Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chippy Paint Finish: Ball finial

Hi, it's tutorial time again! I thought I would go ahead and put together a tutorial for the ball finial, just in case you wanted to see a smaller project done. Doing the lamp was quite a doozie, something small like this might be easier to start with.

I'll be doing this tutorial with out the guidance of Tim, although I really had fun! Did you guys see that he commented on the lamp post? How awesome is that?

Comment from Tim Holtz: Check.

Tickled pink I tell ya! It doesn't take much to make my day!

Ok, on with the project.

Supply List

-Project piece (In this case concrete ball finial)

-Spackle (any brand will do)

-artist pallet knife or putty knife

-Acrylic paint in White and Burnt Umber

-Tim Holtz Distressed Paint in Picket Fence

-Paint brushes

-Sealer in flat finish

Concrete garden finials are a perfect project piece. Concrete already has a pretty rough texture, and the Spackle only amplifies it
I don't have a nationwide source for concrete finials, sorry, I bought mine at a local business here in Missouri. I recommend trying gardening centers and home improvement stores for interesting concrete statuary. Of course, after this technique it is no longer suitable for outdoors, keep that in mind too.

Start by smearing the Spackle over the ball. I did not prime the concrete, I saw no reason to, and went straight into the spackling process.

Coat as much as the surface as you wish, again, the concrete is pretty rough already.

After the Spackle has dried completely, coat the entire piece in burnt umber. Now you may wonder, why coat the entire piece brown, just to go back over it in white. Well, because of the uneven surface that we have created, it will be impossible to predict where the white paint will go. Dry brushing the white is pretty swift and random, you don't want to have to worry about whether the burnt umber is in the right spot or not.

Be sure all the crevices are filled, see the white specks in the picture below? More burnt umber is needed, those specks will most likely be what is revealed.

After the burnt umber is dried, dry brush on white. I didn't feel the need to wait over nights with this project {unlike the lamp}, maybe because of the size and substance, I moved along pretty quickly from step to step.

After the white paint has dried, proceed with the Tim Holtz Distressed Paint in Picket Fence. This is really where the magic happens. Again, use it sparingly for a natural look.


Right now, I have the finial under an old clock dome and have been really enjoying it!

If you have any further questions, e-mail me...I'll get right back with you (asap)!
If you try this technique, let me know, I'd love to see!
And as always, if you use this idea, be kind, please link back to me. Thanks!



  1. A very unrelated to this post question. Where did you get the adorable ceramic bunnies in your header photo? How sweet are those?!!

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  2. I'm so glad you posted a tutorial! I've been thinking of this all week :)

  3. I really love this look. It is so pretty and your tutorial is just perfect. I am definitely going to find something to try this on. I love the idea of putting it under the cloche too. Hope you join the "Cloch Party" this Friday. Hugs, Marty

  4. Michelle,
    You are so creative! I've got my eye out for an old brass lamp!
    Dee Dee

  5. I'm saving this. This would be way out of my comfort zone...but, I'm a blogger...I try new things!


  6. Love this look! I have painted and distressed many times but never used spackle. Thank you for the tutorial and have a wonderful day.


  7. So cool! Thank's so much. I'm going to have to try to find one of these. Where did you find your concrete finial.

  8. You are very fun, and i am so glad to have met you!

  9. I love this technique. I am featuring it at Grab my "featured" button!

  10. That is purely amazing. I love those finials! Thanks for the tutorial!

  11. This looks so much like the one from PB...really! It's awesome!

  12. I wonder how it would work to use a chunky candlestick from the Goodwill and a styrofoam ball covered with some sort of plaster stuff? then glue them together and paint it all to match.?? any thoughts on that?

  13. Thank you so kindly, for sharing your knowledge with us! "Link back to you, for credit" definately! There use to be a neat finial like this in "ick green" on the steps up to the front of the country church, where I grew up. I've often wish I still had one of those. hee hee
    PS I believe they are called "cloche domes" (probably of french origion?). Love!


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