Finishes & Glazes Asked Questions

Can I faux finish over my wallpaper, paneling or heavily damaged and patched walls?
Wallpaper must be primed using a flat alkyd primer and base-coated twice but the seams will always show. Faux finishing will distract the eye enough to erase most of it visually. Paneling can be sanded lightly and painted with alkyd primer and then with either alkyd or latex paint. Heavily damaged and roughly repaired walls must have the repairs sealed and crack free. The heavier plaster texture will hide everything but not the Italian Plastering which is put on very thin and then polished.
Can any of your “Great Wall Finishes” be used on exterior surfaces?
No. All of faux techniques are meant for interior surfaces only.
Are glazes safe to use in my child’s room?
Most water-based glazes are safe. Oil-based or alkyd-based glazes are not and should be clear coated after drying with a water-based urethane.
Can a faux finish be used on cabinets & furniture?
Yes. Care must be given to preparing the surface with the proper primer and covered with a good quality water-based urethane. Never put a water-based paint or glaze on an alkyd surface. if you are not sure swab the surface with rubbing alcohol, if it rubs off it is a water-based finish. Semi-gloss or gloss surfaces either alkyd or water-based latex paint must have a light sanding before the faux finish begins.
How can I make sure my faux finish is washable?
On walls of bathrooms, kid’s rooms, kitchens and stairwells use one coat of water-based urethane in the lowest sheen as a protective coating. Use two coats of semi-gloss on floors. Wait 24 hours after faux finishing before applying.
What happens when the glaze starts to dry before I am finished?
Some glazes that dry in 15 minutes are not suggested for colourwashing, denim or suede finishes. Read the label for opentime, use glazes that stay open at least 45 minutes. Turn off the air conditioning and work steadily with all your supplies within easy reach. Make sure you have enough mixed to reach the end of the project and do not stop until you reach a corner. Never go back over an area while it is wet. It will remove the glaze and make a hole. Use two people if you are unsure, one to apply a wide strip and one to remove it.
How do I soften the effects if it is too vivid?
Wait until it is dry and go over it again with a very thin lighter coloured version.
How long before a newly painted basecoat can be faux finished?
Overnight. If taping is required we recommend that you wait at least 4 days. Beware! Even low tack tape can tear the base coat surface. Do not leave on for long periods of time.
Can a faux finish be painted over?
Most faux finishes can be painted over with 2 coats of a good quality paint but techniques with texture such as leather, Italian Plaster, heavily textured drywall and even the denim finish which has heavy brush strokes must be skim coated with a drywall compound. It then must be sanded, primed and painted as usual.
How do I achieve a fresco finish?
Texture the wall with a drywall compound, sand and prime with a masonry primer. Or, if the actual texture is not wanted, proceed as below. Use a top quality 4″ soft bristle brush and apply one or more colours by dipping in each colour and using wide overlapping rainbow strokes. Pat off the excess using cheesecloth and blend out the edges in 3′ x 3′ areas at one time. Use a small narrow brush after a full wall length is done to remove the excess from the corners, ceiling and baseboard cracks.
What is the difference between rag rolling and ragging ?
Rag rolling uses a square of cotton dipped in diluted paint or a glaze mixture. Squeezed and then twisted into a cylinder shape and rolled softly down the wall, replenishing the paint when the pattern starts to fade. Ragging-on uses a rag bunched into a carnation shape and patted over the surface.
How do I choose good colour combinations?
Selecting colour for your home is a personal matter. There are no strict rules governing the selection of a colour scheme. The first step in selecting a colour scheme usually is to decide on the main colour to be used in the room. if you don’t know which colours you will be happiest living with, glance through your wardrobe. If you do not see any red, you probably would not like living in a room decorated in a red colour scheme.
Proportion and balance are important. After you decide which colour will be dominant, add other colours in unequal amounts. A guideline is to select the dominant colour for use in about two-thirds of the room and use the other colour in lessening amounts. The floor covering in a room is often the part of the decor that home owners do not want to change. If this is your case, the floor covering colour must be a consideration when selecting a colour scheme.
Start with the paint colour chips. Keep in mind that the colour will be much more intense on a large wall than on a small paint chip. Take the paint chips home and examine them in the room you will be painting, under both natural daylight and artificial night lighting. If you are still unsure about your colour choice, buy the colour that seems best in the smallest quantity. Brush out several 2 ft. x 2ft. samples on the wall. When it is dry look at the sample in the morning and evening. Usually for a more dramatic effect, use a darker coloured glaze over a light colour. For a softer look, use a similar coloured glaze over a basecoat than is slightly darker than the glaze.
Oil paint uses a binder or resin that is derived from a vegetable oil such as linseed or soya bean. This resin is usually dissolved in a solvent such as mineral spirits.
What is alkyd paint?
Alkyd paint is the most common kind of oil paint, and many oil paints are therefore normally referred to as alkyd paints. Alkyd is simply the name of the synthetic resin, usually containing a vegetable oil, that is used as the binder.
What are the benefits of alkyd paint?
Alkyd paint provides resistance to mechanical damage from abuse and abrasion. Alkyd paint is therefore well suited to areas of high wear. It has traditionally been used for such frequently cleaned areas as:
• Doors and trim, both inside and outside
• Kitchens
• Bathrooms
• Cabinets
When would I use alkyd paint?
It depends on a number of factors. See Selecting Interior Paints and Selecting Exterior Paints for more information.
Can I use alkyd paint over latex paint?
Yes, but it is a good idea to do some sanding to provide adhesion.
Note: As a result of ongoing improvements in latex paint technology, latex paints can often be suitable for uses that traditionally required alkyd paints.

Color choices for faux finishes

Painting tips & tricks

Color choices for faux finishes

Color tips for techniques:

When using colorwashing, sponging or dragging techniques

A pastel cover of an off-white background will produce a fresh, cheery effect.

A dark color over a light background will give a bold, dramatic look.

Slight variations of the same color will give the surface a feeling of depth.

Common Exterior Uses of Caulk

Filling in the gap between a window and the molding (brick mold) around it.

Filling in gaps where different surfaces meet (such as a foundation and siding).

Filling in holes in the concrete block of a foundation (use masonry caulk).

Use a putty knife to make sure the caulk bonds to the surfaces around it.

Filling in the gap between a sidewalk and foundation.

Common Interior Uses for caulk

Some Common Interior Uses of Caulk

Prevent moisture from getting into gaps between walls, bathtubs, countertops and sinks.

Filling in gaps where different surfaces meet, such as ceramic tile and baseboard.

Concrete crack repair

First determine if the crack is severe enough to repair.

If only a hairline crack, my recommendation is to leave it as is, since patching will only make it look worse.

If the crack is 1/8” or greater, the following would be the best remedy.

Note: If the crack has been caused by unstable substrate under the slab from poor compaction, my recommendation would be to have a slab jacking service (if available) come to your rescue and stabilize the slab before repair-

Clean entire surface using T.S.P General Household Cleaner, or a suitable exterior cleaning solution.

Tuck into crevice a foam backing rod (available in 1/8, 1/4” – 3” diameters) setting it down into the crack ½” from the surface.

Apply Weldbond or concrete adhesive over foam backing rod. Allow to cure for 1-2 hours.

Apply polyurethane caulking (gray or concrete colour) into crack crevice.

Sprinkle dry sand over caulking and brush excess off using a paintbrush.

Allow to cure for 12 hours before using area.

Choices for Wood Siding

Exterior wood siding can be painted or stained. There is a wide array of products available in both mediums. I prefer an alkyd (oil base) primer for bare wood, the top coat would vary depending on the look desired.

Primer is not required under stain except solid color stain that is white or another light color.

For repainting, primer is only required for areas where the preparation steps brought you down to bare wood, or where stain killer is needed due to mildew or water damage.

Stains for wood come in several degrees of transparency. Semi-transparent stains are useful for letting the wood grain show through, that can be a very nice look over cedar shingles.

Painting Tips – Cleaning Up

If you are planning to continue the work the next day, just keep the paint and roller in the paint tray and cover with a tray lid or cellophane. The next morning run the brush or roller over a newspaper a few times and it will be ready to use.
After the job is completed wash the rollers and brushes and paint tray with water. Do not use a spinning tool to clean brushes as this will make your brush flare. Wrap the clean brushes and rollers with newspaper and secure with a rubber band. Store the brushes flat or hang them on hooks.
Excess paint can be stored in the can. If you have no further use for the paint donate it to a charitable institute or in the case of water based paint pour over shredded newspaper or cat litter and throw the paper or cat litter in the trash. If it is oil based paint it cannot be thrown as it is considered a hazardous substance. Make enquiries with you local council as to the best way to dispose of it.

Cleaning Wood Window Frames

If painted, use a solution of mild detergent and water, or a mild commercial cleaner whose label says it is safe for painted surfaces. Always rinse off solution.
Wipe off excess water with a dry cloth. Do not use strong cleaners or scouring powder as these will damage the paint. If you plan to clean window frames, do it before cleaning window glass so solution does not spot glass panes. If natural-finished, vacuum or dust regularly. Clean infrequently, only when really needed. Use a commercial wood cleaning product or cleaning wax whose label recommends use on natural wood finishes.