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Fire Up your Walls with Faux Painting - Deccan Herald
Fire Up your Walls with Faux Painting
A Dyuti,
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Creating an illusion
The festive season will soon be knocking at your door in a few weeks' time. Want a new look for your interiors instead of that monotonous fresh coat of paint? Read on to know more about a technique called 'faux painting' that can enliven your walls with a stunningly unique look.

Faux - the very word indicates 'false' or 'fake'. What's faux about this type of decorative paint finish is that it simulates an effect or texture of some expensive materials used in interior decor. In the days of yore, silk or velvet covered the walls of the houses of the opulent. Now, the effect of those materials can be replicated with paint! So, it also makes it inexpensive. Though the technique dates as far back as the ancient times (in fact, in cave paintings even), today, it is resurfacing in interior decor in an enthralling manner.

So, what kind of effects can be reproduced with this method? You can obtain finishes of marble, limestone, granite, brick and wood, to begin with. But, these require a sophisticated hand and are best dealt with by a professional. An aged or weathered effect, a cracking one, olden-day lime-wash are some other effects one can obtain. Duplicate the texture of fabrics like linen, denim and velvet with the help of paint and glaze.

However, before rushing into this choice of wall make-up, you need to make a few decisions. First, will it be a professional or a do-it-yourself (DIY) job? Remember, professionals can create magic, but it could be expensive. If you've chosen the DIY path, make sure you've a hand for art and a lot of patience.

It's best to first try it out in an obscure corner of the house and only once you're confident of doing well should you proceed to the originally-selected spot. Free-form is the easiest technique, rendering it suitable for a DIY job. But, beware, for faux paintings could appear unsightly if botched up.

Techniques galore

So, which will this selected spot be? It could be the walls of the living room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom or even the ceiling. Transform any plain space into a vivacious one. But, if you're selecting patterns like diamonds, stone, or stripes (horizontal/vertical), it's better restricted to an alcove (say, in the puja room) or an accent wall. For an entire room, keep the colour and design sober and muted. But,ensure that the pattern and colour go with the rest of the decor like furniture and decor items.

Use any of the numerous techniques available like sponging, rag-rolling, graining, combing or colour washing. For the latter, decide whether you want single, dual or multiple colours depending on how dramatic or sober an effect you want. For sponging, use multiple layers of paint, perhaps different shades of the same colour till you arrive at the desired colour density. Do you simply want to paint patterns in glaze over the base coat?

Free-form rolling of a rag/cylindrically-rolled up chamois over the glaze or dipped in another shade or dabbing a sponge dipped lightly in the paint-colour of your choice could work wonders. For a softening effect, dab the designs you've painted in glaze with a clean cloth. When mixing glazes, be sure to ascertain the proportion of the blend beforehand. The Strie technique involves painting soft streaks of colour producing a look akin to fabric.

Patterning the walls with chosen motifs is best done by stencilling. It could also serve as a background for a portrait, embellishing of an alcove or for borders around windows and doors. Use masking tape to clearly demarcate the area to be painted. Painting a whole wall with an intricate pattern could, however, prove to be onerous.

Re-create a sky-effect using blue as your base colour and sponge some clouds onto it. The fresco technique uses tints and joint compounds for lighting up plain walls with colours and textures.

Whichever maybe your specific style of faux painting, a few tasks are mandatory before you begin. The first is to cover all the furniture in the room and line the base of the walls to be painted with old newspapers and cardboards. Remove all decorative items from the walls and make it bare. Brush off all dust and grime. Smoothen out the surface by scraping off flaking with sandpaper. Paint the chosen surface with a primer first. Allow the basecoat to dry overnight after it's painted onto the wall. Try out your design first on paper or cardboard. If you're satisfied with the results, proceed to take on the wall. Else, re-work on your draft until you're confident of producing a fine result. Use gloves to avoid a mess. Plus, lay out large plastic bags and sheets on the floor to place your brushes and paint cans on and to blend the paints to avoid staining the floor.

Once you create a work that's not excessively amateurish, you can conjure more complicated designs and spruce up your living space. It takes a bit of effort and creativity, but the results make it worth it. Happy Painting!