Thursday, September 28, 2000

Get Real Results with Painting Faux Finishes
(ARA) - To many of us, painting is as exciting as, well, watching paint dry. But to a growing number of do-it-yourselfers, the introduction of new, easy-to-use decorative finishes are turning weekend putterers into would-be Picassos.

With the advent a few years ago of so-called designer paints, many consumers were finally able to bypass professionals in creating their own distinct, stylized walls, ceilings and floors.

These decorative - or faux - finishes create the illusion of texture, angularity and depth within any room. Some of the more common techniques today are rag rolling, color washing, sponging and stenciling. Tortoiseshelling and marbling tend to be for the more adventurous, but relatively simple nonetheless.

Overall, faux finishes are more interesting than an ordinary paint job, and compared with wallpaper, they save you time and money.

"The reason these projects are easier than you think is because all you have to do is apply a topcoat with something other than a traditional brush, whether it be a rag, squeegee or whisk broom," says Tom Rapps, brand manager for Dutch Boy Paints.

Creating Atmosphere

Do you want the look of marble without buying a single slab? Or do you want the feeling of a seaside bath without incurring exorbitant real estate costs? That's where faux finishes come in.

Faux finishes really do serve as decorative accents to any room. They can add style, set a mood, create space, or send a statement. Just as a particular shade of paint can make a house look bigger or smaller, faux finishes use illusion to achieve their desired effect.

A simple, sponged-marble effect in the bathroom serves to soften the room, while a rag-rolled hallway creates an illusion of crushed fabric. A color-washed bedroom connotes freshness, and a distressed effect in the living room evokes a lived-in atmosphere.

With new decorative paints hitting retailer's shelves this spring, it's never been easier to create these great looks. This year, Dutch Boy has launched its Dimensions line of decorative finishing techniques that make the whole process virtually fool-proof.

After applying a base coat, these new finishes go on easily with just a brush, rag or roller. No more thinning or mixing of paints is necessary. Now, you can go straight from the can to the wall in one simple step

"The most important thing these glazes and metallic finishes do is give consumers confidence," says Rapps. "From start to finish, it's just as easy as painting any surface, but the difference is that you feel you're painting on a canvas rather than a wall."

Getting The Look Down

For those looking to create a faux finish, here's a simple primer on the most common techniques:

Decorative, or faux, finishes continue to be the hottest trend in home painting today, and it's simple to see why. For the same effort it takes to paint a wall white, you can now create stippled, mottled or distressed-looking surfaces that define a room much more than any piece of furniture or artwork.

"What makes this all so wonderful is that you don't need specialized equipment, a bank loan or artistic training to complete," says Rapps. "The applicators are as simple as a sponge, the paint is bought off the shelf and the finished product can be as creative as you want it to be."

For tips or advice on creating beautiful decorative finishes, call the Dutch Boy Consumer Help Line at 1-800-828-5669, or visit the Web site at

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