weather icon Clear

Kits let novices create faux finishes at home

Is the sponged-wall look an appealing one? Is the pickled look attractive? Is wood graining desirable? Would you like the look of a rich suede wall?

Is paying to have any of this done professionally not exactly as appealing, attractive or desirable?

Well, not to worry. There are faux finishes that are easy to apply even for the novice.

First of all, before tomatoes and raw eggs are hurled at my windows, I must say that having walls or furniture painted by a reputable and talented professional will probably result in a better finish. It will have that artistic quality that only a trained professional would be able to produce.

But if doing it yourself might be where it’s at for right now, read on.

Sponge painting involves blotting paint onto a surface by means of a sponge. The surface must first have a base coat colored to complement or contrast the sponge color. Selecting complementary or contrasting colors for sponging can be the biggest problem. If the color is sort of OK but maybe too dark, water might be added or white paint might be mixed in to lighten it.

While all of that usually is done by trial and error, there are sponging kits available that come prematched. A light color used as the base coat will be prematched with a darker shade for the sponging. Then a clear coat is available that will both glaze and add texture to the wall.

What about the ever-popular pickled look? To pickle wood, you would need to thin the paint to be used, brush it onto raw wood and then wipe it off. Thinning the paint is the most difficult part. Thinning too much results in not enough color; not thinning enough gives too intense of a color, particularly in the grooves of the grain.

Guess what? There are products out there that take all the guesswork out of pickling. These products are usually water-based, making them user-friendly.

Making a surface look like natural wood graining is the most difficult of the three faux finishes mentioned above. This one should really be done by a pro. But if you are a diehard do-it-yourselfer, there are products available that will make the completion of this job possible.

The products usually consist of a three-step process: 1) brush on the base color and let it dry; 2) brush on a graining glaze over the base color; and 3) while the graining glaze is still wet, use the graining tool (that usually comes with the kit) to make various grains on the surface — i.e., mahogany, oak, cherry.

Suede walls are rich-looking and once needed the hand of a professional to look authentic. Now there are products available for the do-it-yourselfer that will help you along. The premixed products impart the look and feel of authentic suede and can be used on wallboards, plaster, wood, masonry and brick.

Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of “Mystery of Color.”

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
In-home safe keeps valuables secure

In-home safes are the smart solution for securing valuables such as jewelry, watches, rare coins, passports, personal documents and family keepsakes.

Beds have become true star of bedroom

For most of us, when furnishing a home, usually the first thing on our must-have list is a bed. We understand its importance, but we don’t often pay it the respect we should.

Late afternoon direct sun can be damaging to roses

Somewhat tender plants like roses and crape myrtle can handle the intense desert heat and sunlight if they are growing in soil amended with organics and the soil is covered with mulch that rots or decomposes. Roses and crape myrtle will struggle after a few years when planted in soils covered by rock

DIY wall art

The do-it-yourself trend is quickly becoming the go-to option for alternative home decor solutions. Several small businesses offering a variety of workshops have recently popped up throughout the Las Vegas Valley.

Wet, humid spring weather caused influx of aphids

The high population of aphids this year was caused by our wet and humid spring weather. The fastest way to get rid of them is to drench the soil beneath the tree with a systemic insecticide diluted in a bucket of water.

Maximalism adds more of what you love to your home

Maximalism is edging back into the mainstream, almost as a reaction to the less-is-more minimalist movement, said Patty Ascher-Lewis, marketing director for Rio Stones.

Grasshoppers can be destructive to yards

Grasshoppers start cute and small with small appetites and jump from plant to plant. But as they grow bigger, their increased appetites cause more and more damage to landscapes.

What’s the best option: Sell or remodel

Before starting any remodeling project, meet with a Realtor to get a professional opinion on what’s selling in the market, where your home falls within selling prices and what remodeling, if any, you would need to do now to get the most out of your house.

Rental furniture embraces modern style

The subject of furniture rental might bring back odd memories for some. Maybe it was you or a friend who rented an outdated couch that looked like it belonged in your grandmother’s house. And there’s likely no shortage of stories about stains, unpleasant smells and other rental furniture dysfunction from decades past.