Traditional Heritage Faux Finishes
Faux Decorative Painting Techniques
After many years of being trained by English and Scottish master craftsmen with their City and Guilds, Gary Lancaster is highly skilled in traditional heritage faux finishes. Faux painting or Faux finishing are terms used to describe a wide range of decorative painting techniques. From the French word faux, meaning false, faux painting began as a form of replicating materials such as marble and wood with paint, but has come to encompass many other decorative finishes for walls and furniture. Gary is able to replicate any type of wood or wood finish including extinct timbers.
Faux Finishing Revivals
Faux painting became popular in classical times in the forms of faux marble, faux wood, trompe l’oeil murals. Artists would apprentice for 10 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, but experienced major resurgences in the neoclassical revival of the nineteenth century and the Art Deco styles of the 1920s. During the recent history of decorative painting, faux finishing has been mainly used in commercial and public spaces, but is also in demand for traditional heritage homes.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, faux finishing saw another major revival, as wallpaper began to fall out of fashion. At this point, faux painting became extremely popular in home environments, with high-end homes leading the trend. While it can be quite expensive to hire a professional faux finisher, many faux painting methods are thought to be simple enough for a home owner to create with a little instruction, However, they fail to take important details like corners into consideration and end up with a do-it-yourself looking job. The finishes we use are as simple as oil glaze, oil-based paint, penetrol or as complicated as applications with peacock feathers and four different colours applied using four different techniques.
Many people are attracted to the simplicity of changing a faux (fake) finish, as it can be easily painted over compared with the trouble of removing wallpaper. The trouble with removing wallpaper came when people who had no formal training did not follow proper procedures during preparation such as priming with an oil-based primer and following that with another product which makes the paper come off relatively easy.
Modern Faux Finishing
Today, there are two major materials or processes used for creating heritage faux finishes. Glaze work involves using a translucent mixture of paint and glaze applied with a brush, roller, rag, or sponge. Even though it very often imitates textures, it is always smooth to the touch. Plaster work may be accomplished using tinted plasters, or washed over with earth pigments. It is generally applied using a trowel or spatula. The finished result can be either flat or smooth to the touch, or even a beautiful textured finish.