Recipes for Surfaces: Decorative Paint Finishes Made Simple

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9780671682491: Recipes for Surfaces: Decorative Paint Finishes Made Simple
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Recipes for Surfaces is a one-of-a-kind handbook that enables you to master decorative painting techniques for walls, floors, ceilings, and furniture as simply as you would use a cookbook: Just follow the recipes. This easy guide will show you how to create a variety of exciting surface effects for your entire home using the basic methods so popular today -- sponging, ragging, stippling, color washing, spattering, dragging, stenciling, marbling, and wood graining.

The straightforward format of Recipes for Surfaces gives you the tools to transform any aspect of your home with paint. More affordable than wallpaper, more personalized than solid-colored opaque paint, these painting techniques -- once the closely guarded secrets of painting professionals -- are not limited to walls, ceilings, or floors, but can be used on moldings, doors, and furniture as well -- as accents or to try out effects on smaller subjects. With Recipes for Surfaces as your guide, you can achieve professional and customized effects yourself -- with a lot of fun and no hassle. What makes this book so special and so different from many home decorating books is that -- like making a meal with your favorite recipes -- it allows, and in fact encourages, you to create a completely personal look that suits your own space, style, and budget. And, as your skill and confidence grow, Recipes for Surfaces will show you how to move beyond the basics with exciting and unique variations.

Recipes for Surfaces is organized for practical use, with clear concise explanations and full-color illustrations. Part One gives background and specific information on color, paint, and preparation, including advice on stocking up on the right paints and brushes, how to ready surfaces for painting, and how to store paints once you've finished. Helpful color charts supplement the discussion of how to mix and match colors for your taste and needs.

The second part of the book illustrates many painting techniques. Each of over 40 recipes can be followed independently and is rated accorded to difficulty from easy to more complex. The recipe itself includes a list of paints and other materials needed, tips on surfaces best suited to the technique, and painting advice -- all in a simple-to-read chart right on the page. Detailed step-by-step instructions outline each method and its variations with full-color photographs. As you master a fundamental recipe -- such as sponging on -- you can create many different looks, trying different colors and patterns with the same technique or combining various techniques to suit your needs.

The clearest, most concise guide of its kind, Recipes for Surfaces gives you the confidence and ability to create the painted interior that's right for you.

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About the Author:

Mindy Drucker is a freelance writer specializing in design and home decoration topics. Her work has appeared in Colonial Homes, House Beautiful's Building Manual, Creative Ideas for Living and other publications. She lives in New Jersey.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 1

Regardless of which decorative painting techinique you choose, color will be its most vital component. How the colors you pick look together, suit your space, and harmonize with the existing colors will greatly affect the success of any project. So before you start, take time to learn about color and its role in interior design.

First, be aware that no two people see color in the same way -- color is perhaps the most subjective area of design. Choosing colors that you enjoy seeing together is one of the best ways to make your house truly your own. Decorative painting, in particular, lets you fashion a vast array of colors notable for their richness, subtlety, and depth. They can give your rooms an individuality no paint-chart color can match.

In interior design, the colors you select must always be considered in relation to those around them. The way in which they are distributed throughout a room is called a color scheme.

Deciding which colors to include in your scheme can be fun -- it lets you be creative. But like an artist faced with a blank canvas, you may initially be overwhelmed by the range of options. For help in determining combinations that work well together and bring out the best in your home, you can refer to established principles of interior design as well as guidelines for achieving a pleasing blend of hues.

Many of these rules appear on following pages. In reviewing them, however, bear in mind that, as with any rules, you'll find numerous exceptions. In fact, you could join any two colors in one setting, depending on how much area the hues will cover, how close together they will be, and whether they will be patterned or solid.

So, since the rules don't cover all contingencies, you must do something you may at first find challenging -- trust your instincts. How do the colors make you feel? Do you like them together? Are they the ones you want to live with? Rest assured that no design professional can answer these questions better than you, and have confidence that if a color pleases your eye, it has the best chance of looking "right" for your room.

UNDERSTANDING COLOR

Identifying successful color schemes is not as complicated as you may think. Remember, your instincts are probably right! One way to gain confidence is to review the basics of color theory.

Our earliest paint-box lessons still apply: Any hue can be made by combining the three primary colors -- red, yellow, and blue -- plus various amounts of black and white. By mixing pairs of primaries, you form the three secondary colors -- red and yellow make orange; yellow and blue make green; blue and red make violet. Then, by blending the secondaries, you'll get the tertiary colors -- olive, for instance, which comes from a mixture of green and violet.

Today, however, thanks to technology, we should probably qualify the basic rule to say that almost any color can be created from the primaries. In reality, the more colors you combine, the less vibrance the resulting hue will have. So manufacturers now produce a wide range of colors whose brilliance would be hard to match by starting with the primaries.

COLORS THAT HARMONIZE

To grasp the relationships among colors, you can use the color wheel pictured below. It has twelve parts, like the face of a clock. You'll find the primary colors at twelve o'clock (yellow), four o'clock (red), and eight o'clock (blue). The secondary colors are at two o'clock (orange), six o'clock (violet), and ten o'clock (green). In the remaining six spaces are the intermediate colors, so called because they lie between the primary and secondary colors.

From the position of colors on the wheel, you can identify harmonious blends. Among recommended combinations are similar colors, such as orange and yellow, which appear near each other on the wheel, and complementaries, such as red and green, which appear opposite each other. Complementaries serve a special purpose in decorating: They tone each other down to help balance a scheme.

A color also blends well with the colors flanking its complementary -- orange with either blue green or blue violet, for instance. This arrangement is called split-complementary. You'll also discover that triads -- any three colors equidistant on the wheel -- harmonize. Exemplifying this are the primary colors.

COLOR CHARACTERISTICS

Even though the categories mentioned above might be unfamiliar to you, you'll probably find that many of your favorite color combinations fit into them naturally. You may not recognize them at first, however, because on the color wheel they are in their "pure" form, and this is rarely the form in which they are used in decorating.

A color has three main characteristics: its hue, the color family to which it belongs; its intensity, how dull or vivid it is; and its value, how dark or light it is. By varying the intensity and value of the pure colors, we derive a multitude of others. For example, by altering the value of pure red, we can get both rose and pink, which belong to the same color family and thus share the same position on the color wheel.

To change the value of a color, mix black and/or white into it. Mixing a color with white creates a tint; combining it with black produces a shade. Blending it with gray makes a tone.

CLASSIC COLOR SCHEMES

Based on these principles, we can devise color schemes that are pleasing and easily achieved. Using different values of the same color -- mint, medium, and forest green, for instance -- will give you a monochromatic arrangement. The scheme can be enhanced by decorative painting's two-tone effects. Try, say, walls with a mint base coat and a medium green sponged glaze layer, for example, to add interest to a subdued setting.

You can also create a harmonious setting with different colors that have the same value: three pastels, for example. The contrast between, say, light peach, pale violet, and soft green enlivens the scene, while their similarity in value ties them together and prevents one color from dominating and throwing the scheme oft balance. Consider soft peach walls trimmed with a stenciled border in pale violet and light green.

You may not be used to thinking of color in terms of value; so identifying different colors with the same value may take practice. To get a feel for values, imagine looking at a black-and-white photograph of a room in your house -- or better yet, actually take a black-and-white photo of the room and study it. In the photo, all the colors that have the same value will be the same shade of gray. By diminishing the obvious differences in hues, you can more easily spot those of similar value.

Simplicity can be trusted when it comes to color schemes. Consider employing just a range of neutrals -- whites, beiges, grays, browns. You'll be surprised at how many of each there are, A subtle scheme like this maker a fine showcase for intricate painted finishes that might look busy in a brighter setting.

ard

Or you might link your favorite hue with white or a pale neutral, In fact, using your best color as an accent will produce a scheme that is notable for its versatility. If your taste changes, just switching the accent color will give your neutral scheme a new look. Employing a light accent with less contrast will imbue your setting with a relaxed air.

MORE COLOR-SCHEME OPTIONS

Interior designers have many methods for developing color schemes. A simple and effective one is to select the drapery or upholstery fabric first and then create a custom look by painting walls, woodwork, floors, and furnishings in coordinating hues.

Picking your fabric before you mix your paints is definitely safer. You can undoubtedly create a hue to match your fabric, but you might not as easily find a fabric to go with a distinctive color you've specially blended. Professionals usually advise that the background color of a print fabric and the base coat of your walls be the same. Then you can pull out other hues in the fabric pattern for coordinated accents.

Another method is to select three favorite colors and apply them in varying quantities. Make one color dominant; include a lot more of it than the others. Use the second color about half as much, and employ the last as an acce...

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