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Faux finishes can be divided into either positive or negative techniques. Covering the

wall with a coat of glaze and then using a tool to remove it is a negative technique

because you are taking glaze away. Loading a tool with glaze and applying it to the

wall is a positive technique. Whichever technique you use practice is essential to creating

an even design. Practice your faux finish in a laundry room or guest room where any

mistakes will not be as noticeable.

Fifty percent of a faux finish effect is derived from the base coat or foundation.

Preparation is essential to a good final finish. Thirty percent of the finished effect is from

the glazing medium and its interplay with the base coat. Ten percent is created by the

application tool and the impression it makes and the last ten percent of your faux finish

is created by you and your application style.

Regardless of the effect you want to create in your faux finish the first step is to prepare

your walls by washing them. The next step is to paint your base coat. If you are a novice

paint the dark color as your base because it is easier to lighten a color than darken it. Use

a satin or eggshell interior latex paint for your base coat. Flat paint has a high porosity

and no sheen value. Satin latex has a slight sheen that is ideal for decorative effects.

Allow the base coat to dry completely but don’t wait more than a week to apply the

top coat. Waiting longer can jeopardize the paint job because of everyday contaminants

such as hair spray, cooking oil and general dust buildup. These contaminants put a film

on the clean surface and prevents proper adhesion of the glaze for your faux finish.

Use a plastic hair comb or window squeegee to for a dragging technique that leaves

grooves in the faux finish by removing glaze. The wider the notches cut in the rubber

squeegee the wider the stripes.

Use a feather duster or barbecue brush to lift the glaze from the wall. When you dance the

duster over the wall it allows the base coat to dance through. This method called stippling

creates dimension.

In the faux effect called rolling try using a roller with a terry cloth rag or bubble wrap

attached with rubber bands. Work in a random pattern to pick up the glaze.

When searching for a tool to create a faux effect look for items made of plastic

that have textural elements like bristles and fabric or a raised surface. Try to find items

with a handle for ease of use. If you are going to be working on a large area use a larger

tool to speed completion time. Buy two of the same item so one can be drying while

you are using one. Sometimes the wackiest items make the best effects. Consider using

a toilet brush, fly swatter, or a duster car mop. Look in the automotive and household

cleaning sections of your store for inspiration. You’ll never see these items the same

way again.

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