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Wall Faux Finishes and Selecting Colors

Oct 12, 2007
Although every faux finishing project you tackle will be different, choosing the appropriate colors will always need to be one of your first design choices. Whichever room you're redecorating, your choice of colors will need to take in a wide variety of criteria.

For instance, are you looking for a bold, primary color modern statement or a dark, muddy earth colors Victorian look and feel? Are you trying to blend the wall in with your existing decor or are you seeking to create an accent wall that brings its own texture and drama to the room? Are you trying to hide a room's faults or is your ultimate goal to make the wall work within the room's existing strengths? Will you be trying to make the room seem larger or smaller? All of these questions will need to be addressed before you even begin your faux finishing project. In fact, choosing colors really is the first step of the process.

I know it can sound intimidating, but it's not something you can't tackle successfully with a little thoughtful consideration and doing some research. One of the easiest ways to do that is to visit your local library and pick up a few decorating magazines and books. Go through them and find rooms that have the kind of look you're hoping to achieve, taking special note of color combinations that might work in your own room. You're trying to create a particular look or atmosphere, and color will be a big part of creating the effect you're looking for. Does the room need a dynamic kinetic feel or do you want a feeling of relaxation and comfort?

There are no hard-and-fast rules, and your own color choices will ultimately depend upon your own uniquely personal taste and style. You'll also want to take your existing furniture into account when making your color choices--that is, unless you also plan to buy all new furniture to match your new color scheme. Is there a particular color in your curtains or upholstery that you'd like to augment? That could be a good place to start.

One of the basic things to understand is that darker colors will make a room seem small, while lighter pastel colors will reflect more light, giving the room a larger appearance. If you really have a desire to make a statement with a bold color in a smaller room, consider doing just an accent wall, meant to serve as a piece of art once you've done your faux finishing job. That way you can leave the rest of the walls a lighter color to give the room a bigger feel and still add some drama. However, a darker faux finish over a lighter color could have the opposite effect, but sometimes you need to do an entire room to see this phenomenon. And a caution: if you only do one wall of a room as an accent, the room could feel out of balance.

In a Habitat for Humanity project house featured on Flip That House, the office was painted in a golden wheat color because the room felt cave-like. The owners were concerned when decorative painter Kari Barron wanted to add old world color to the walls with a brown powder. After she wet the sponge and applied the mixture all over the walls and ceiling, the room felt larger! This happened because the walls gained the illusion of depth.
About the Author
For more information about decorative paint and faux finishes, see Kari Barrons website: MakeASceneDesigns.com. For more information about the Faux Flip, see Flip That House at FlipThatHouseWithFaux.com

Copyright 2007 Jeanette Fisher
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