popularity of Faux Finishing
popularity of faux-finishing techniques exploded over the past
several year, with more and more people trying their hands at
turning plain old walls into works of art. The realm of faux-finishing
techniques is vast, including sponging, ragging, combing, marbleizing,
wood graining, stamping, block printing, stenciling, color washing,
crackling, weathering and is stressing, among others.
a major obstacle to faux-finishing is the fear factor. Some
people hesitate to try a technique, stymied by uncertainty:
"How will I know what to do? Will I be able to achieve the look
I want? How can I avoid mistakes?"
many faux-finishing techniques are relatively easy to accomplish
with the proper tools and proper advice - both of which can
be provided by paint and decorating retailers.
are becoming as proficient professionals at doing some of the
simpler finishes," stated John Catalanotto of Pro Faux workshops
& Tool CO., an Akron, Ohio, firm that provides faux-finishing
education and specialty tools.
there is greater use of latex and acrylic latex products, which
makes the process more manageable by the do-it-yourselfer. There
are literally hundreds of different looks for a variety of aesthetic
tastes, including very sophisticated techniques that are easily
the past several years, the price of faux-finishing tools has
come down dramatically, which also has added to the accessibility
of many more techniques. Some tools were $30, $40, $50, even
$100, and it was difficult for the consumers to make that type
of investment. Now , most tools are less than $20, and some
are less that $10. That means that the do-it-yourselfer can
get involved with more complicated techniques.
and decorating retailers may want to try faux-finishing themselves
so they can convey their customers when describing the various
accomplish that, Leslie Harrington, corporate interior designer
for Benjamin Moore & CCO., offered this advice: "For inspiration,
read books, magazines and how-to pamphlets. Start every project
with no preconceived notions of how the project should look
once completed, or you may be disappointed. Let the paint do
the work, and let the pattern establish itself."
added that common house hold items have the potential to be
great faux finishing tools. "These can include sponges, brooms
rags, feather dusters, floor mops, even window washing squeegees,
sandpaper, steel wool, hammers, pieces of chain, nails and glue,"
Harrington pointed out. The advantage for paint and decorating
dealers is that many of these items can be stocked in their
Kraig, color marketing manager for Martin-Senour Paints, urged
dealers to use their imaginations and experiment. "Why not try
newspaper or garbage bags as tools to create a look?" she suggested.
always best to try the colors you have chosen on a piece of
dry wall or practice board before you start," Kraig added. "This
will allow you to make any changes of color placement, value
or hue before you get to the final master piece."
Faux recommends adding The Flood Company's Floetrol to latex
paints and Penetrol to oil paints. These products eliminate
brush marks and roping and also prolong the wet edge of the
paint. "The conditioner is the secret ingredient," stated Frohnapfel.
"You'll never fool anyone if you have brush marks on our marble."
And lengthening the dry time provides a longer period for applying
techniques and correcting mistakes.
also suggested setting aside a special time and place for studying
and painting samples. He recommended taking time to research
faux finishing at the library and observing the finishes on
buildings and furniture. Dealers also may want to consider taking
classes at local colleges or for a serious student, enrolling
in a workshop taught by a faux finishing professional.
you're ready to start, be patient with your self," Frohnapfel
cautioned. "Many times, we expect immediate results. Experimentation
and patience are the key elements to faux-finishing success."
Faux finishing is gaining broader exposure in print and electronic
media, which adds to consumer interest. In fact, Pro Faux appeared
on "Our Home," a popular Lifetime cable TV program, in May '96,
to demonstrate faux-finishing- textures.