Faux Painting Creates Impressive Appearances

cindy beyer revised

This is a sponsored column by Cindy Beyer, ASID,NCIDQ. Beyer is a Reston-based interior designer and Reston Now Best Reston Business Award winner. Find her online at www.CindyLBeyer.com.

What is Faux painting?  The word “faux” is a French word meaning fake or false. Faux painting or faux finishing are terms used to describe a decorative paint finish that replicates the appearance of materials such as marble, wood, stone and even raw silk. However, we use it in the interior design trade to describe many finishes done with paint and not necessarily with a paint brush.

Faux finishes can be performed by the common do-it-yourselfer, however it is not as easy as you may think and the outcome may not be what you desired. This is why it is important to hire a professional to create an impressive appearance.

I will recommend a faux artist when my clients desire an appearance beyond strictly paint, wallpaper, or to improve a bad drywall job, cabinet, ceiling as well as to create a mural on a wall. I even had a faux artist create a large mermaid on three walls of a beach house powder room. Faux painting can be used to create impressive appearances for many venues.

Through my experience, I have seen many people attempt to “sponge paint” their walls to create a new look.   Often times, the do-it-yourselfer is unaware that preparation of the wall or material to be faux painted is as important as the faux work itself.

My faux artists are skilled in rendering in addition to the technical skill sets of faux finishing. When visiting my home, it is very common for my clients to ask me if the finishes on the walls they are seeing are wallpaper, because a great faux artist will create a natural impression.

My faux artist, Jill Perla of Jill Perla Art, is a fine artist who specializes in faux finishes on walls as well as cabinets and furniture. She can take an old, ratty piece of furniture (some from dumpsters) and transform it into a piece of art.

“To repurpose and reuse instead of replace” is Jill’s motto. Her techniques vary from job to job. When a mottled, soft look is required, she will use a sea sponge; for a crinkled, parchment paper look, she will use plastic bags.

Stripes can add interest to a wall or cabinet. For a wispy look, Jill will use a dry brush. For a distressed look, she will use a bag of nails and hammers to create dents in the finish. This technique is very successful when used on cabinets and furniture pieces.

The advice I give to my clients is to allow us to use our imagination when designing the faux finish. Paint can be a very limited term, but not it’s creativity. If we can design it, we can faux paint it.

If you would like to learn more about creating an impressive appearance to a room or other materials, or to learn more about the many benefits of using a certified ASID,NCIDQ designer, please visit my website at www.cindylbeyer.com or contact me at [email protected].

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