plaster, Metallic Paint Collection, and Glass Bead Gel | Artistry by Tracy Wade and Photo by Jen Brooks | Modern Mastery Project Feature on the Modern Masters Cafe Blog

Bedroom Focal Wall Finish with Modern Masters Metallic Plaster | Decorative Painting and Plaster by Tracy Wade

An award-winning project, this gorgeous bedroom features our Metallic Plaster and Metallic Paint Collection on the wall, trim, and molding finishes, and both our Glass Bead Gel and Metallic Plaster on that shimmering, eye-catching dome ceiling.

HOW HAS MODERN MASTERS ENHANCED YOUR BUSINESS?

I took two separate week-long Modern Masters training workshops, which really helped to spiral my business to new heights. There is always more to learn and I keep myself involved with continuing education in this art field.

Walls and Ceiling Finish created with the help of Modern Masters Glass Bead Gel and the Metallic Paint Collection | Modern Mastery Feature on Tracy Wade Design Projects on the Modern Masters Cafe Blog

Glass Bead Gel and Statuary Bronze from the Metallic Paint Collection enhance both the walls and ceiling of a lavish powder room.

WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO MODERN MASTERS PRODUCT?

The Metallic Paint Collection is the best that I have worked with. The colors are amazing and the product is so easy to use. I’m either using it full strength, blending the colors together to create a new color, adding it into glazes.

Various custom ShimmerStone colors were used by artist Tracy Wade to replicate a morning sunrise. The mural is in a Boeing 787 showroom lobby. | Modern Mastery Project feature on the Modern Masters Cafe Blog.

Custom tinted ShimmerStone colors were used in a mural to replicate a morning sunrise in a Boeing 787 showroom lobby.

Modern Masters Metallic Plaster over patterned foil | Creative Wall Finish by Tracy Wade | Modern Mastery feature on the Modern Masters Cafe Blog

Metallic Plaster was troweled over a patterned metallic foil for a stunning and creative wall finish.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the bold and beautiful decorative wall finishes by Tracy Wade Design using several of our Modern Masters product lines. It’s a pleasure to see her work using the glitz of our Glass Bead Gel, the shimmer of the Metallic Paint Collection, and the versatility of our ShimmerStone and both our Metallic and Venetian Plaster. Keep a look out for our next entry in our Modern Mastery series as we share more extraordinary decorative painting artists and projects with you!

A Masterful Chinoiserie Mural

Stunning Chinoiserie Wall Mural painted with the help of Modern Masters products | Artistry by Sylvia T. Designs

Chinoiserie is a gorgeous art that always seems to be on trend. We recently spied master artist Sylvia Thompson, of Sylvia T. Designs, sharing an intriguing Chinoiserie mural commission on her Instagram and we followed its progress faithfully. We’ve previously featured Sylvia on our Modern Mastery series and jumped at the opportunity to feature another one of her gorgeous projects created with the help of several Modern Masters products.

Sketch for a Chinoiserie Mural | Modern Masters | Artist: Sylvia T. Designs

It all starts with a sketch. Sylvia shares, “We were commissioned to do decorative finish work as part of a renovation of an 18th century residence in the French Quarter of New Orleans. One aspect of our work was to design and paint a Chinoiserie mural along the walls of the dining room. This challenging mural encompasses the room and then winds up the stair finishing in the 2nd floor stair hall.”

Chinoiserie Mural in Progress | Sylvia T. Designs project feature on the Modern Masters Cafe Blog

Following the approved sketch, Sylvia started with an very light off-white gray base and began the preliminary drawings and used a background leaf stencil as the filler. This important work would provide the base for the Chinoiserie mural.

Adding Metallic Paint glazes to an ongoing Chinoiserie Mural by Sylvia T. Designs | Modern Masters Cafe Blog project feature

The Creation of a Chinoiserie Mural | Modern Masters Cafe Blog Feature | Project by Sylvia Thompson of Sylvia T. Designs

Sylvia used the Metallic Paint Collection along with the Wall Glazing Cream to help handpaint and finish the mural. The walls were given a soft pearlescent glaze with Oyster Metallic Paint. In addition to the Oyster, she also glazed Metallic Paint on top in layers using Nickel, English Brown, and Smoke. Mixtures of Pale Gold, Green Gold, Venetian Blue, Copper, Sashay Red, and Hunter Green were also used.

Chinoiserie Mural Detail by Sylvia T. Designs | Modern Masters Metallic Paint Collection and Wall Glazing Cream were used to create the stunning mural | Modern Masters Cafe Blog feature

Chinoiserie Mural Close-up | Modern Masters Metallic Paint Collection and Wall Glazing Cream were used by artist Sylvia Thompson of Sylvia T. Designs to help paint and finish the mural | Cafe Blog feature

Sylvia says, “Chinoiserie is making a comeback in the decorative arts due to its classic and timeless beauty. It is an European interpretation and imitation of Chinese and East Asian artistic traditions and it first began appearing in Europe in the 17th century. Now, it is traditionally hand painted wallpaper, which can be cost prohibitive. On this project, there is great depth and a soft glow in this particular space without being too overpowering. Moreover, the cost was less than half per square yard versus wallpaper. The handpainted design ensures a permanent lifespan of the mural that can be easily touched up and maintained, which can be difficult with wallpaper.”

Maquette of a Chinoiserie Mural | Project by Sylvia T. Designs using Modern Masters Metallic Paint and Glazing Cream | Cafe Blog feature

Gorgeous Chinoiserie Mural created and painted with the help of Modern Masters Metallic Paint Collection and Glazing Cream | Stunning artistry by Sylvia Thompson of Sylvia T. Designs | Modern Masters Cafe Blog project feature

What stunning artistry! The mural has an elegant drama to it and creates incredible interest, all while connecting the dining room and adjacent stairwell. Sylvia concludes, “It was a pleasure to work with the designer and owner to capture the imagery, color, and overall feel of what was important to them. Modern Masters are “go-to” top quality products for me that helped produce the texture, feel, and depth that I desired in the mural.” Be sure to follow Sylvia’s artistic projects over on Instagram and if you’d like to read more on this project, head over to her blog. Thank you so much, Sylvia, for sharing your incredible project with us. If you’d like to find your local Modern Masters retailer, head to our Where To Buy page to find the products that will inspire your next project!

Modern Mastery: Britt Hallowell

Artists use many Modern Masters products to create extraordinary works of art. One artist we began seeing beautiful work from is Britt Hallowell of Britt Hallowell Studios. She uses our Metal Effects patinas to create a timeworn look for her modern-day canvases.We’re pleased to feature her for our Modern Mastery series.

Artist Britt Hallowell

Britt Hallowell shares that art was always her true passion – she just had to find it! “I was destined to be an artist. My childhood revolved around art and crafts of every nature, but I’m a very practical person and I didn’t think that being “an artist” would afford me being able to pay the bills,” she explains. “So I went to college for deaf studies and worked in different fields, but art was always there for me.” Then fate came calling. “One year I asked for paint supplies for Christmas and that started me down a whirlwind path I never would have expected. I started out just painting for friends and family, then opened an Etsy shop and started selling a few paintings online, then I made the big leap of doing an art festival, and it was there that I was hooked! That first show I sold 18 originals, won Best of Show, and was selected by the owners of the Melting Pot at Easton Town Center to put 24 more originals in their restaurant. Now I’m blessed to do my passion as my sole career. For the past 7 years, I have traveled the country participating in art shows and selling my original paintings to collectors around the world.”

'Revering Tembo' Canvas Art by Britt Hallowell | Modern Masters Rust Finish | Modern Mastery feature

Revering Tembo with a background of the Metal Effects Rust Patina

What is your go-to Modern Masters product and/or color?
Ever since I found the Metal Effects by Modern Masters, I use them and the Rust Activator/Green Patina in pretty much every painting I create!

'Classics and Literature' Art Canvas created with various Metal Effects patinas | Beautiful artistry by Britt Hallowell Studios

Canvas tiger art by Britt Hallowell Art with Modern Masters Metal Effects patina | Rust Art | Modern Mastery feature

Triptych entitled 'Waiting for Spring' with the Metal Effects Copper, Bronze, and Rust Patinas | Modern Mastery feature on artist Britt Hallowell

Britt produces singular and triptych pieces in custom sizes.

How has Modern Masters enhanced your business?
The Metal Effects opened up a whole new world for my paintings. I love seeing how the reactive paints will rust and patina. It’s actually rather addictive watching the paintings change before my very eyes – literally the only time it’s fun to watch paint dry. It also presents a challenge as I never know what I’ll get, and that is exciting to stretch the confines of what you are given. There is something so beautiful about taking rust – something that most people try to prevent – and turning it into a work of art that people want to look at every day. Another interesting aspect is that nothing can ever really be duplicated. Everything from humidity, temperature and the shape of my boards will impact one painting from the next. I love knowing the every single painting is absolutely a one of a kind.

Canvas horse art piece entitled An Untameable Heart painted and created by Britt Hallowell Art with the Metal Effects Rust Finish by Modern Masters | Equestrian Art Canvas | Modern Mastery feature

An Untameable Heart with the Metal Effects Rust Finish

Canvas entitled 'In a World' | Background created with Metal Effects Green Patina and the Words are created with the Metal Effects Rust Patina | Modern Masters | Modern Mastery feature on artist Britt Hallowell

I have recently published my first children’s book called What Makes You Special?. It’s a story, written and illustrated by myself, to encourage kids that it’s ok to be unique. We don’t all fit the same mold, and it’s our differences that make us who we are. I am first and foremost a Mom. My daughter and my art define me. I was inspired to create this story after I painted my original painting titled Wishing on Stars: The Unicorn of the Seas, featuring Little Narwhal, the hero of the story. Being a bit of an “ugly duckling” as a kid and having a daughter of my own now, I am increasingly concerned with the amount of bullying children are enduring and how harsh society can be to those who do not conform to its standards. If even one child reads this book and feels encouraged that he or she does not need to change who they are, then the book has been a success. I’m currently working on a second book that will teach kids to explore their own unique talents and do what they love. The illustrations in this book will feature Modern Masters Metal Effects.

What is the most inspiring space or place you have visited?
Definitely Kenya. I don’t think it’s possible to go to Africa without leaving part of your heart there. That’s why I think so many of my paintings reflect African animals. I’ve also been to Ireland and Alaska. Next on the bucket list is Thailand, China, Peru and hopefully Antarctica one day.

Rust and Acrylic Canvas entitled 'Serengeti Rockstar' painted and created by artist Britt Hallowell with the help of Metal Effects Reactive Finishes by Modern Masters | Modern Mastery feature

Serengeti Rockstar with the Metal Effects Rust Patina

Isn’t her artistry incredible? We hope you’ve enjoyed seeing her stunning works. Be sure to view more on her Britt Hallowell Studios website and, of course, keep up with her on Facebook and Instagram. Many thanks to Britt for sharing her art, knowledge, and love of Modern Masters with us. Stay inspired, everyone!

Holiday Windows with Metal Effects!

We recently featured the incredible decorative artist Heather Jozak in our Modern Mastery series. She works in the New York metro area as well as New Jersey and Connecticut and shared a huge project her company completed for Bergdorf Goodman in New York City.

Bergdorf Goodman holidays windows with Modern Masters Metal Effects | Stunning project by Heather Jozak Studios

Her company was hired to decorative paint an entire holiday window for Bergdorf Goodman’s famous windows during the last winter season. She used our Metal Effects in both blue and green patinas.

Artist Heather Jozak working on creating the holiday windows for Bergdorf Goodman with the help of Modern Masters Metal Effects patinas | Modern Masters blog feature

Modern Masters Metal Effects Patinas | Project: Bergdorf Goodman Christmas Windows by Heather Jozak Studios

It turned out spectacular, don’t you think? Be sure to keep up with her company, Heather Jozak Studios, on both Instagram and Facebook for more of her incredible work. Thank you for sharing your project, Heather, and bringing us more holiday spirit!

Holiday Window at Bergdorf Goodman | Incredible project by Heather Jozak Studios in NYC with the help of Modern Masters Metal Effects