How To Faux Paint Your Home Interior

Faux Finishing Home Interior Walls

A key part of great home interior design involves paint color and texture. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to faux finish your walls but can’t afford a professional painter. Or maybe you’re ready to hire a painter but aren’t sure what type of faux finishing techniques would work best with your décor.

The worst thing you can do is trying to faux paint without any knowledge or experience; this is a sure way to end up with walls that look unnatural, amateurish or just plain ugly! It takes true talent and years of experience to learn the techniques behind some of the more intricate faux painting methods but there are others that you can easily master yourself with a little practice and lots of patience.

You really should hire a professional unless you have some artistic skills and are willing to take the time to learn how to faux finish your walls the right way. A good place to start is by reading on to learn what types of faux paint finishes are used to create designer showcases and the methods and artistry involved.

Origins and Types of Faux Finishes

Faux means literally “fake” in French. In America in the late 1980s and early 90s, painters developed techniques to mimic natural materials such as wood grain and stone. Thus, a client who wanted marble columns or mahogany wall panels could get the look of the real thing for a fraction of the cost.

As the faux finishing art form has continued to evolve, the term now applies more holistically to a number of techniques such as color washing, glazing, subtractive sponging, rag rolling, combing, marbling and others used to simulate natural or manmade elements. These techniques can literally transform an ordinary room into a completely different environment.

The basic ingredients used to create the textures, tones and color depth you see in most faux finished walls are paint and glaze. Typically a base coat is applied first and then layers of color are applied over the base, with the glaze allowing you to blend, swirl and texture the paint to achieve the desired effects.

The range of effects that can be achieved is truly amazing, from Venetian plaster or Italian marble to subtle stripes and mottled looks, color washed walls with translucent, metallic sheens to aged old world stone masonry.

Preparing Walls for Faux Finishing

The basecoat layer will make or break the results of your faux painting project. Since most faux finishes involve applying very thin layers of glaze over the base color, imperfections will become quite apparent to the eye. Cracks, bumps and other surface imperfections will be amplified by your faux finish.

In most cases, walls must be prepared ahead of faux painting; standard drywall that has been textured with a drywall hopper will need to be smoothed or else textured to create the rough look of stucco or another desired surface before you begin painting. Prep can comprise up to 25% or more of the time and effort involved in creating a high quality faux finish so don’t underestimate the surface preparation phase.

If you are building a new home or remodeling you can avoid extra time and work by planning wall texturing (or lack thereof) accordingly. If you plan to faux finish existing walls that have already been textured with a drywall hopper, your first step unfortunately is to apply joint compound to fill imperfections, sand the walls flat and smooth and apply primer. These steps often have to be repeated several times before the walls are ready for the basecoat.

Heavily textured faux finishes can involve other types of preparation, with skip trowel, knockdown, orange peel or other hand texturing techniques being required before painting begins. These more advanced techniques are not typically recommended in most cases for beginners so you should consider hiring a contractor to prep interior walls if you intend to apply one of these kinds of texturing.

Taking time and effort to prepare your walls before attempting to faux finish them cannot be emphasized enough; a flat, solid, smooth surface is absolutely critical to the success of your faux finishing project! If you have experience with faux finishing please share your thoughts and tips by leaving us your comments below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *