Go With The Faux
By Dennis Richardson
You can crackle, color-wash, sand-scape, and comb in an attempt to give your home a unique look. You can also sponge, marbleize, drag and rag roll.
If so inclined, you can even go leather, chrome, suede or brick.
Faux Finishing is a technique for making a surface appear as if it’s another medium. A room takes on an entirely different look as a white drywall disappears behind simulated leather, marble, wood, stone, brick, suede, denim or other material.
For instance, a faux brick finish can turn a child’s bedroom into a “castle”. Or, crackle can give a spa bath an “old world” style.
“It’s pretty neat stuff. You can make a new building look like it’s been there for 200 years,” said James DeVall, owner of Precision Painting and Faux Finishing in Deerfield Beach (www.PPandFF.com). “And, instead of spending $5,000 to do a room in marble, [with faux finishing] you can do it for $2,500. Yet it looks like the real thing.”
Tammi Latham, owner of Matilda Jane Originals (www.matildajaneoriginals.com) in West Palm Beach, says faux finishes “can really accent what you have in the home.” She recalled one client, a professional calf roper, who wanted “old cowboy hat leather” walls in a room that featured western artwork and some of his trophy saddles.
“It would have been way too expensive to use real leather,” Latham explained. So, she used a faux leather technique to create the desired look.
DeVall said faux finishing dates back to 14th century Italy. Today, he said, there are many looks that can be achieved with faux finishes, “and we’re getting more and more.
“I can make a wall look like a pair of denim jeans, down to the stitching and white specs in the jeans.” (After looking at a wall-size pair of jeans, you’ll never again have to answer the question, “Do these jeans make me look fat?”)
Faux finishing can be used outside the home as well. One popular look among homeowners is a faux finish wood-grain garage door.
DeVall explained that South Florida’s hurricane code prevents homeowners from having wooden garage doors. Going with a faux finish wood-grain gives that metallic door a rich mahogany appearance.
For your next home design project, go with the faux.