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Around Our Town...Ask the Decorator

01/01/2005 - Whew!! We made it through another holiday season. Sometimes I wonder if I would even notice if the walls of my house fell down, as long as those Christmas decorations stayed intact. The bright colors of red, green, gold, silver, and blue, with the addition of sparkling lights create the warmth of Christmas. All this brightness makes us love the way our homes look and feel through the holiday season.

Now it's all over and we go through the dreaded chore of taking down the tree and storing the lights and ornaments. When all the boxes are stored away, we walk back to a stark white environment. We suddenly realize the reason for all the hype about color. We use some of the brightest colors available during the Christmas season and we love the warmth it exudes in our home. Yet we pack it away as if we are not allowed to have that same feeling all year. Now maybe we can understand why the lady on TV has her Christmas decorations up all year long. While we may not be ready to paint our walls a Christmas red or green, we are ready for a change, like spring cleaning, decorating ,etc. . . . well, okay, maybe we are a little ahead of ourselves. We know there are those winter months to contend with, but that doesn't stop the urge to change something in our home, and there is no better time to make changes inside our home than during the winter, especially as we still have that feeling of warmth that the Christmas colors give us. Let's go for it!!

Okay, so you can't bring yourself to paint a solid color. That's okay; we don't want an anxiety attack so soon after Christmas. Let's start with a softening technique like Faux Glazing. Your local paint store has great Faux Glazing color combinations that will help you in your selection. Satin Enamel is recommended for most faux glazing projects. Your base coat can be a lighter tone, no not white (be brave now), followed by a darker tone or tones. Let the base coat dry thoroughly, about 3 to 4 hours, then you are ready to mix your glaze color. Follow the recommended portion of paint per gallon of glaze and mix thoroughly. Now you are ready to apply your top coat. There are different tools and techniques used to create different effects. The most popular tool is the sea sponge, using the dabbing method. Make sure you dab excess paint off your sponge before applying to your wall. Work a small area at a time to get the desired effect. Glaze dries more quickly than regular paint. You can make the color as dark or light as you wish, and you may want three colors instead of two. Discovering the effect one color has on a lighter or darker color in the same spectrum is the fun part. Another method is color-washing, which is simply applying the top coat or coats with a rag using a sweeping motion to create the effect you desire. There are others such as the linen, leather and marbling which are more difficult, so don't panic, just save those for later.

These methods can be so much fun because you are in control of the color, and the results are so rewarding. Your wall can be as bold or soft as you want. If you find it is darker than you want, just go back over it with the lighter color to get the desired effect.

If you are still not sure about color choices or what paint to mix with what, any of your local paint stores will be happy to assist you in your selection. Some have workshops in Faux Glazing, or they can give you some very helpful advice.

Happy glazing!!!!!

Article written by Kay Bohems at Woody G's Gallery and Frame Shop. Please forward decorating questions to woodyg@coffey.com

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