Faux Finish: Three Types and Deciding Which One Is for You - Matt the Painter

Faux Finish: Three Types and Deciding Which One Is for You

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Faux Finish: Three Types and Deciding Which One Is for You

Faux Finish: Three Types and Deciding Which One Is for You

A faux finish is a way of adding texture to a paint job for a more interesting surface. Usually, faux finishes create an optical illusion that makes a surface look as if it is made of another material, for example, wood or metal. They are a good choice for creating an exciting visual pop or for when you can’t afford to build using the material that you want.

There are many different types of faux finishes for all decorative styles, surfaces, and painting abilities. Here are three of the most common types.

Shabby Chic

Shabby chic is more than a type of faux finish. It is an interior design style that encompasses paint, furniture, and more. The goal is to create a living space that is not museum-ready but has the comfort of a place that has been lived in.

To create a shabby chic finish when painting furniture, paint using two coats of different colors. Then, before the second coat dries completely, wipe away portions, usually around corners or edges. This allows the bottom layer to peep through, creating the illusion of a vintage piece of furniture.

Wood Grain

Many of the most popular types of faux finishes mimic another material, such as marble or wood. A wood grain finish can make any object look as if it is made of solid wood, no matter how inexpensive the materials are. First, apply a wood stain to your painting surface. Then, use a soft brush to create lines and whirls that mimic the gnarled texture of natural wood.

Metallic Finishes

Metallic finishes can help you create an illusion that looks valuable without actually spending lots of money. Just think, for the price of paint you could have a house that looks gilded!

Achieving a metallic finish also requires two layers of paint. First, the base coat should be similar to the color of whatever metal you are trying to achieve, such as gold or steel. Then, apply a special metallic finish that you can get at the paint store.

Choosing the Finish That Is Right for You

With faux finishes, you can achieve a whole world of decorative looks. It can be hard to narrow down which finish you want to go for since there are many choices. 

One of the first things you should think about is the rest of your decor. Is there a cohesive look you are trying to achieve in your interior design, such as shabby chic or a rustic look, that will affect your choice of faux finish? You should also think about how well the finish will match the rest of your color scheme, which will be particularly important when you are choosing the base color for the paint.

You should also think about your own skill when it comes to painting. Some faux finishes, such as shabby chic, are more forgiving of a few paint splatters and missed strokes. Others, such as marble faux finishes, require great precision and skill to pull off.

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