Faux cottage stone tutorial

Firstly, let me make a disclaimer:

I am not a professional faux painter.  I have seen some AMAZING faux work that you would swear was real.  I ‘wish’ I could paint like that! 

This is just a simple ‘make do’ version of  faux cottage stone that served my purpose.  I decided to take pictures of the process so that at the very least I could learn from my mistakes if it didn’t turn out to be usable.  (I didn’t have a lot of time to spend on it either.)  So, here’s how I did it.  Whether it be a lesson in ‘how to’ or ‘what not to do’!

The objective on this project was to hide the UGLY brown area below the storefront windows.  That area doesn’t look too bad in pictures, but up close it’s faded and dingy and blotchy and just plain ugly and very UN-cottagey!

Michael measured the spaces and cut the wood for me using 1/8″ luan plywood.  We were going to be just ‘setting’ the inserts in (so they can easily be removed) so we wanted the wood to have a little ‘flex’.

First, I painted all three boards gray.  (just mixed some black and white paints till I got a color I liked)  Once that was dry, I sponged on some carmel brown paint using a sea sponge.  Fully wet your sponge first, then completely wring out all the water.  Then put it in a towel and wring it some more.  You want it just damp enough to be soft and pliable, but not drippy.

Next I dry brushed on some off white in kind of a criss cross stroke.

Then I went back to using gray, but I ‘mixed as I went’ so as to have lots of varyong shades of gray.  Put a blob of each black and white paint in one tray, dab sponge in each color; then blend colors by dabbing a little on a separate tray or plate.

And I just kept sponging on the gray until I got the look I liked.

Ahhhhhh….good enough!

Then I painted my ‘grout’ lines.  Now I KNOW that the grout should have been a lighter color, but I went with black because my shutters were white and the frame for the area I was putting these faux cottage stone inserts was dark, and I felt it better to match them to the frame.

First I just painted the lines.  No particular pattern.

Then I went back and rounded out the corners.

And once dry added a coat of Varathane varnish.

Michael had to sand the edges just a bit more to get them to fit perfectly.  Whne we are ready to taek them out all we’ll have to do is slip a paint scraper into the edge and pop them out!

Voilla!!!  From strip mall ‘same old, same old’ to cottage!