Four Decorative Painting Techniques
By Kathy Burns-Millyard
Tired of plain, boring walls? Faux finishes are a great way to jazz up
your space with little cost or effort. Here are a few of the most
Sponging: Of all faux finish techniques, sponging is the easiest, even
children can do a somewhat messy reproduction of this technique. In
order to sponge, you must first paint the entire area one base color.
After this coat dries, then you can take a sponge or even a plastic
bag, dip it in paint, and apply the paint randomly to the walls.
Although this is a random process, you want to be careful not to get
any one area of the wall extremely dark or leave it extremely light or
your eye will be drawn to that spot immediately. Sponging is very
easy, and for all supplies usually costs between $50-$100, which may
also include classes if you want to learn from the professionals.
Combing: Combing is a little more difficult. When combing, you use a
squeegee with teeth to comb through the top layer of paint. As with
sponging, you want to have a bottom layer so that when you comb there
will be a matching layer beneath it. Using a combing technique is also
very inexpensive, and you can use the squeegee to make wavy, zigzags,
and other designs on the wall.
Glazing: Glazing is actually the product that you put over your first
coat of paint. In order to glaze your walls correctly, you should take
a class. You may be able to find a home improvement store that offers
glazing classes or you may need to talk to a local interior decorator
about classes, although these will likely be very expensive. Glazing
places a transparent coat over the base coat of paint, making the wall
look a bit shiny and transparent. You can use as many coats of glaze
as you want to get the desired look.
Trompe-L'oeil: Trompe-L'oeil is French for "fool the eye." This finish
fools the eye into thinking that the wall has a marble or granite
finish. This is probably the most difficult finish to accomplish on
your own. For creating the marble finish, you use a technique very
much like sponging, but this one takes a bit more talent. Visit local
stores to see if they have classes or tips on achieving this style.
These are the four primary types of faux finishes. The first two are
fairly easy, while the latter two are significantly harder. Before
attempting any of these, plan well so that you can estimate the cost,
and visit your local hardware or design store for classes or helpful
hints. Having a buddy to take classes with you or practice with you
will make the experience more fun. You can even do one room in your
house and then decorate a room in your buddy's house; the fun never ends!
(c) Kathy Burns-Millyard. This article is provided courtesy
of The Do It Yourself Home Decorating Network -
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