I’d like to introduce you to Gomez. He’s that handsome fella’ you see up there sandwiched between my two kitties. Now Gomez has been sitting on my desk for weeks, but the moment he makes a big cross-house move, he’s suddenly the man of the hour.
You may have seen my post yesterday about how to make a plaster head/bust statue using a styrofoam mannequin head. That post is in essence part one to today’s informative little session. After all, before you can finish your bust you gotta start it.
Gomez came to be for one simple reason. I am a list maker. Unfortunately I am also a loser of made lists. One day I got so irritated with myself that I decided that I was going to have a place to make a list in every room that wouldn’t get lost. The fridge was easy enough. I got a list pad with a magnet on the back and have not allowed myself to remove it from there. Not for any reason.
The bedroom was proving more difficult to find a ready made solution. I bought a pretty journal to match my decor and set it on my bedside stand. Who knows where that freakin’ thing is nowadays. But a big, heavy plaster head isn’t going anywhere, no sir eee bob.
So while the project is, in a nutshell odd, I figure there are enough weirdos just like me who might love their own Gomez. So iffn’ you already got your bust busted out, let’s give this fella’ some color.
But WAIT!!! Here is what I think may be the biggest news of this post. I found a product where you can make anything a chalkboard! Chalkboard Clear Coating is found over by the specialty paints in acrylic/craft paint area of craft stores. This stuff is awesome and can be used on just about anything that is fairly smooth. Here we’re applying to plaster, but you can also use on wood or glass. Can you imagine a cabinet door that is a chalkboard without having to paint it black! In fact, you can totally keep woodgrain on stained doors! This little bottle is going to get some serious mileage up in my house, but moving on with the tutorial…
For this portion of the project you will need:
- Plaster casted statue (dried for about a week)
- Pocket Knife
- Fine Sandpaper
- Patch (I used wall spackle though it probably wasn’t the best option, it worked)
- Hot glue gun
- Acrylic paint
- Foam Brush
- Chalkboard Clear Coating
Let’s take a close up look out our man of the hour. The portion of his face on the right I’ve already been hard at work smoothing out. The left side still bears the pattern you could see on the original styrofoam head. He looks like an incredibly large pored freak and to work as a proper chalkboard in the end, you’ll need a nice smooth surface.
Here’s an even closer look at the unflattering texture. Unfortunately I was unable to take good photos showing what to do so I’m going to use my words and fill you in on the different techniques:
- Use a nice and sharp pocket knife – very lightly drag the knife against the form, making multiple passes. Each time a small amount of plaster will come off with the knife. It can be slow work but I find that it produces the best results. Please be careful when using a knife or any other potentially dangerous item when crafting.
- Use very fine sand paper. Rub in a circular fashion, moving to a wide and broad area. Be sure to use the same amount over pressure everywhere.
- For highly detailed areas, I’m afraid the knife is going to be your best bet. Try your best to use only the very tip and scratch very, very gently until you receive a nice smooth area. This works well on the lips, eyeballs, etc.
- You’ll have some areas that have holes where there were air bubbles in the plaster. This is normal and hopefully it didn’t happen on any of the important bits, like the nose. Use a small amount of patching material (I used drywall spackle) to fill in these spots. You can also use a small amount and rub it around generally to smooth out uneven surface and small imperfections.
- Remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Some things noticeable when you’re nose to nose with your Gomez aren’t going to be visible in normal circumstances.
When you are happy that your guy is as smooth as you’re going to get him, you can move on to painting him. I was all over the place about how I wanted to paint mine. My original idea was to paint on the “sections of the brain” that I could fill in when I was feeling silly. I went with it and I think it’s cool, but you could go solid color, patterned which could be so much fun. Whatever would suit your taste/decor really.
Use a foam brush to help maintain a smooth finish and prevent brush strokes. Use as many coats as necessary. Allow to fully dry before moving on.
Next I used a marker to draw on the “brain map” areas. I did a Google search and just copied the pattern quick as you please. It’s not perfect but it gets the point across.
I first drew on using a lighter colored marker so if it looked horrendous it would be easy enough to cover. Since I liked it I traced, very heavily, with a black marker.
Next I took my “brain matter” paint color and filled in my spots and went over the lines I drew in a haphazard manner. I was hoping for a sort of distressed, aged look. Not sure if I got it, though.
So that I could write on my guy with no damage to the paint, I sealed and finished with two coats of clear chalkboard paint. It goes on thick and it dries very quickly. It has an awful white appearance to it as it starts to dry and you just know that you’ve ruined everything. But don’t worry. Give it an hour between coats and it will be glossy and clear.
Allow your top coat 24 hours to fully cure.
To finish off plug in your hot glue gun and smear it all over the bottom of the neck. Place the felt on top of the glue and smooth down. You may need to go in small sections to prevent your glue from setting before you’re ready.
Go around the edges with the glue to make sure you have a nice finish and trim with scissors to complete. This step is meant to protect the surface it sits on from scratches and whatnot when the heavy plaster gets pushed around.
Write on with a chalkboard marker and you’ve got one heavy list to remind you of what’s what. And it’s one that won’t get easily lost.
I have two sides that I can turn out. On the brain section side I wrote out what I envision my crafty brain must look like. The map I took from didn’t say anything about glitter. I think they must have gotten it wrong.
And there’s my Gomez all finished up. Unfortunately I don’t know how long he’s going to co-habitate in my bedroom with me. He freaks me out. Right now he’s got a huge feather fascinator attached to his head which makes him appear less menacing but he’s on probation right now…
Happy Friday – hope your weekend is all set to be ab fab!