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Popular Faux Painting Techniques

Add some color, depth, elegance and charm to your home using one or more of these popular faux painting techniques.

*Combing - Combing can give your walls a very dramatic look. First step is to paint your walls your base color and let dry completely - overnight is best. Next, mix your texture color with finishing glaze. Now when you start rolling on your next color, be sure and go from ceiling to floor for about three feet. Next, you take a dry comb or a wallpaper brush and drag it from ceiling to floor in one continuous motion. Wipe off your comb and repeat.

Straight lines are just one of your options with the combing technique. You can do a basket weave look, create a plaid pattern or use your imagination and come up with your own unique design!

*Sponging - Sponging is a very easy and fun technique that gives a room a pretty textured look. You first want to choose your base color. This can be any color of your choice. Prepare the walls and apply the base paint. Be sure and fill in nail holes or other imperfections for a smooth finish. Let dry overnight.

After the base coat is dry, you are ready to begin sponging. You can sponge one, two or more colors. It is up to you. Be sure you have an actual sea sponge, not a synthetic sponge. Always keep your sponge damp for smooth application.

Mix the paint with a finishing glaze. Dip the sponge in the paint but do not "over dip". Remove excess paint. Start in the corner and work your way out. Lightly dab the sponge in a random pattern. Do small areas at a time so the paint does not dry where you are working. Be creative with your color combinations and your dabbing patterns. Make those walls come alive!

*Ragging - Ragging is similar to sponging and can produce a very soft, romantic look. Try your rag in several different positions to get the desired effect. Paint the wall with your base color and let dry overnight. Mix your texture color with a glaze finish to soften. Soak your rag in the glaze mixture and blot off the excess. Start dabbing the rag on the wall in various patterns. Add more paint to the rag when it becomes dry.

You can produce a soft effect with less paint or you can use more paint to create a dramatic effect. You can experiment with other materials as well to get a different effect - paper bags, plastic bags, canvas, etc.

*Crackling - This painting technique produces a distressed, aged look. Paint your wall with the chosen base color. Keep in mind that this color will show through your "crackle" cracks. Let dry overnight. Cover your walls with a crackle faux finish. Let dry until there is no tackiness. This will take about 4 hours. Now you will need to apply a second coat being careful not to overlap your brush strokes. In a few minutes the paint will start to crackle exposing your base color underneath.

For fine cracks use a thinner topcoat and for heavier crackling use a thicker topcoat. This technique is great for furniture as well.

*Color Washing - Color washing can give a room a smooth, flowing, graceful look. Paint your walls your base color and let dry overnight. Mix your second color with a faux finish glaze. Start painting with short, overlapped strokes. The more varied and random, the better. Let dry. If you have chosen a third color, repeat the process.

Faux Painting Tips

Practice on some scrap boards or cardboard before you try it on your walls. This will give you some practice and allow you to get comfortable with the technique.

Always have enough supplies on hand and be sure to have everything you need to do the job.

Tape your baseboards, windows, etc. with painter's tape to prevent accidents.

Take your time and be sure to pick out the right colors. You wouldn't want to change your mind in the middle of the job and have to start all over.

Most of all relax and have fun. You will love the look these painting techniques can give your home and be proud that you did it yourself!

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