Thursday, September 1, 2011

Faux Finishing is like Applying Make-Up

My step-daughter Aftynn alerted me last month to a new style in manicures: 

crackle nail polish.  

(Who knew... I can stay on-trend and do my nails with products from my own garage!)

Which made me think... painting a decorative finish, especially when it comes to glazes, is a lot like applying make-up

Here are some similarities to chew on:

  • Start with a good foundation.
Your base, or foundation layer, is critical to getting a gorgeous result.  Would you leave the house wearing make-up that was clearly too light or too dark for your skin?  Powder and blush can't salvage it.  Likewise, no amount of glaze will rectify a bad wall color.  If your house is Crayola yellow, your options are limited.  A tea-stain glaze will tone it down, but if you want your home to say "warm and inviting" rather than "Mexican restaurant", far better to just repaint the walls with something more elegant, and then glaze if desired.    

  • Application marks should never be visible.

You don't want any streakiness where you applied your blush or eye color.  You want a soft glow of prettiness, like the blush on Keira Knightley.

In the same way, brushstrokes or sponge marks should never be visible on your walls.  This separates the  men from the boys in faux finishing.  A good decorative artist will achieve "drifts" of color or changes in intensity without anyone being able to tell how it was done.  No roller tracks or sponge imprints, please!  As the make-up artists say, Blend, blend, blend!

  • Choose color wisely.

Avoid high-contrast combinations (unless you're doing theatrical make-up). 

Even if you're going for drama, the eye at left is, shall we say, over the top. 

The one at right... better. This takes some skill to achieve, and is best left to the pros (and the young!).

Most of us do best with a more refined approach:

If you want walls that evoke drama, then by all means go for it.  But it's hard to do drama well unless you've got a designer on your team.  And if you're selecting colors for a "simple glaze", by all means call in the pros.  Here's a luscious tomato-red glaze over a golden tan.  Good base color (not too strong), great application (nicely softened), and just the right red (this is a very "brown" red, not at all a primary Crayola red).

  • Get expert advice.

 This is why most brides get their make-up professionally done.  I love the flawless skin and soft shimmer of eye color in this photograph from a bridal blog. The goal is to look like yourself, just enhanced a bit.  To look naturally beautiful.  If you want a home that authentically reflects the best of you, calling a designer may be your best move.

These were some basic similarities that struck me as I was putting on my make-up this morning.  I'm sure there are many others.  Have a great day, everyone! 


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