Detail of floor stencil in Resene Elderflower (try Resene Umber White) and Resene Peace (try Resene Spanish Green). A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from top to bottom) Resene Smoothie (try Resene Sugar Loaf), Resene New Leaf (try Resene Clay Creek), Resene Elderflower and Resene Peace.
Stencils are a hugely flexible and diverse way of adding patterns to virtually anything. You can do entire walls, portions of furniture, pots, the edges of floors, frames or whatever takes your fancy.
The style of the stencil you use can range from modern to classic, small to large. You can make your own stencils or buy them online. Or you can use something slightly unexpected, like a cake stencil or a doily, as a stencil.
Use low-tack masking tape to keep your stencil in place. Use a sponge for stencilling, not a brush, and make sure you don’t overload it, or the paint will bleed underneath the edge of the stencil. Pour the paint into a shallow tray or dish and keep a rag or paper towel on hand to dab off excess paint. Carefully lift the stencil off and place it in the next position for painting.
The beauty of paint is that it can be used to mimic virtually anything – a stone or tiled floor, a concrete wall or a terrazzo surface. Some of these looks can be achieved with stencils or masking, while others rely on a more free-form approach. If you’re unsure of your artistic talents, practice on cardboard first.
Worn and weathered materials are perennially popular, and the current darling of them all is rusted steel. Resene FX Faux Rust Effect creates a rust effect on exterior and interior surfaces. The look continues to develop as the coating ages. Leave it as is or protect it with diluted Resene Waterborne Aquapel.
Woodgraining looks best where wood might normally have been used. In the majority of cases, it is best to use tones of the same colour. Usually the basecoat is lighter than the effects finish applied to the top. To create a woodgrain effect you can either use a stencil, paint your wood texture freehand or experiment with items such as combs.
Découpage is the art of cutting out pieces of paper or sometimes fabric and gluing them to hard surfaces. A popular style in 17th century Italy, découpage’s name is derived from the Middle French word découper, meaning ‘to cut up’. The style is a great way of hiding imperfections on a surface. Try using leftover pieces of wallpaper and gluing them to a vintage trunk or table in a symmetrical pattern.
There are as many techniques for marbling as there are varieties of natural marble, often using a combination of ragging, dry-brushing and ‘painting’ with a feather. Before you start, look at some natural marbles to see the colours and how the veins are formed. Colours generally range from soft creams through to browns, greens, greys and blacks. Keep your work simple.
When marbling smaller objects, apply two coats of paint as a basecoat. These candlesticks use Resene Alabaster. Fill a basin with water, making sure it’s large enough to dip your object in. Using oil-based paint (Resene Lusta-Glo), dip the brush into the paint, then touch it to the surface of the water. Place your object gently on to the surface of the water and either roll it over, or raise, turn and place so that all of it is covered in the marble-like effect. Remove and allow to dry.
A simple way to add interest and dimension to any wall – inside or out – is by adding battens, and to avoid the hassle of filling nail holes, simply use construction glue. Add battens in any shape or form: to mimic traditional panelling, in quirky random lengths or on the diagonal for drama, then paint.
Paint can be used for printing using a variety of techniques, from the humble potato print to more ambitious methods.
Printing is the reverse of stencilling – you are coating or dipping whatever printing tool you choose into the paint, then pressing it on to the wall or other surface.
Here are some ideas:
Use a classic potato print to decorate smaller surfaces such as furniture, accessories or fabric.
For larger prints, cut shapes out of a household sponge. This wall frieze (below) was created using sponges cut into triangles with the dark colour (Resene Bronze) laid over the lighter colour (Resene Triple Wheatfield) and vice versa. The wall (below) was inspired by a wallpaper design and uses the same technique with half circles cut out of a sponge, then painted in two colourways, Resene Triple Friar Greystone and Resene Half White Pointer on a Resene Quarter Friar Greystone wall.
Use organic materials such as leaves to create a wonderful artwork (below). This uses Resene Kamikaze, Resene Lightning Yellow, Resene Poppy, Resene Persian Red and Resene Ayers Rock.
Top tip: To add some delicate shimmer to a painted wall or object, use Resene FX Pearl Shimmer. It’s great for kids’ rooms where a little moon dust or fairy dust is needed.
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