|The bathroom of my friends Sandy and Greg|
I've painted half a dozen rooms with feather dusters, and I'm pleased to report that the results have all gotten rave reviews. Today, I'll share how it's done.
As shown above, take the feather duster and cut about a third of the feathers off. (I suggest doing so outdoors or at least in a space where flying feathers won't be a problem.) You'll end up with something that looks more like a feather brush than a feather duster.
The technique (as I do it) requires two sets of colors applied with dusters over one solid color — one duster per color, per wall. A room of four walls would therefore call for eight feather dusters, but I'd have 4-6 extras on hand, just in case.
Now for the colors, which will work best as flat paint. Successful rooms require an optimum three colors, and for best results, they should be three adjoining colors from the same paint chip. Of course you can do something more dramatic, but the rooms featured in this posting were achieved with three tints of the same color. (A), or the middle color, will be the base color, and you'll begin the project by painting the whole room with that middle hue.
In the case of my own bedroom, everything was painted that middle color — walls, trim and ceiling. When the room was finished, I painted the Victorian mirror frame the base color, too.
Here, I'm demonstrating with colors left over from painting my house exterior. First is a flat coat of the middle tone. For the next step, I suggest a practice session with a piece of cardboard. Dip the feather brush into the darkest of the three colors, (B). The best way to do that is to dip the feathers at a perpendicular angle into a paint tray, and lightly enough so that only the tips of the feathers are covered with paint. (Otherwise you'll be applying big globs of paint.) Press the feathers against the wall so that they splay out.
After this first application of feather painting, the wall will probably not look attractive. You might even be moved to say, "Oh my God, what am I doing!!" Don't worry, the second coat of feather painting will be with the lightest color, (C), and it will blend the darker color and the base color very nicely. Applying the lightest color will be the major part of the project because it will require you to even out all the texture by eye.
When you get to the ceiling line or trim edges, simply mask where you're painting with a thin cardboard, like a shirt board.
This technique is not limited to walls; I've also used it for the background of a couple of paintings.
Several things to consider: 1) If you start with a room that has already been painted with the base coat, this will still be a full day's work. 2) While I have never painted over a feathered room, I know that I have added considerable texture to each wall. 3) Having said that, I also know from my own bedroom that the feather-painting technique makes a lot of unevenness in walls disappear. And finally, 4) you will be tempted to add more than three colors. Each application of feathering makes your texture finer, which means that at some point of adding layers, you'll be back to your first step. Three colors really is optimum, and I would use no more than four.
One more look ...