Faux Painting

The art was first used extensively, however, in the 17th century adorning the palaces of Europe. By the 19th century decorative artists were in high demand, as the middle and upper classes began to lavishly decorate their homes. Some of the decorative finishes these artisans executed are glazes and patinas, parchment, stenciling, marbleizing, faux bois (wood finishes), fresco murals, and trompe l’oeil.


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Faux Painting History

Faux painting or faux finishing are terms used to describe a wide range of decorative painting techniques. The name is from the French word faux, meaning false, as these techniques started as a form of replicating materials such as wood or marble with paint, but has evolved to encompass many other decorative finishes for walls and furniture.

Faux flourished in classical times in the forms of faux marble, faux wood, and trompe l'oeil murals. Artists had to apprentice for 10 years or more with a master faux painter before working on their own. Great recognition was paid to an artist who could actually trick viewers into believing their work was the real thing. Faux painting has been popular throughout the ages, but experienced major resurgences in the neoclassical revival of the nineteenth century and the Art Deco styles of the 1920s. Again in the late 1980s and early 1990s faux finishing saw another major revival, as wallpaper began to fall out of fashion.

Many faux painting methods are simple enough for a beginner to create with a little instruction. Another advantage is that it can be easily painted over compared with the hassle of removing wallpaper.

There are two major materials/processes used. Glaze work involves using a translucent mixture of paint and glaze applied with a brush, roller, rag, or sponge, though it often mimics textures, it is always smooth to the touch. Plaster work is done with tinted plasters, or washed over with earth pigments, generally applied with a trowel or spatula. The finished result can be either flat to the touch or textured.

History of Decorative Painting

Faux Painting Instructions and Tutorials

Basics of Faux Painting and Tool List

Beginner Instruction in Faux Painting

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Tips and Techniques for Decorative Painting Your Walls

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