Adventures In Strié: Toile

Color Therapy

I feel like I spent much of the last year doing striés, including, on one occasion, a whole building's common hallways. In this example we're producing a glazed finish that looks like fabric.

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I first became aware of this technique in Ralph Lauren catalogues ten years ago. You lay down a basecoat in a satin finish, apply your glaze over it, and wipe it away in two directions with a wallpaper brush. But it was never my thing, and I had to find ways to make it my own.

By toile, I do mean fabric in the way it looks, but I can never light upon which specific fabric. The treatment sometimes looks like linen, raw silk, canvas, or even hopsack cloth depending on your brush and your color combo.

In this instance, the base coat was Benjamin Moore Half Moon Crest 1481, and the glaze was Kendall Charcoal HC-166. I think it looks especially masculine in a tweedy, Mad Men kind of way.

I will only do glazes in alkyd paint at this point, as acrylic seizes up too quickly. I like off-the-rack wallpaper brushes more than those produced by Ralph Lauren; and also, I do a whole room or long walls in alternating sections, or you could never get the glaze up across a 20 foot wall without the beginning point starting to dry. The net effect is similar to wallpaper in that it produces soft seams, but I find that to be rhythmic and Zen.

(Images: Mark Chamberlain)

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