Faux finish skills to master - 6 essential lessons          

Skills to Master

Learn these basic Universal faux finish techniques

Mastering these universal decorative art techniques will provide the basis of many decorative and fine art project. Including marbling, leather effects, furniture effects, glazing, and softening. Use these techniques as a springboard to richer, more complex finishes. Become a Master Faux finisher!"

faux finish and decorative paint techniques

Decorative finishes and Faux finishing

There are a series of basic decorative art techniques that, once mastered, are the foundation for most faux finishes as well as for trompe l’oeil mural painting (fool the eye). Each one produces many beautiful results in and of itself.  Or each can be used in conjunction with a variety of other techniques to create other styles.

Decorative finishes vary dramatically. One’s imagination is the only limitation. Experiment with professional pattern makers.  Combs, cut cardboard, plastic wrap, toothbrushes and sponges are but a few of the many common household objects that can create unique patterns, textures and finishes. Adapting paintbrushes and rollers with scissors, tape, or rubber bands can also produce a variety of interesting textures.

Basic Concepts and Decorative Terms:

What does the word "Glaze"mean?

Glaze refers to a substance that is thinned to create a transparent or translucent film of color. Diluting any paint mixture, tinted varnish or tinted water essentially produces a glaze.

Drying and Curing times:

Drying time - The time elapsed until a product feels dry to the touch.

Curing time - The time elapsed until a product is fully hardened.

For example, a newly finished floor using water-based varnish will feel hard within 24 hours (drying time), and may actually be walked on at that point.  However, it is recommended that furniture not be placed on this new floor for at least 3 days, and  preferably up to one week, to allow the surface to completely harden (curing time).

Many external conditions, such as humidity and temperature, can affect the drying and curing time of paints, glazes, stains and varnishes.  Refer to the manufacturerÂ’s recommended drying time listed on the label of all commercial products.

Techniques to Master:

Color washing decorative paint techniques
Color washing

Positive method of glaze application.

This decorative effect creates the appearance of floating color. Soft and watery, or bold and striking. The color density varies over the surface and creates appearances from parchment to the softness of an evening sky or watery appearance.

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Spongong decorative paint techniques

Everyday materials are often used to great advantage. Sponging utilizes a simple sea sponge to create a variety of visually textured effects. A tone on tone sponge finish, as demonstrated here, might imply the feeling of dappled light bouncing off a wall, while using contrasting colors can create a bold, striking effect. This painted effect is great for its ease of mastery, quickness of application and trouble-free clean up. It is also an easy finish to maintain over time. By blotting on fresh color over scuffmarks and damaged areas, the finish is easily refreshed, making it excellent for residences with young children and mischievous pets.

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rag rolling decorative paint techniques
Ragging or Rag-rolling

This technique can be created using either the positive or the negative method of glaze application. Each one produces unique and distinct textures. Ragging is essentially a 2-color process, a glaze color being applied over a base color. Using 2 color tones close in proximity produces a subtle and sophisticated look. By contrasting the colors or creating broad color variances, a strong, textured finish results. Visit the artSparx color theory center for more color ideas. This is a fast and inexpensive technique for your homee’s interior wall surfaces using water-based latex products, such as Latex paint . A fast-drying and easy clean-up finish.

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striee decorative paint techniques

A slightly more refined method of dragging. Glaze is applied over a predetermined base color on the surface being treated, i.e., walls, objects or furniture. Using a dry brush, the glaze is pulled in a vertical or horizontal direction. This creates the effect of fine lines. Striee can produce a very refined, sophisticated look and is often found in French châteaux and English manor houses.

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dragging decorative paint techniques

Applying glaze over a predetermined base color on the surface being treated, i.e., walls, objects or furniture. Using a dry brush, the glaze is pulled in a vertical or horizontal direction. This creates the effect of fine lines. Dragging is the basic technique for creating imitation wood grain effects (faux bois), and simulated fabric techniques such as faux denim.

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simulate leather paint effect
Clear wrap - Simulated leather 

Using different types of clear wrap in different sizes produces a variety effects. This is an excellent technique for producing a faux leather effect.A handsome and natural looking finish, the Simulated Leather faux effect can be particularly successful when used to create rustic interiors. It seems a natural solution for the rural design aesthetic, as it compliments the mixed material use so common to this style; wood, stone, terra-cotta and iron. Though this effect is ideally suited for furniture and objects, it assumes a grander, more mature feel when used on wall surfaces, as seen in this demonstration.

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Oil Gilding Video Tutorial

Quick Dry oil size gilding. This detailed demonstration shows you how to apply genuine gold, Silver, imitation gold, aluminum and copper leaf to objects and furniture using the classic 3 hour oil size method. Brought to you by the folks at gildedplanet.com, you'll learn about types of adhesive, testing for 'tack' and drying rates, easy leaf application tips and cleaning and burnishing the leaf.

parchment paint effect

Pre-mixed Glazes

Ready, set, GO!

Getting going with these premixed glazes. Select one of our pre-mixed glaze colors or create your own. We custom mix any color from all major paint manufacturers. Just pick your own color from any swatch book and let us know the paint name and number and we'll send you the right glaze - interior or exterior - custom matched to your liking.

Create classic effects such as colorwashing, dragging, striee, antiquing effects, furniture effects and much more!

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premixed color glaze for faux finishing

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