Week 27: Paint Test

The team decided to do a series of test paints on the exterior of the Quadplex building (the future home of the Artist Hotel and Gallery). One of the proposals is to paint the entire building including trim, doors, and light fixtures with a singular color — what we've dubbed “Moorish turquoise.” Christian was in town the weekend I began this new project. After marking off four different locations, I worked to test out various patterns. The painting of the walls took a couple days to complete because in typical Miami fashion (summertime) it rained torrentially.

One test surface was a flat square. The remaining surfaces were multifaceted with objects such as door knobs and exterior lamps attached to the building. After the first coat dried, the next step was to create a secondary pattern that would wrap the entire building. This mega-graphic might be a system of orthogonal, diagonal, or curvilinear stripes. Christian created custom laser cut templates to use for the experiment. In order to view the secondary graphic (also the same color turquoise), we wanted to use glass beads in the paint so the pattern would be subtle and slightly reflective. This technique is used by most city transportation departments when marking street traffic patterns on roadways. The caveat is that when city workers use these beads, they are merely dropping them onto a horizontal surface; I was tasked with getting the beads to stick to a vertical wall surface.

Traditionally, the beads are reflective at night when vehicle headlights illuminate the surface. We wanted to simulate this phenomenon on the exterior façade. Each day, as it begins to get dark outside a secondary pattern would become more visible. Unfortunately I could not figure out how to achieve this effect. By submerging the beads in the paint as it is being mixed, the beads absorb the paint and are no longer reflective. I tried tossing them against the wall, using an eye dropper to gather beads and spray them against the wall, and other techniques that were all moot.

We're still working on this technique. Any suggestions welcomed!

-- Gemane Barnes

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