Crazy Like a Faux!

Choosing the Interior paint scheme for the rooms in your house is not really that hard. The basic steps are to choose colors that will convey the mood your want and colors that match the things you can’t or don’t want to change in the room. Things like carpet or the furniture. Once you have picked your colors, buy the paint, do the painting prep, paint the walls, and you’re done!

But there are many more things that you can do to enliven the room using paint. One relatively simple technique is to paint an accent wall. An accent wall is simply one wall that is painted a markedly different color than the others, which will make the whole room more fun and inviting.

Faux Finishing is a little bit more complicated, but most of the techniques are actually quite easy and fun. We will be discussing the different effects today, so we’ll save the details of the techniques for a different time.

In the simplest terms, faux finishing is a decorative technique using paint to create the illusion of different materials. Most of these simple techniques will give your walls new depth and movement. The effects can be dramatic or whimsical. The best part is that if you don’t like the effect, you can change it or cover it with paint, and no one will ever know!

Probably the easiest faux finish technique is sponging. This begins with a base coat, usually with a flat paint. Using a sea-sponge, lightly apply another paint of a different color and perhaps gloss level, over the top of the base coat by gently dabbing with the sponge. A natural sea sponge is used because it is naturally absorbent, so it will hold the paint liquid, but it is also randomly shaped. Different and natural looking effects can be created by turning the sponge, using different sides of the sponge, and using varying pressures when you dab the sponge.

The effect can be subtle, using different shades of the same color, or dramatic, using different colors of lighter and darker shades. One fun example for the kid’s room is to paint the walls a light blue, then using your sponge technique, create some fluffy white clouds. Another variation is to cover your base coat with a “wash” of thinned paint of your second color, perhaps with a glazing extender added, then use your sponge to remove the wash, creating a negative color effect.

Sponging can be used, adding a couple modifications to the technique, to create the illusion of a stone wall. Use masking tape over your base coat to create the pattern that will be the grout lines of your stone work. Now use your sponge technique to give depth and texture to the “stones”. When you remove the masking tape, Surprise! Stone Wall! Hint: by using the false brick technique in small patches, especially in corners and edges, you can create the effect of old plaster that has chipped away to show the brick work below.

Rag rolling is very similar to sponging, and will create interesting textures. You can also use painters tape to mask sections of the wall in order to create vertical or horizontal stripes. You can even make patterns, like diamonds or blocks. Another fun way to add life and fun to your walls is with stenciling.

Of course there is nothing wrong with having all of your walls the same plain colors. The important thing too remember is that it is your home, so you should be able to make it as fun and welcoming as you want!

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