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Faux Painting Idea's

I will be trying faux painting for the first time, I have watched some video's on different techniques and was wondering which type would be the easiest for a beginner.  I am redoing my dinning room in a "Wine" theme.  I found that the earthy colors are best for this type of theme, such as browns, greens & burgundy or brick colors.  I would like to do a two tone on the walls with a chair rail.  I am unsure if it would be better to do the faux on the top, with a solid color on the bottom, or vice-versa. This is a first time project for me, and I would like to get it right the first time, I am in need of some suggestions.




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Posted 2012-02-28T23:11:38+0000  by Chrissy1127 Chrissy1127




There are generally two techniques in applying faux finishes, both involve going over a base color coat. You are either applying a general coating of glaze to the wall and then taking it partially off by various means or, you are applying the glaze to the wall by various means and leaving it alone. The later method is by far the easier, because you control the speed at which you must work. Further, if you decide an area needs more glaze, it can easily be done later, even if the glaze already on has dried.


The first method requires that you do your faux design before the area you have glazed begins to set. With this method, it is very easy to end up with a "blocky" look, clearly showing the sections that you worked on. It is dificult to blend these areas together to a seamless look.


Generally, a significantly darker color paint  is used to make the glaze. It is mixed into glazing liquid at the ratio of 4 parts glaze to 1 part paint. I personally find that multiple glaze colors over the base color give the most interesting look. I also like to make the base color a relatively low sheen, such as Behr's Flat Enamel. I then like to use high gloss paint to mix into the glazing liquid. This raises the sheen of the glaze and results in not just a tone on tone play, but a sheen on sheen play.


Indeed, an interesting effect can be had by simply rag rolling clear satin acrylic over a flat wall paint.  The higher sheen of the clear acrylic gives the rolled areas a deeper, richer look.


Rag rolling is simply tightly rolling up a rag, rolling it in the glaze and then rolling it onto the wall. I like to use a roller to roll the glaze onto a piece of plywood or heavy cardboard and then rolling my rag into it to pick up the glaze. This secondary rolling prevents you from accidentally getting too much glaze on your rag. Also, if you try to roll your glaze directly from a roller tray, you will pick up the pattern of the tray bottom and transfer it to the wall.


Obviously, when applying faux finishes, all the edges and ceiling line must be protected from getting the faux glaze on them, generally by the use of blue painter's tape.


It is almost impossible to work with someone else while applying faux finishes. You will unknowingly be using slightly different techniques. It is also difficult to keep your own technique consistent as you go around the room.


Whatever technique you decide upon, you will want to practice on a scrap of drywall or cardboard before committing to the wall. Between colors, sheens, application tools, etc. the effects are almost limitless. You will want to experiment with them all before committing. Also, if your walls have texture on them, some faux techniques do not work well. Ideally, your sample board should have the same texture as your walls.


Here is a suggestion: paint both the top and bottom of your chair railed wall with a low sheen paint in one of those colors you are considering in your post.. On the upper walls, rag roll a clear acrylic coat of a satin sheen. The clear coat will make those areas look darker and richer, giving a very subtle, elegant look. Because you have used the same basic color top and bottom, neither area will dominate, resulting in either a top heavy nor bottom heavy looking room. Of course, you can still opt to use a color glaze to give additional interest.


Just a few musings of an Ol' paint contractor :)

Posted 2012-02-29T07:29:19+0000  by ordjen


 Welcome to our community Chrissy1127, 


My name is Christine and I work in the paint department at The Home Depot. Thank you for your advice Ordjen! Rag rolling definitely leaves a unique finish and is quite simple. 


I also wanted to mention the sponging technique. Sponging is also pretty easy for beginners. Using natural sea sponges will leave a unique imprint on the wall. Here is a how to video on sponging. 


If you go to your local Home Depot's paint department there should be a Behr pamphlet entitles "Faux Finishes". Within this pamphlet there are tips and color combinations for a variety of faux looks. I encourage you look through this book and see if anything strikes your fancy.


Good luck with everything! Let us know how everything turns out.


If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask,


Christine :smileyhappy:  

Posted 2012-02-29T16:47:32+0000  by Christine_HD_ATL

Hello Chrissy,


Faux finishing is an art and the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


There are, however, several things that remain constant:


1) Glaze applied over lower sheens, like Flat, tend to absorb into the Flat wall, preventing manipulation of the glaze and creating lumps and blobs of color. These lower sheens make it very hard to create the flowing appearance that most faux finisher seek. Your base coat will almost always be either a Satin or Semi-gloss ... almost never a Flat.


2) Color selection is a very personal choice and although it is most common to see dark over light, faux can be just as visually stunning with light over dark. Choose colors that compliment your decor!


Here is a recent post that includes a video on faux finishing techniques and visual examples of how to select colors.


Here is another video that shows use of creative faux finishing tools and how to wipe off excess glaze before application.


And although my customer, Melissa's faux was on furniture, her effort is so outstanding that it is worth a look!!!


SUMMARY: Make certain your base coat is at least Satin, be creative and use anything as your applicator ... even the spiked end of a pineapple.


And above all else, remember that the beauty of faux is in the eye of the beholder ... establish your look on test boards and then turn your favorite music up loud and have a great time applying it to your walls!!!

Posted 2012-03-01T22:11:14+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL


I would agree that in general, paints of higher sheen are easier to work over. However, "never over a flat paint" is somewhat dogmatic. Even Behr's Belaggio recommended the use of flat enamel as its base.


As I stated in the above post, I like the juxtaposition of flat/gloss as a means to add additional interest to the walls.

If the method of glaze application is a dab-on or rag-on rolling technique, the sheen of the surface is not particularly relevant. If, however, you are ragging-off, wet time does become important. So too when using techniques which require the glaze to be smeared around with sheepskin etc.


Where ever light is reflected off the wall and viewed from an oblique angle, the sheen variations really become of interest. Such is often the case in long hallways or around lighted wall fixtures.


Year ago, I used to hang wallpapers by the Van Luit Company. Their papers were subtle, but elegant ( and very expensive). Upon close inspection, one could count six or seven ink color variations and several sheen variations.It is this that I often try to emulate when doing faux finishes. The more the subtle variations, the more interesting!

Posted 2012-03-01T22:39:44+0000  by ordjen
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