There's nothing fake about the time and effort involved in faux painting. The process is artistic, even a little scientific because you have to mix paints and glaze, dab and wipe, flick a brush this way and that or roll paint one way, then another. And taking breaks can mean starting a project over. It's hard work, faux sure.
Ranked from easy to difficult, color washing, stippling and the denim technique are some of the faux finishes Cheryl Votzmeyer, owner of Green Frog & Co., creates for her clients. Color washing involves diluting a water-based paint with white spirits and applying the paint/glaze mixture with a brush or cloth on top of an eggshell or satin base coat. The illusion of texture means the walls don't have to be perfectly smooth.
"If you're using sea sponge or a rag, apply the paint/glaze mixture to an approximate 4-foot square section of the wall, starting in a corner, rubbing it over the area in a circular or figure eight motion. If using a brush apply the mixture in a crosshatch motion, "Votzmeyer said.
Continue working in 4-foot square sections of the wall, then blend the sections while the paint is still wet.
Stippling takes more time and patience because it involves applying the paint/glaze mixture with a rapid brush-tapping technique to create a stone-like finish.
"It's a great technique for making hard or strong modern colors a little softer and easier to live with." Votzmeyer said.
For a lived-in finish, the denim technique creates a woven texture carefully achieved by outlining walls into narrow vertical sections, then using a weaver brush to apply the glaze vertically then horizontal.
Repeat the strokes with a check roller while the first coat is still wet. A check roller is used specifically for the denim technique.
To go faux, Votzmeyer said each of the techniques require a satin or eggshell latex base coat. Other supplies include:
*paint roller and rolling pans
*painter's tape and drop cloths
*top coat paint color
*stipple brush, check roller or weaver brush
*lint-free rags, a bucket and paint sticks for mixing
"The paint, glaze and faux tools are usually the most costly part of the project, "Votzmeyer said.
Before taking on a faux painting project, practice the technique on paint boards sold at home improvement stores or find a wall to practice on at home.
"I have a particular wall in my garage that I practice on if I want to get a larger scope of what my faux project will look like,"Votzmeyer said.
She doesn't recommend practicing on a wood surface unless you're applying a decorative finish to the wood.
And finish what you start. Don't faux finish a portion of a wall and resume the project another day because the dried paint/glaze will not evenly overlap with the freshly applied coat, leaving a dark seam.
"There is no way to get rid of this line except to paint over the whole area and start all over again," Votzmeyer said.
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