Forget ordinary paint, use stylish faux finishes

FAUX wall covering lets you break the limits of ordinary wall paint, creating surfaces that glisten in light or look like old fashioned plaster, for example. And increasingly, these kind of jobs are within reach of weekend warriors, not just expert contractors.

Venetian
Applying Venetian plaster used to be a time-consuming process requiring patience and skill, so the job was mostly limited to master artisans. Today, even a first-timer can get impressive results. The covering mimics the look of the stucco or polished marble found in old-world European architecture. The modern version of Venetian plaster has a multidimensional look featuring a textured, slightly raised surface that is the result of two or more layers.

Behr’s Venetian plaster is applied with a putty knife. Wipe the plaster on the wall at a 15 to 30-degree angle relative to the floor or ceiling. Once it is dry, apply a second coat at a 60 to 90-degree angle.

An optional topcoat protects the surface. (Note: For Venetian plaster or any other of these coverings, you will need to prep the walls the way you would for a paint job – tape off the trim, fix cracks, and fill nail holes.

Artisan finish
Here is another throwback to older European-style wall coverings. Artisan finishes can be used on drywall or wood to give the impression of marble or stone. What makes these finishes unusual is that the various shades and hues in the paint seem to change depending on the light that shines on the wall, so as the lighting changes it highlights different colours. The finishes can range from decorative to rustic to natural.

Artisan Impressions by Sherwin Williams allows for three application techniques, each of which creates a different texture: crackle, leaf, and tissue paper. Crackle requires applying a glaze with a wooden stick. Leaf entails placing decorative leaves in the wet paint. Tissue paper requires you to place a sheet of tissue in the wet paint.

Metallic paint
If you want to give your walls a shimmering look, a metallic paint or glaze is the way to go. The walls will sparkle when light hits it. Metallic paints used to be hazardous and required solvents for cleanup, and were primarily used for automobile finishes. Now they are available with water-based cleanup, and they are safe and easy for the DIY to use in the homes.

Valspar’s Brilliant Metals is one good example. Application starts with a base coat that a person rolls on and cuts in along the trim and corners, as with any paint. Then apply the metal paint with a roller, going from floor to ceiling, rolling in a continuous vertical motion to prevent lap marks.

Manda mudd
Mangma Plaster finishes used to be the norm for interior walls, until the advent of less expensive and faster-to-apply drywall. But painted drywall lacks the handcrafted personality of plaster applied over lath. Applying plaster the old-fashioned way is not an option for homes built in the past 50 years or so, because they were not constructed with the lath in the walls. However, you can get the look in modern houses by using a faux plaster.

Manda mudd offers a product it calls a premium plaster wall finish that gives walls a deep colour and a three-dimensional texture. The company says its finish is designed for mistake-free application by DIYers. The first application goes onto the walls with a standard roller. The second layer goes on with a trowel to create colour contrast and texture. A third and final layer goes on top, also applied via trowel.

Texture sand
At one time painters added silica sand to paint to give it texture; the tiny sand granules reflect light, giving the wall the appearance of depth. Today painters and DIYers can buy paint with the sand already incorporated.

Benjamin Moore’s Studio Finishes Latex Texture Sand is a type of sandstone. The sand paint is rolled onto the wall. After it dries, you roll on your base-colour paint and let it dry. Then you apply a second colour that is different from the base colour. This second colour is mixed with a glaze, then applied using a cloth and wiping in a circular motion to cover the underlying colour. The result is a textured, multidimensional finish. – popularmechanics.com

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