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Q & A

Q. What is Decorative painting? Is Decorative painting and Faux-finishing the same thing?

A. The term "faux finish" comes from the French word "faux" which means "false", "resembling or imitating something else". In Decorative painting we use a variety of tools and mediums such as, speciality brushes, trowels, rollers, paints, glazes, plasters, and waxes, to achieve the look of natural materials such as marble, wood, stone, leather, and malachite to name a few.

Other less common but beautiful finishes include mother-of pearl, expensive woods like mahogany, burl, ivory and even linen. The imitation of an "aged" look or effect is also very common in contemporary Decorative Painting, or Faux- Finishing. Techniques used to achieve an aged look or finish include antiquing, crackling, and distressing.

With experimentation and skill, a decorative painter can apply the same techniques used in creating a faux finish to create various other decorative wall finishes where the end result does not resemble any natural material or effect but produces a wonderful personalized and custom look for your home.

To answer the question of “ is Faux- Finishing and Decorative painting the same thing?” The quick answer is essentially Yes!

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Q. What is Venetian Plaster?

A. Venetian Plaster is an ancient building material which originated with lime and marble. The resulting plaster can be brought up to a high polish, low polish or a matte finish. It can be smooth to the touch or have a granular texture, depending on the product you choose to use.

The term Venetian Plaster can also refer to the method of application. Natural lime plasters have been around since the time of the ancient Egyptians. Originally, they were strictly used for the protection of structures. The Venetians took it to another level. They used natural pigment to add a decorative touch to both interior and exterior applications.

In today’s market, there are also synthetic products available. It is a highly sought after product, finish and method of application because of it's durability, beauty, originality, and diversity. Essentially, the trained applicator is only limited by their imagination.

Venetian Plaster is a very high-end finish. It , it can be costly, but not always, depending on your finish of choice. Once the decision has been made, you will love your one of a kind Venetian Plaster finish.

Venetian Plaster is not a Faux -Finish, it is it's own application and material, and is the real thing.

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Q. How do I choose the right finish, and can finishes I see in magazines, restaurants, and stores be replicated?

A. Part of my job as a Decorative Painter is to help the client chose the correct finish for their room and budget. During the initial consultation, the look the client wants to achieve is identified. Afterwards it is my job, through the use of creating sample boards, to achieve the desired effect wanted for your room or rooms. Once you are happy with a specific sample, I will then start the application of your wall finish to recreate your chosen sample board.

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Q. Can I expect my wall to look exactly like the sample board I have chosen?

A. I do my best to create the exact effect the client wants. Like with all hand-decorated products, however, no two finishes are ever exactly identical. Every wall will have slight variations. Every wall will be unique.

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Q. How much does it cost for a Decorative finish? Is it very expensive?

A. There is a range of prices associated with Decorative Painting. It depends entirely on the amount of labour involved in the finish, and the cost of materials. Prices run from $3.00 to $20.00 per sq/ft. For example, an 8x10 wall is equal to 80sq/ft. A basic Faux Finish on that wall will cost $240.00 + GST. In our initial free consultation, we will establish a budget for your project.

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Q. Do I really need a professional Decorative Painter, or can I do these finishes myself?

A. Most decorative finishes can be done by anyone.  There are a few applications that are highly labour intensive, so know what you are getting into before you begin. My suggestion is to consult a decorative painter and ask questions on where to get product, and how to best apply product to achieve the look you are after.  My experience is that most building supply stores, won't have much product or preparation knowledge in regards to specialty finishes.  They usually only know the one or two products they carry and the method of application on the can.

A few tips:

  • Research proper wall preparation, this is very important when it comes to using plaster techniques.
  • Do a few of your own sample boards before starting on your main project. Become familiar working with your product and tools.
  • Always be sure you have enough product to finish your job. Paint stores can have trouble replicating colours in glazes and plasters.
  • Give yourself enough time, and do not overwork the surface.
  • Always start in the least visible portion of your wall as it may take a few minutes to get into a consistent groove.

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Q. Do you offer any kind of guarantee with your workmanship?

A. Yes, I do offer a one year guarantee on all of my work.

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Q. How durable is a faux finish? Can I wash it like any other paint finish?

A.A Faux Finished surface is actually more durable then a regular painted surface once the finish coat has been applied.  It can be washed like any other ordinary surface.  Faux Finished walls are highly recommended for high traffic areas of a home, or in a commercial environment.

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The Urban Wall in Saskatoon specializes in faux finishing, decorative painting and venetian plaster applications to create elegant, original and distinctive interior finishes for your home or business.