Faux Finishes: How Paint Can Bring New Life to Your Home
Faux paint finishes enable you to add a decorative touch to your home and give the space a completely different look. Faux (meaning “false” in French) describes the paint finish, which is intended to create an illusion of texture or depth on an otherwise smooth surface. Faux finishes can mimic a wide range of materials and textures, such as plaster, stucco, wood grain, and leather. While some faux finishes are easy to execute, requiring nothing more than a sponge, others are more difficult and necessitate special tools and professional skill to execute. Here are some of the most popular faux finished being used these days to infuse new life into interior spaces.
- Trompe l’oeil: One of the most enduring of all faux finishes, trompe l’oeil (which means literally to “trick the eye”) involves an expert use of paint to create the illusion of real vines, mirrors, arched doorways, and stones on a wall. The sense of depth is created through a strong emphasis on highlights and shadows.
- Fresco: This decorative painting technique has ancient roots, where wet pigments were used as paint on uncured plaster. In modern times, a fresco finish gives the appearance of an aged and weathered mural, though contemporary paint products are used.
- Old World (color wash): This type of faux finish creates an illusion of old Tuscan plaster. Multiple layers of color are applied (using color washes) to create the illusion of depth and movement in the otherwise flat surface.
- Stipple (also known as “pouncing”): In this decorative paint treatment, a glaze or paint is applied to the surface, and while it is still wet, a stippler is applied, which causes the glaze to disperse into tiny dots. The result is a very even film of glaze with minimal brush strokes.
- Venetian plaster: Centuries ago, applying Venetian plaster used to be a time consuming process performed only by master artisans, but with modern tools an everyday painting contractor can create a similarly beautiful surface. Venetian plaster finishes create a textured, slightly raised surface that’s reminiscent of European architecture.
- Faux stone and wood: Using a faux finish, a wall can be painted to mimic these natural materials. Usually, plaster or a joint compound is applied to the wall and then painted and color washed or glazed.
If you are tired of boring old color schemes and want to use paint to take your interior décor to the next level, then a faux finish can give you the one-of-a-kind look you’ve been dreaming of. Talk to your painting contractor to determine the best faux finish options for your particular space.