Basic Faux Painting – Selecting a Paint Color

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 73,522
    Professional painter Donnalynne Lefever discusses faux painting and how to select a paint color.

    Donnalynne Lefever

    Donnalynne Lefever is the owner of Lefever Designs and has been in business now for more than 10 years in which she creates faux finishes, murals, tromp l'oiel and artwork of any kind in homes and businesses on walls, floors, ceilings, furniture,etc. mostly in the Metropolitan Washington DC area. She graduated college with a theater degree at the University of Maryland and moved to NYC shortly afterwards to make costumes for Broadway. Upon returning home to Northern Virginia, she met a designer who introduced her to her current field and has been painting ever since. Starting in 1990 she worked with that designer for 3 years, then with a business specializing in faux finishes, murals and tromp l'oiel for an additional 3 years before branching out into her own business. She's taken faux finish classes in the materials she currently works with and numerous art classes as well. One of her favorite materials to work with is leafing; gold, silver or copper. This year, summer 2007, one of her clients/designer had her home featured in the magazine, Washington Spaces, in which a few of the rooms Donnalynne worked on are photographed. She mostly works with designers and by word of mouth which keeps her quite busy. When not creating for others, she creates her own artwork on canvas, clay or other various things. She belongs to the local art organizations of Del Ray Artisans in Alexandria, Virginia and Springfield Art Guild in Virginia in which she is currently co-president.

    Donnalynne Lefever: Hi, I am Donnalynne Lefever and I have been doing faux finishes for wall and I am here now to help you figure out how to select colors and figuring out which room that you would to paint in. As the beginner, I highly recommend you to do a room that is sort of out of the way or not seen, so, a laundry room is good, a basement, a powder room is good. Don't pick your four major rooms to start if you have never done a faux finish before. Don't pick the living room, dining room, or your kitchen, you will hate yourself. So, anyway, what I am going to do from there is, the first thing and the best thing to do is research. So, if you have no clue about color whatsoever, I highly recommend looking at interior magazines, I don't care which ones you look at. If it floats with you, go for it. Then what you want to do is, you want to pull out pages. Pages that have colors that are appealing to you, colors or finishes that look appealing to you, something that gives you a feeling of what -- something of interest. It maybe subtle, it maybe dramatic, each one of these I pulled out has either, like this one has a specific finish or a color combination. This one has a marble stone. It's just anything that will give you a feeling of how a room would look completed in a color, if you have no idea. Then once you started to collect the whole bunch of them. We threw the ones that are your least favorite and then you will start to see that usually you have a color preference which is kind of cool. So, once you have got your color preference. I have also seen in the magazines that they have the actual -- some choices of color with name brands and colors and this one is actually for this room. So, there are some helps in some cheat sheets in the picking out color. If you are really, really, really confused you may need to get a help of an interior designer. Otherwise, you are more than welcome to go straight to the paint stores. In this area some big ones are Benjamin Moore, Pratt and Lambert, Duran, or anybody else. I don't care if you go to Home Depot, or wherever, but what you want to do is, you want to look through the Fandex. If there is colors that you particularly do not like, obviously stay away for them. Most Fandex just set up in a way that there are - cleaner, more intense colors are at the beginning. They starts to get a little dirtier or softer as you go to the middle and then they tend to be a lot more muted or softer towards the end.

    This one has a historic color section to it and then some of the others -- again you can see how intense you can go to much more muted. You want to just give a look and see which ones. If you get into it and you can't figure out what you want from there then what you do is to buy coats or you buy little samples and that's what you do is you start to put those colors on the walls, what you want to do is you want to put on like a space over that's darker a space that's lighter. Put it on all four walls in the room. So, that you can see how light will effect it. Once you have got that done, now you then have your base color for your finish or if you decide that is, let's say you like this intensity of color right here and that you want your room to be this color. Then I recommend starting with the base coat that's a lot lighter and we will more mix glaze darker to get the color that we are ultimately looking for. So, right now, what you are going to do after this is you are going to then do some samples and I would be talking through these samples in the next number of clips and of choices, we are going to do one color, only because it's the simplest way to do it. I do have some shifts of color. So, you don't get bored with my color choice but anyway I think that you will get a good sense of that. If you have questions, we can always talk about that or can be worked out at another time. So, I think that's about it for this step.