by ell brown
Our prehistoric ancestors knew all about the power of paint. Today, faux painting techniques allow anyone to give their home a magical makeover. Indoors and out, faux paint finishes can transform walls and floors, fittings and furnishings.
Faux painting can give new life to a dull room or a drab outdoor area. Marble and wood grain finishes are some of the best-known faux painting techniques, but there are many more, including brick effects and the appearance of leather. Antique and distressed finishes can be used to create the style and atmosphere of a bygone age in old houses or can refresh and embellish existing décor.
Brick and Block Effects
Raw brick is a popular look for use both indoors and out. You can add texture to a flat wall or turn dull concrete into attractive brickwork. With stencils and the right paint, it is a relatively simple task to add pattern and color to boring floors or paths. The illusion of brickwork visible behind peeling plaster is an amusing and visually effective way to create the impression of age and that antique ‘lived-in’ look.
With quality wood an expensive investment, faux painting that recreates a wood grain look is an economical alternative for doors, window frames and other household fittings. Any kind of wood look can be replicated, from patinated mahogany to rustic pine or the distressed appearance of driftwood. The dragging technique that is usually used to simulate wood grain can be especially useful if you need to match a door or window to existing wood fittings. Other items, including picture frames, fireplaces and furniture can also be transformed to match a room.
The Luxurious Look of Marble
Craftsmen centuries ago learned how to use paint to give ordinary materials the opulent appearance of marble. Faux marble can give your kitchen and bathroom an expensive and luxurious look. Paint applied with a sponge and fine brush and completed with a glossy finish help to create the illusion of fine marble. As with wood, many different effects can be reproduced. For example, a granite effect is popular for kitchen counter tops.
Other Stylish Effects
With the right materials and knowledge, a range of exotic and stylish finishes can be achieved using paint, including metallic finishes. Faux chrome details can complement contemporary homes, whereas faux bronze can add the finishing touch to a traditional room furnished with antiques.
Other faux painting techniques that simulate a warm and lived-in look include Tuscan finishes, perfect for uneven surfaces. Tuscan finishes use warm, earthy colors to create a textured and layered appearance. The Tuscan finish is ideal for kitchens and dining areas, and complements floors tiled in terracotta, but can equally add style to a living room. Vine and acanthus motifs used as a stenciled border provide a finishing touch.
Faux painting allows you to coordinate décor schemes and achieves a unified overall appearance. Antique and distressed finishes can help bring the look of a room together. New furniture and fittings can be given a glowing patina that makes them look as if they have been around for centuries. Textured finishes such as color washes can help achieve this visual effect. On furniture or doors, crackle glazes dry to look like antique varnishing.
Faux painting is an inexpensive and creative solution for many interior designs and a fun way to give your home and furnishings a makeover.