Heritage Decorative Finishes

Traditional Heritage Decorative Finishes

Based on the decorative arts, Lancaster Painters Australia heritage decorative finishes are meticulously applied by hand. After many years of training by English and Scottish masters master craftsmen who have their City and Guilds in painting and decorating, we are highly skilled in replicating the decorative finish work of the historical masters of the past in colour, texture and design.

Our beautiful heritage decorative finishes boast stencilling, heritage motifs and designs, scumbling, gilding (gold, silver, aluminium & copper leaf etc.), decorative ceiling roses and cornices, soft distempers, ragging, sponging, wallpapering, washes (colour wash, tallow lime wash, French wash etc.), strié, fresco, Venetian plaster, faux finishes (faux marbling, wood graining, stone, brick etc.), glazing, trompe l’oeil murals and so much more. For a more comprehensive list of our heritage decorative services, click here.

Faux Finishing

Faux Finishing - Progressive Wood Graining

Photo above: Progressive painting of faux wood grain finishes applied to the front door, frame and side panels inside Willow Brook heritage mansion.

Faux Marbling - Heritage Black MarbleGary Lancaster of Lancaster Painters Australia is a master of faux finishes for heritage decorative finishes. Faux painting or faux finishing are terms used to describe decorative paint finishes that replicate the appearance of materials such as marble, wood or stone. The term comes from the French word faux, meaning false, as these techniques started as a form of replicating materials such as marble and wood with paint, but has subsequently come to encompass many other decorative finishes for walls and furniture including simulating recognisable textures and surfaces.

Even though faux finishing has been used for a thousand years, the decorative arts began with plaster and stucco finishes in Mesopotamia over 5,000 years ago. It became popular in classical times in the forms of faux marble, faux wood, and trompe l’oeil murals. Artists would apprentice for ten years or more with a master faux painter before working on their own. Great recognition was awarded to artists who could actually trick viewers into believing their work was the real thing. Faux painting has continued to be popular throughout the ages. During the recent history of decorative painting, faux finishing has been mainly used in commercial and public spaces, and more recently in domestic homes as well. To read more about faux decorative painting techniques, click here.

Featured left: Faux marbling – heritage black marble finish hand painted by Gary Lancaster in a Campbelltown house.

Decorative Arts Finishes

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Marbleising, faux marbling or fake marble is used to make walls and furniture look like real marble. This can be done using plaster, glaze and painting techniques. To see our faux marble finishes – click here.

Stencilling produces an image or pattern by applying pigment to a surface over an intermediate object with designed gaps in it which create the pattern or image by only allowing the pigment to reach some parts of the surface. The stencil is both the resulting image or pattern and the intermediate object; the context in which stencil is used makes clear which meaning is intended. In practice, the (object) stencil is usually a thin sheet of material, such as paper, plastic, wood or metal, with letters or a design cut from it, used to produce the letters or design on an underlying surface by applying pigment through the cut-out holes in the material. To see our stencilling – click here.

The term gilding covers a number of decorative techniques for applying fine gold leaf or powder to solid surfaces such as wood, stone, or metal to give a thin coating of gold. A gilded object is also described as “gilt”. Where metal is gilded, it was traditionally silver in the West, to make silver-gilt (or vermeil) objects, but gilt-bronze is commonly used in China, and also called ormolu if it is Western. Methods of gilding include hand application and glueing, chemical gilding, and electroplating, the last also called gold plating.

Parcel-gilt (partial gilt) objects are only gilded over part of their surfaces. This may mean that all of the inside, and none of the outside, of a chalice or similar vessel is gilded, or that patterns or images are made up by using a combination of gilt and un-gilt areas. To see our gilding – click here.

Heraldry is a broad term, encompassing the design, display, and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the study of ceremony, rank, and pedigree. To see our heraldry – click here.

Colour wash is a free-form finish that creates subtle variations of colour using multiple hues of glaze blended together with a paint brush. They include French wash, lime wash, tallow lime wash and so much more. To see our heritage washes – click here.

Historically, signwriters drew or painted signs by hand using a variety of paint depending on the background i.e. enamel paint for vehicles and general signs, and water-based paints for short-term window signs. Traditional signwriting is enjoying a revival largely due to North American writers and their growing influence on English and European sign artisans such as David A. Smith in Torquay, England. For heritage signs – click here.

Graining, wood graining, or faux bois (French for “fake wood”) is a technique often used to imitate exotic, expensive, extinct or “hard to find” wood varieties. To see our wood graining – click here.

Faux or fake stone or brick is the preparation and finishing of a surface to imitate the appearance of real stone or brick. It is typically used in buildings when the type brick or stone are either too expensive or no longer available. Faux stone and faux brick finishes are a special case of faux painting used to create the distinctive and varied patterns of stone or brick. It is commonly used to make walls look like real stonework or brickwork, especially on the exterior of weatherboard houses or as an indoor feature wall. It can also be used for kitchen counter tops, columns etc. This can be done using specialist glaze and faux painting techniques. To see our faux stone and brick finishes – click here.

Submbling is the art of softening the color or tone of a painted surface by overlaying parts with opaque or semiopaque colour applied thinly and lightly with an almost dry brush.

Sponging is a free-form finish achieved by applying glaze to the wall by dabbing a sea sponge, in various shapes to achieve either simple design (resembling the wall papers) and more sophisticated ones.

Rag painting or ragging is a glazing technique using twisted or bunched up rags to create a textural pattern.

Strié, from the French for “stripe” or “streak”, is a glazing technique that creates soft thin streaks of colour using a paint brush. It is a technique often used to simulate fabrics such as linen and denim. To see our strié – click here.

Wallpapering or wallpaper hanging refers to the application of wallpaper to a surface that has been property prepared. Proper preparation includes the repair of any defects in the drywall or plaster and the removal of loose material or old adhesives. Besides conventional installation on interior walls and ceilings, wallpapers have been deployed as decorative covering for hatboxes, bandboxes, books, shelves, and window-shades. To see our wallpapering – click here.

Leadlights or leaded lights are decorative windows made of small sections of glass supported in lead cames. The technique of creating windows using glass and lead came is discussed at came glasswork. The term leadlight could be used to describe all windows in which the glass is supported by lead, but traditionally, a distinction is made between stained glass windows and leadlights, the former being associated with the ornate windows of churches and other such works of architecture and the latter with the windows of vernacular commercial and domestic architecture and defined by its simplicity.

Since the traditional technique of setting glass into lead cames is the same in both cases, in the late 20th century the divisions between “leadlight” and “stained glass” became blurred, and the terms are now often used interchangeably for any window employing this technique, while the term “stained glass” is often extended to apply to any windows, sculpture, and works of art using coloured glass. To see our leadlight – click here.

A glaze is a thin transparent or semi-transparent layer on a painted surface which modifies the appearance of the underlying paint layer. Glazes can change the chroma, value, hue and texture of a surface. Glazes consist of a great amount of binding medium in relation to a very small amount of pigment.

Fresco is a simple technique using mixtures of tint and joint compound to add mottled colour and subtle texture to plain walls, creating stunning effects and artwork. To see our fresco finishes – click here.

The rose has symbolised secrecy since Roman times. Through its promise of secrecy, the rose, suspended above a meeting table, symbolises the freedom to speak plainly without repercussion. The physical carving of a rose on a ceiling was used for this purpose during the rule of England’s Tudor King Henry VIII and has over the centuries evolved into a standard item of domestic vernacular architecture, to such an extent that it now constitutes a term for the aforementioned circular device that conceals and comprises the wiring box for an overhead light fitting. To see our decorative ceiling roses and cornices – click here.

Venetian plaster is a smooth and often shiny plaster design that appears textured but is smooth to the touch. Venetian plaster is one of the most popular and traditional plaster decorations. Authentic Venetian Plaster is made from marble dust and ground up limestone. Lancaster Painters Australia offer authentic Italian finishes including Venetian plaster and marmarino. For heritage Venetian plaster – click here.

In art and iconography, a motif is an element of an image. Ornamental or decorative art can usually be analysed into a number of different elements, which can be called motifs. These may often be repeated many times in a pattern or design, often many times, or may just occur once in a work. To see our heritage motifs and designs – click here.

Hand painted heritage Gothic lettering, Pugin & Gothic designs including Audrey design. To see our Pugin and Gothic designs – click here.

Trompe l’oeil, “fool the eye” in French, is a realistic painting technique often used in murals, and to create architectural details as well as depth and 3 dimensionality. To see our heritage trompe l’oeil – click here.

Lancaster Painters Australia hand painted heritage art includes fine art, cartouches, frescoes, landscapes, portraits, realism, 2D and 3D art, trompe loeil, murals, glass art, motifs, designs, Chinoiserie, Art Nouveau, painted sky ceilings and so much more. To see our Heritage art – click here.

Chinoiserie, a French term, signifying “Chinese-esque”, refers to a recurring theme in European artistic styles since the seventeenth century, which reflect Chinese artistic influences. It is characterised by the use of fanciful imagery of an imaginary China, by asymmetry in format and whimsical contrasts of scale, and by the attempts to imitate Chinese porcelain and the use of lacquer like materials and decoration. For hand painted Chinoiserie – click here.

Our decorative finishes gallery showcases many of our hand applied decorative finishes. To see our gallery – click here.

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See below for more information about our range of beautiful heritage decorative finishes including our decorative services and decorative gallery.

Decorative Services

Our Decorative Services

Decorative Gallery

Decorative Finishes Gallery

Decorative Painters

Decorative Painters Site