Faux Finishing and Decorative Painting
Woodgraining: (Faux Wood Painting)
Mahogany, Ribbon Mahogany, Feather Mahogany, Quarter Sawn Oak, Plain Sawn Oak Walnut, Burl, Cherry, Maple, Color Matching for Woodgraining, How to Woodgrain a Six Panel Door, Flogging, Mottling, Woodgraining Backgrounds
Marbleizing or Marbling: (Faux Marble)
Verde Green Marble, Nero Maquina, (black and white), Portoro (black and gold), Granite, Drift Marble,Travertine, Mottled Marble, White Carrera, Sienna, Faux Marble Veining Decorative Wall Painting: Faux Italian Plaster, Positive Ragging, Rag Painting, Sponge Painting Horizontal Striping, Faux Leather, Stretched Linen / Strie, Faux Brick, Parchment, Cement Block, Color Washing, Faux Venetian Plaster, Stripes, Suede Faux Finish, Stamping, Textured Fresco Leaf Impression Wall Finish, Wall Painting Techniques Specialty Finishes: Copper Patina, Crackle, Malachite, Tortoise Shell, Gilding, Gold Leaf, Lapis Lazuli, Stenciling, Distressing, Antiquing, Clouds, Faux Tile Floor, Faux Starburst
Quality Paint Institute Decorative Techniques Articles
Decorative Painting Techniques
"Faux Finishing" a term which describes a decorative painting discipline, traditionally part of the house painting and decorating trade. There are schools, classes and workshops dedicated to the advancement of this craft.
I have been faux finishing professionally for many years. One of the missions of this site is the exchange of tips, ideas and teaching of faux finishing for the advancement of the trade. The instruction set forth here is suitable for the homeowner and professional alike.
Interior painting techniques created with the use of glaze and paint are endless, listed below are some of the finishes I do, these finishes are and will be discussed and taught on this site.
Introduction to Faux Painting Techniques
Decorative wall painting techniques are given the generic name of Faux Painting or Faux Finishes. “Faux” (pronounced “foe”), is a French word for false or imitation. Faux painting is the craft of imitating or duplicating with paint and glaze such items as marble, wood grain, leather, gold and other metallic, linen, suede, wallpaper, plaster effects, suede, tile, brick, block, clouds, tortoise shell, malachite, antiquing, crackle, granite, etc……
Faux painting usually incorporates the use of glaze (a clear paint medium which allows for transparency and has the ability to “hold” a pattern) and paint. Painting techniques can be done negatively, by subtracting the paint/glaze with the aid of faux finishing tools and brushes, or positively, by adding paint/glaze to the surface. Often a mix of negative and positive techniques are employed for a particular faux finish.
Faux finishing tools
Specialty brushes, combs, pads, feathers and other unique implements are used to create a faux finish. Additionally, there are many “crude” or common tools used (by skillful hands) to create fabulous decorative wall finishes. A synthetic sponge or a scouring pad is used to create strie or streaked effects. Common “rags” are used to make a formal, mottled “ragged” finish. Simple rollers are used to mesh paint colors together in a double roller color meshing technique.
Some faux finishes use specialty paints: Suede paint is a soft subtle mottled finish that is produced by the way the paint itself reflects light. Metallic paints give the impression of gold, silver or bronze foil or leaf.
Venetian plaster, both authentic and “faux” are popular wall techniques. The variableness of these plaster and trowel finishes lends itself well to a wide range of tastes and ensures their continued use in home décor for a long time.
Woodgraining (faux wood painting).
The faux painting technique of imitating wood is called “woodgraining” Faux wood painting, done with glaze, paint and specialty brushes and tools, can be so realistic that even the trained eye would have a hard time determining whether it was painted or real.
Marbling (faux marble)
Like wood graining, faux marble painting is done with the use of feathers, plastic, rags, liner brushes and other assorted tools. The finished product can be indistinguishable from real marble.
The most common of the faux painting methods. Sponge painting, rag painting, blending, meshing, stripes, geometric designs, trompe l’oeil, stenciling, color washing etc… Many of the wall finishes are easy enough for a DIY’er to do with a bit of practice, others require more training and expertise.
You can learn faux painting through workshops and seminars taught by faux finishers. Books, articles and videos are a good source for learning at one’s own pace. This mode of faux schooling is far cheaper and exposes the apprentice to a wider range of techniques and methods than s/he might get in a three day seminar.
Regardless of the training method, the aspiring faux finisher will need to practice on a small scale before tackling a larger project. The most practical method of refining one’s faux techniques is on illustration board affixed to a table top protected by a drop cloth or masking paper. Professional faux finishers will set up a studio for this very purpose and to experiment with new ideas and techniques and to produce sample boards for a client’s approval prior to starting a faux finishing job.
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Faux Painting Links
Painted Malachite is done with simple tools. Beautiful designs ranging from blue green turquoise to dark green. Great faux finish for jewelry boxes and inlays.
Sylvia Jaumann’s article series
A basic element for wood graining. Used as a background grain, but can be used a simple grain for trim and other small wood items.
Mottling gives character to wood. Normally done with a mottler brush, but can be done with any brush. Often done as an over graining procedure, but can be done in one layer wood graining
Old text oak graining, how steel combs are used to achieve oak grain. Written in the heyday of wood graining.
Heart grain techniques and quarter sawn oak graining as done during the height of popularity of wood graining when craftsmen were many in the trade.
More of the ancient techniques of oak wood graining including over graining procedures
Base coat and glaze systems for wood graining. Fast drying base coats for quick graining. Oil and latex glazes that work for wood graining.
Learn how to wood grain a steel door to look like wood. Priming and base coat system. Learn the sequence and order of graining a steel door
How and where to use heat grain, where and when to use straight grain. Straight grain "dragging" techniques. to add realism to your wood graining. Good for steel doors or painted wood doors.
Sponge painting is a staple technique used by itself or with other tools to achieve a wide variety of looks. Sponges are used with all types of faux finishes including woodgraining and marbling.
Dragged fine lined strie is used by itself or as a background for wall techniques.
Very popular and easy to do. There are several manufacturers of suede paint. It is a faux finish in a can . Learn the technique to make this finish work.
Follow up on suede painting. Commonly asked questions about suede paint, where it works best , how to touch it up and more.....
A fiberglass door is stained or grained a little differently than a wood or steel door. Usually there is a textured grain to work with. Learn the right glaze and method to do a good job and to achieve a real wood look.
Popular finishes. Easy to do. Learn how to avoid fragments. What type of tape to use for striping and how to space out your stripes.
Minimizing ridges, paint bleed under tape, and how to determine stripe width for wall stripes and more.....
Create a beautiful mottled wall finish using rollers and lambswool pad. Get the look of Venetian Plaster with paint
The most common oak wood graining technique. Learn how to create wood backgrounds and how to use a wood grain tool and much more - very detailed wood graining instruction.
Make your walls look like wallpaper. How to line up the prints, what to use to print. Gold leaf stamping and printing.
A soft elegant formal decorative wall finish. one layer finish with beautiful results.
The best way to do multiple color rag painting is with latex glaze and positive rag application.
One of the easiest faux stone / marble finishes. There are no veins to deal with . Can be done in oil or latex paint.
Antique oak was always quarter cut. This is one of the simplest oak graining you can do. Steel combed oak graining is centuries old. Works well in one layer.
A good wall finish marble. Vein-less, can be done with sponges, rollers and other productive tools. Good for large areas - like walls
Faux maple is a lightly grained and heavily mottle wood. Maple and Birdseye Maple are both covered. This is a brushed grained wood that works well on trim and moldings.
Create a fine textured, old world mottled finish. Easy three step process. You can do this with a fine texture or in a two step process without any texture.
You can fix most botched faux techniques by overglazing. Use the previous less-than-perfect finish as "background" for the overglazing technique.
An over-view of the woodgraining process. Base coats, glazes and finish coats. The different layers including: under-graining, primary graining, and over-graining.
If you are going to do a wall technique you need to know which types work of different walls. The strong points of negative and positive wall techniques are described which will help a DIY'er to decided on which will be a better choice for their situation.
Faux Painting Links
Create wispy washed out color mottling. Great latex wall paint technique.
African ribbon mahogany is a beautiful wood grain used on doors or wood trim. A great woodgraining technique.
Leather faux finishes are good for accent walls or on the bottom half of a chair rail wall.
A good faux marble technique with lots of depth. Can be done in two layers or three. Very realistic.
A nice wall finish that is a change from the usual vertical striping. Easier to do and faster than veridical stripes.
Some of my favorite faux finish books are reviewed. The first of a series of book reviews.
Great faux finish for a kids room or other ceilings. Simple enough for a beginner.
One of a kind faux finishes can come in a variety of designs and shapes. Here is one that was done for a young child's bedroom.
Floors can be faux finished also. Faux tile can be done on floors or on walls as a backslash.
If you can wood grain with a brush you can wood grain just about anything - anywhere.
Part two on using a brush to create wood grain. Learn the methods and techniques to create variety of grain.
A whimsical wall technique for a bedroom or accent wall to add spice to a room.
Now that you've had the stripes on the wall for a few years - learn the best way to paint over them and move on to a solid color or new wall technique.
One of the most popular and diverse wall finishes. Venetian plaster can be "real" lime or acrylic "spackle'-like finishes.
Learn about faux finish glazes. There are a lot of different types. I will tell you which oil and latex glazes I use and for what types of finishes.
Good for antiquing and adding character to items and accessories. Can be used as a wall finish too.
A metallic finish for small items or large items, I have used this for a domed ceiling also.
Good for inlays in table tops or for jewelry boxes and the like.
A nice looking vein-less marble. Comes in a variety of colors. Nice layered faux marble.
Walnut is a beautiful brush grained wood grain technique. Can be used on trim, doors, or mantels etc..
How to match your woodgraining to the rest of the wood trim in a room. How to achieve the right color for your faux graining.
The most difficult part of faux stone or marble it the veining. Learn how to do realistic veining.
Heart grain and straight grain mahogany done with paint and glaze. Mahogany is a elegant wood - a must learn for any woodgrainer.
Specific instruction on how to use the most basic wood graining tool - the woodgraining rocker.
Good wood graining is done it two layers most of the time. The first layer is the cell structure or background grain. Learn a few varieties of wood grain backgrounds.
A standard faux decorative wall technique. Done with a rag and in one or more layers.
How to lay out the room for stripes. Know what to do before you start your faux stripes wall finish.
Beautiful black and white marble. Goes well with most decor. Great faux marble - very realistic.
How to use multiple colors for your faux stripes. Different layout methods.
Surface preparation is required prior to painting over some previous faux finishes, which may include priming and / or sanding or skim coating.
Trim graining is usually done with a brush in order to get into the contours and grooves of the trim.
Add a touch of whimsical creativity to a sun room or an accent wall. Create a pattern with leaves (or similar item), and add some variety to your mottled faux finish.
Wall graphics are a good alternative to wallpaper or a standard faux finish. Masking must be done right or your design will be fuzzy or ruined. Use the right tape(s), the right way.
There are certain "high end" woodgrained woods, burl is one of them that can be used on fine furniture door panels etc.... Burl comes in a variety of wood species. Simple to produce with a minimum of tools.
Faux Painting System - click here
Hepa Filters - click here
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Kit Includes: 1 gallon of glaze, 1 gallon of Satin Varnish, 1 Fan Overgrainer brush, 1 Squirrel Hair Swordliner brush, 1 Camel Hair Mottler brush, 1 Flogging brush, and 1 Bristle Block brush. You will also need some paint and basic supplies from your local hardware store.
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