Coral Board

Coral Board

Posted by DecoArt on Apr 12th 2017

My husband, son and I love to go hunting for shells, corals, fossils and other nature treasures! And it is such a shame to store those beautiful pieces hidden in a box - so I decided to set the stage for this coral that actually is one of my mom's finds (so you can tell this has been running in the family for a long time already). I tried to make the background's colours and patterns on my panel match the theme of swooshing and swirling waves that crush upon the shore and bring lovely treasures. And it was a wonderful opportunity to also showcase some other found objects (that were flea market finds). I think they compliment the natural shape of the coral very nicely, don't they?

And I used a layering technique that I named "Gloss Varnish Resist". And here's the how-to.

Items Needed:


Cover the canvas board with an old dictionary page using matte Decou-Page. Add a thin wash of Raw Sienna. Do NOT seal the surface! Let dry.

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Use a palette knife to randomly apply streaks of Gloss Varnish. Let dry.

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Add some diluted Phthalo Turquoise with a soft wide flat brush. Wait a little, then wipe off the excess from the spots where the gloss varnish has worked as a resist. Let dry.  

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Add more Gloss Varnish with the palette knife, making sure you partially cover up areas that already have been treated with varnish in step two. Let dry. 

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Now repeat step three by using Phthalo Green-Blue this time. You will end up with spots that still show the Raw Sienna that we tinted the dictionary page with in step one, others show pure Phthalo Turquoise or Green-Blue and some will show a mix of the tones you used. 

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Paint the board‘s edge with a thin line of Raw Umber, then – while the paint is still wet - use your fingertip to smudge some of the paint towards the center. 

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Add sprinkles of lightly diluted Raw Umber and white Simmer Mister.

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Using the palette knife add some white Crackle Paste here and there and especially to the spot where you later want your found objects to sit. Press both objects into the wet paste so you have marked the exact spots. Leave the paste to dry without the objects in place.

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Apply a mix of Raw Umber and Carbon Black Antiquing Creams to the whole canvas board and let dry. Then wipe off the excess with a damp soft cloth. This way the little cracks and texture from the Crackle Paste will become beautifully visible. 

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Cover up the center spot and add more Raw Umber and white Shimmer Mister sprinkles. Paint a thin white frame using a fine tip brush and Titanium White. 

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Die cut a label or plaque from heavy black card and punch two holes in it. Paint on the desired number for your treasure. Then thread two pieces of thin black wire through the holes and twist them closed.

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Add a little dab of Gold Rush Metallic Lustre to the die cut label to make it match the found objects.

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Sprinkle some Venetian Gold onto the board. Then fix the label to it by wrapping the wire around the board and taping it to its back. I also used a sticky foam pad to fix the label directly to the board and to keep it in place. 

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You‘re done!

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I hope you like my "Gloss Varnish Resist" technique and are inspired to set some beautiful stages for your treasures too!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Hugs and happy crafting!


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