We just purchased another home and our objective was to duplicate the wall looks that are found at the popular Italian restaurant Olive Garden. We had searched the internet and checked with out local builder’s supplies all to no avail in an effort to locate pre-made wall panels similar to those in the restaurant. Finally, we decided it was time to make the walls ourselves.
After considerable research we found that we could duplicate the look by using a form of faux painting. We now believe that we have found out the secret to mimicking these beautiful walls although the procedure is relatively simple. The steps we use are as follows:
- Prime the wall or surface with a good quality primer
- Trowel on the joint compound in order to achieve the desired texture
- Prime the wall again to protect the texture you have just created
- Paint the wall twice with whatever base coat you have decided upon
- Apply either “Aqua Bond” or “Aqua Cream” glazes tinted with “Aqua Color” and applied with a ¾ inch nap roller to cover the rough surfaces of your new wall texture. A good choice would be Earth Brown tinted with Brown Aqua Color in the ratio of 3 to 1
- Immediately wipe off the glaze. The glaze will adhere to all the various cracks and crevices.
When applying and removing the glaze it certainly helps to have some additional hands assisting you as this glaze will tend to dry quite rapidly. Make sure to use a good quality glaze as the cheaper versions simply do not give the desired results that you may want.
I prefer the “Aqua Cream” glaze. It is an excellent choice in duplicating the Olive Garden look. The glaze goes on very easily and can be rub out at the edges without problems while coming back into the wall area leaving virtually no added lines. It is a very durable glaze that actually would need no additional top coats. You should remember that if your basecoat is not totally acrylic the glaze will soak into the walls rather quickly.
An interesting note concerning the Oliver Garden walls is that only the top third of the walls are actually glazed. It starts out with the glaze being the darkest at the top and gradually fading to no glaze at the lower portions of the wall. With the walls being heavily textured it creates the illusion of added depth resulting from the shadows. This is a deliberate attempt at making the wall’s maintenance simpler, as it becomes much easier to touch up when necessary.
It isn’t difficult to duplicate this effect which presents such an attractive eye appeal at Olive Garden if you follow these simple instructions and use the best quality products available. That is the secret to success.
Copyright @2010 Joseph Parish
By Joseph Parish