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faux painting(ARA) - It's that time again -- the change in weather and the rush to redecorate before the holidays arrive means many do-it-yourselfers will soon find themselves preparing for winter with a paintbrush in hand. In fact, fall is the busiest interior painting season of the year. And many of those tackling a painting job will be customizing in style by using a faux finish technique.

But we aren't talking about the traditional faux finishes of the 1980s. The relatively simple, but time consuming, sponged-on and rag-rolled paint finishes of the past are quickly giving way to more subtle and refined techniques that produce elegant and sophisticated looks.

According to Solveig Elios, Pratt & Lambert Color Services Specialist, "Many of the new faux finishing products easily allow a novice painter to create a distinctive designer effect throughout their home. Whether a consumer wants bold or subtle, innocent or sophisticated, more than ever before, today's faux techniques can help achieve a look that showcases their individual style, and that's what it is really all about."

Just how extensive are the choices when it comes to faux finishing? If you can imagine a finish, it's probably available. Solveig walks us through some of the hottest new faux finishes.

What's Old Is New Again

Tuscan Influence

Recently, the Tuscan influenced design has grown in popularity. This rich, authentic artisan style that's reminiscent of century villas found in Tuscany, has created the demand for new faux techniques that provide aged, rustic looks.

"Homeowners who once would have had to hire a professional to obtain a Tuscan wall influence, can now achieve the same beautiful results themselves with a variety of products that make walls appear to have been created by an artisan's hand," says Elios. "One of the newest finishes available is Tuscan Villa Interior Plaster by Pratt & Lambert. This product allows DIYers to achieve the elegant look of aged European plaster in three easy-to-follow steps."

Ease of use isn't the only benefit to these Tuscan-inspired products. Additionally, compared with the price of an actual plaster wall finish that can cost up to $12 to $18 per square foot, consumers can now enjoy the same look with faux finishes, for a fraction of the cost.


Another extremely popular "aged" finish is called crackling. With this technique, consumers can create a unique weather-beaten look by using contrasting paint colors, a paintbrush, roller and a sea sponge. It's an effective way to accentuate the antique, or heirloom, feel of a room and is often used to highlight accents such as furniture, frames, chair rails and other trim pieces.

Textured Rolling

Finally, for those looking to bring a touch of the rustic outdoors inside, there's textured rolling. This incredibly unique finish actually contains sand and produces a rough-to-the touch feel. Typically, it's used to accent dens, great rooms and bedrooms.

Fe, Fi "Faux" Fabric Textures

You don't normally associate fabric with painting, however the more refined, soft look of fabrics, such as satin, silk and chambray, are also being seen more often. Rather than relying on wallpaper or stencils to provide the rich look of these fabrics, paint can now provide the same results without the hassle and mess.


The tone-on-tone Damask effect is a design that can add pattern, color and class to many different types of room settings, and provide a particularly elegant backdrop to more formal settings, such as dining rooms. This satin and twill interweaving technique is the ultimate way to add a sense of regal bearing to any decorating plan.


Chambray anyone? Interior designers and consumers alike are turning to the classic American fabric to make a statement of casual individualism. Now, Chambray can go anywhere, including on walls. This soft weave faux technique is simple and adds warmth and subtle texture to any room. In order to create the chambray look, a basic four-step process is followed that utilizes a base paint, a glaze and a wallpaper smoothing brush.

Shantung Silk

If it's sophistication rather than kick-back casual that you're looking for, it's now easier than ever to create the look of Shantung Silk on your walls. Precious and formal, silk faux finishes are quickly becoming symbols of luxury and refinement in the decorating arena. As with most other finishes available today, application is a simple process but the results can be stunning.

From simple to elegant, as the population of DIYers continues to grow, the demand for a greater selection of customized paint treatments will also increase. "Consumers realize that their choice of wall color can create a bridge between their furnishings and accessories, as well as an overall mood," Elios says. "Paint color and texture are very personal and based on personal experiences. And the variety of techniques and color combinations means there are no limits to personal creativity."

Courtesy of ARA Content

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