Sunday, June 21, 2009

Faux Paint or Faux Pas ?

At the moment nothing is transpiring with my UFO project, it’s on hiatus as I await the arrival of a couple of how-to-do books on faux finishes. Faux painting is alien to me, never attempted it.
Back in the late 60's and early 70's I was put off by faux finishes, I had witnessed some truly bad cases of faux paint gone faux pas. Of course this was long ago in the days of television’s great home improvement gurus such as Bob Vila. Christopher Lowell came later, along with a veritable litany of TV home improvement hosts, many whose names I’ve long forgotten. I'm sure that over the years both the techniques and the products to do them have been refined considerably.
Now I stand on the cusp of embarkation into a world I’ve never before ventured, anxiously looking forward to the text that will take my hand and lead me through the fog of faux. When I ordered these books I knew I was not now, nor would ever be, a professional painter and decided it senseless to invest in pristine new editions of these instruction manuals. Since listed sources for used books at a fraction of the cost of new, I had to decide; could I live with a book with dog eared pages, bumped corners, scuffed covers, missing dust jackets...oh no not a missing dust jacket ! Could books that bore reminders of their past lives find a place on my book shelves ? Reminders such as library stamps, stickers, some one’s highlighting and pen notes, would these distract me from my purpose ?
Well let’s see, "The Paint Effects Bible" retails at $29.95. price is $26.95 (free shipping for orders over $20) whereas the used book source, condition: like new, slight shelf wear, is priced at $9.00 with additional $3.99 shipping, total $12.99. A saving of $13. 96, not bad. Yes there was a cheaper used copy at slightly over $6 and though the description states that the spiral binding was intact, the actual book cover is said to have a 3 inch tear at the back spine. Somehow I felt this could affect the over all integrity of the book, perhaps not, but to be safe I opted for a more expensive pre-used copy that stated the book was in "like new condition". I also took note of the seller's rating and just how many sales they had. For instance, there was a seller with a 100% satisfaction rating but had only 6 sales in the 12 month rating period, while another had 94% but had well over 10,000 sales during the same period of time. I'm afraid I would be swayed to go with the seller whose rating was slightly lower but whose sales where significantly higher.
The second book, "Paint Effects Masterclass", was not available directly through but prices ranged from as low as $3.93 plus $3.99 shipping, to as high as $87.64 plus $3.99 S&H. Can anyone explain to me who's going to be foolish enough to purchase a book for $87 that retails for less than $7.00 new ? Is an additional 80 bucks going to make it better ? Another interesting note, found a used copy, in "acceptable" condition, of "The Paint Effects Bible" listed for $256.00 plus $3.99 S&H. Could that have been a typo ? If not then what makes this volume more precious than all others, 14 kt gold spiral binding ? Does it comes with an expert faux painter to do your project for you ? In that case it would be a real bargain ! But I seriously doubt that the two versions are any different, other than in price. So I'll take my bargain used books and let you know if their discount prices hamper their effectiveness or if their bargain basement prices cause a revolt amongst my higher priced volumes of literature, will there be peace amongst the tomes?

Footnote : I wish to acknowledge and thank Jenn of Chuck A Stone Design for her recommendations of the technique books ; "The Paint Effects Bible" and "Paint Effects Masterclass".


  1. Just wanted to let you know...I love the way you write! Perhaps I just haven't had enough coffee yet...but you've really made the topic of learning to faux finish sound like an adventure!!Magical....just lovely,I say:)

  2. EllaPhante - I think you just need a few more cups of coffee, a carafe or two should do it. But thanks immensely for the compliment, it made me day.

  3. when we bought our condo, the old owner had faux terra-cotta style wall in the bedroom - imaging faux sponge painting + bumpy texture.
    It took me a week to sand it and repaint it and ever since, I have never been a fan of faux painting.. haha, funny now.. not so much while i was sanding.

  4. Oh yes that faux terra-cotta on a faux adobe texture sounds like a true faux pas alright. LOL :D

  5. *giggles* nope..I'm not caffeine deprived right now and I still say this is a really great post!Thanks for your comment on my blog too:)

  6. No way you will find any difference from the lesser expensive books you smart little cookie you, and now that is all the extra money you have to spend on the materials to create something truly wonderful or save for your next project. If you're buying glaze to tint I highly recommend Benjamin Moore. Its a teeny bit pricier but this is where you want to spend the couple extra dollars because the results will be that much nicer (it has a longer open time than Behr, so its easier for someone just starting out to work with it)

    Just a quick note for cabin + cub...don't discount it all! Not everything is textural stuff or outdated techniques I promise! lol


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