Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Art of Faux: The Complete Sourcebook of Decorative Painted Finishes, by Pierre Finkelstein. Watson-Guptill Publications, 1997

I have several faux finishing books I’ve accumulated over the years (I used to do a good bit of faux and fancy paint finishes), and this is the best one I’ve found. His great strength in this book is various types of fake stone: marble, semiprecious stone, limestone and sandstone. He devotes a lot of space and step by step photographs to stone. A lot of it is fairly advanced, but there is also some easy ones like lapis lazuli. There is one magnificent faux inlaid panel he shows us; a vase of flowers of inlaid semiprecious stones. The finishes most people would start with, especially on large walls, like patinas and distressing, are in there, as well as the high complex art of trompe l’Oeil- painting fancy moldings on walls and doors. Finkelstein is the first author I have seen actually demonstrate *how* to draw the moldings and paint them, complete with shadows and highlights. Other books show a couple of them to you and “And then a miracle occurs!” they don’t bother to tell you how to do them. Trompe l’Oeil is the one faux that always defeated me. Now I almost feel like I could do it, and I happen to have a couple of flat doors that need painting… 

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  1. I have a couple pieces of furniture I plan to paint. This is new for me. The book sounds interesting but probably beyond my skills at this point

    1. See if your library has the Jocasta Innes book "Paint Magic" or "The New Paint Magic". It's a little more basic, as is "Decorating With Paint" which seems to be out of print now. If you can't find them, you can borrow mine. They are the books I learned from (of course, I also learned from a really good house painter, which gave me a lot of the knowledge that *isn't* in the books.. if you hit a snag, get in touch with me and I'll be happy to try and help)