Paint is one of the most economical means of transforming a space, and taking it a step further with a faux finishing that can lend texture and a custom look to surfaces.
The term faux covers a wide array of applications, from simple decorative paint tricks to those that allow one surface material to masquerade as another. And even though they're done by hand, you don't have to be a modern-day Michelangelo to create a unique, satisfying result. A little preparation, practice and smart shopping will easily get you on your way to a stylish room transformation.
Know your faux
The first decision you'll need to make is exactly what look you want to achieve with your faux finish. Different applications will create different moods in a space, whether they appear on one wall or all.
A faux finish can also serve as either a strong contrast or subtle complement to existing furnishings and decorative focal points, so researching your options is a critical first move.
Here are the general faux finishing application categories to consider.
Color selection also has an impact on the results of your faux finishing endeavors. Consider contrasts and color strength when selecting the ingredients of your effect, especially when it comes to glazing techniques, where the last color applied will typically be the most dominant.
Spend time reviewing the options at your local paint retailer's design center, where you'll find plenty of color samplers, step-by-step technique guides, and finishes and tools made especially for those who faux.
And just as you would with a standard interior paint job, do a test before you invest: apply your paint colors and finish technique to a piece of scrap board and audition the test panel in the room for a day or two to view the impact of changing lighting conditions.
Shop and prep
Once you've tested and selected your faux finish approach, gear up with all you'll need to achieve the effect easily and beautifully. That includes proper preparation of the surface, of course, so don't discount the need to repair, sand and prime walls just because you're covering them with a cleverly painted disguise.
Glamorous sheens will appear more effortless and textured effects more natural when they're applied to a well-prepped surface, giving you a result you'll enjoy long after the brushing, sponging and troweling of faux finishing are over.