Behind the Scenes: Filming the MirrorCoat Colors Decorative Application Video
Behind the Scenes:
Filming the MirrorCoat Colors Decorative Application Video
I am a self-diagnosed "craftaholic". Anything I can get my hands on to refurbish, refresh, or restyle becomes my new obsession. From updating thrift store finds, to watercolor painting, to being the go-to personal shopper for my nearest and dearest, I love to make things pretty. So when our rock star R&D department started developing MirrorCoat Colors, I knew I had to get my hands dirty and see what it was all about.
That's me on the left, and Joel, one of our Video Production Gurus on the right.
I bounced some ideas around the office, then got to work doing color tests to see how the product worked together and decide which color combination would be the best to use for the MirrorCoat Colors Decorative Application Video. It was fascinating watching the colors move and shift as the product cured.
When we decided to go forward with this video project, we really wanted to see how it looked in a real-world application. Nick Gucker, our resident Graphic Designer and insanely talented local artist, set out to find a solid-wood table to refinish. The star of our video ended up only costing us $10 at our local St. Vincent DePaul!
Nick then sanded the top of the table to remove the stain and wiped the surface clean. His next step was sealing the top of the table with clear MirrorCoat, using 1oz per square foot and rolling it on with an 1/8" nap roller. This prevents excess bubbles coming through the product as it is curing, helping to create that flawless glass-like finish.
Once the seal coat had fully cured, I taped off the top of the table and spray painted the base a nice, rich, flat black. I felt the contrast of the flat base would make the high-gloss finish on the table top really pop.
Before the real fun of filming the project began, I had to gather all of the tools and product I would need to complete the table. Here are the items we recommend you have handy once you start rolling on your own MirrorCoat Colors decorative application:
- Graduated mixing cups
- Squeegee or brush
- Mixing sticks
- Selected MirrorCoat Colors (keep in mind that 2:1 mix ratio!)
- Brush or squeegee to spread base coat and clean up edges
- Paper towels
- Sanding block (we used 220 grit paper)
- Drop cloths
We are lucky enough to have a really talented Video Production team on staff, and after getting all of the lighting and camera rigs set up, we were ready to roll!
Eric, another Guru, taking close ups of the process while Kern, our company founder, oversees the project.
First we laid down drop cloths and skirted the table with plastic sheeting to protect the table base. I'm a total klutz, so I was sure to put plastic sheeting on any surface I had any chance of making a mess on! Then I did a light sand of the table because it had been over 72 hours since the seal coat was applied (MirrorCoat will still chemically bond between coats within 72 hours, with no sanding required), and finally a quick wipe with a paper towel and some Isopropyl Alcohol to remove any residual dust.
Because MirrorCoat is a self-leveling product, it is important to start with your project level to ensure even coverage on your base coat. Once you get that laid down, you can tilt and lift sides of your project to help aid the movement of the accent colors.
With the table leveled, I gloved up and began to mix my product. I chose black as the base, so I mixed 3oz per square foot at a ratio of 2 parts resin to 1 part hardener. This quantity is less than what you would use in the application of clear MirrorCoat to allow for the addition of other colors and to conserve product. For my accent colors I chose blue and red, they seemed to have the most pop over the black. I love the way the blue almost glows against the black, it's really striking.
The accent colors were mixed, again, at the required 2:1 mix ratio, at 1oz per square foot. Because this is a decorative project, determining coverage isn't an exact science. In fact, I ended up mixing more red as the project went on. You can actually see where I decided to be more aggressive with the red in the video. It is extremely important to thoroughly mix your product, mixing from the bottom, scraping the sides and bottom edges of the cup to make sure all parts are incorporated. Slacking on your mixing means your product might not cure properly, wasting valuable product and time.
Now it was time for the fun to begin. "Lights! Camera! Action!" I started by pouring my base coat of black in an "S" motion down the table. Then, using a chip brush, I guided the product around the table, letting the MirrorCoat run over the edges. Don't worry about drips, you can clean those up later. Next I repeated a similar "S" motion down the table of blue, and using a mixing stick, dragging the blue and black together to get more of a feathered or marbled look. Then came the red, using the mixed cup of product and mixing stick to drip, pour, and drizzle the red heavy on one corner, then lighter out through the rest of the table.
As we got into the project we decided we needed to go heavier on the red, so I ended up pouring a good deal of product onto the corner, and dragging the color out into the blue and black, giving almost a spider web effect. Using the mixing sticks, I did drops of red throughout, as well as more black and blue dots to add some more visual interest. One of my favorite tricks is doing a "drop within a drop", where I would do a drop of red, then lay in a drop of blue right over the top, then alternating between the two and adding black in as well, creating concentric circles of colors. It gives a really cool effect by itself, or you can drag your mixing stick through to add to the marbling.
The greatest part of working with this product is that outside of getting the mix ratio correct, there really is no right or wrong way to apply it. As it was settling we realized we hadn't gotten as much movement as we had on some of our test runs, mostly because they were done on slightly warped scrap wood, so we lifted the red corner of the table to encourage more movement of the red down into the black and blue. I think the video does a great job of showing the degree of movement we got in just a few hours of letting the table cure. Thank you, time lapse!
In temperatures of around 70 degrees, you have about 30-45 minutes to continue adding color to your project. Once you get to a point where you like what you're seeing, take a squeegee or chip brush and run it along the bottom edges of your piece to clean up drips. And just like clear MirrorCoat, we recommend leaving the product to cure for 72 hours.
The finished product!
The possibilities of decorative applications with MirrorCoat Colors are endless. It's really something you need to get your hands on and play around with. Do some small tests, develop a technique that you love, and then go for it!
I hope that our video and this write up inspire my fellow "craftaholics" to try something new and create some beautiful pieces of art and furniture. We would love to see how you use MirrorCoat Colors in your own decorative applications! Email your success stories and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and you could see your project on our blog or our Facebook page!
Dani Leibrant, Office Manager
System Three Resins
To view the full MirrorCoat Colors Decorative Application Video, click here.
A few more of the color samples we did.
- Dani Leibrant