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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

OUTDOOR PAINT TECHNIQUES (article first published : 2002-12-29)

Already reviewed on these pages is Decorative Paint Finishes by Louise Hennigs and Marina Niven published in 1998.

A later book, published this year is Outdoor Paint Techniques and Faux Finishes. Marina Niven and Louise Hennigs who live in Port Elizabeth and Cape Town respectively, have a wealth of experience in the decorating business between them. Marina teaches paint effects and Louise is a mural artist. While the earlier book concentrated on indoor techniques, the latest book takes paint effects out of doors, onto patios and verandahs and into solariums and gardens.

Once again, Peta Palmer is the designer and the book benefits from her crisp, clean layout style.

In many cases, the techniques are most suited to European styled dwellings, particularly those with large gardens. These would appeal to those living in the KZN Midlands or cooler climes of the Cape – but the examples with a Moroccan feel would be ideal in warmer conditions.

The authors’ combined expertise is demonstrated through ideas such as an extra dimension given to a trellis through perspective lines; the clever use of painted stencils on a wall and the use of mosaic or painted tiles and borders to glorify an otherwise boring tiled floor.

Of much interest to those who live close to the sea would be the decoration of concrete floors and an attractive lounging area complete with white walls, simple furniture and limewashed wood.

I can’t say I was particularly inspired by metal planters on a sandy floor containing rather scrappy looking grass or a giant sized gold leaf pot placed like a recently-landed spaceship in the middle of a charming leafy garden. However, I was completely fascinated by a metal sculpture that was made to look like a table covered with a lace-bordered tablecloth and ceramic bowls and dishes and I loved the leafy-designed pillars in a long corridor with futuristic looking metal lights.

Marina Niven and Louise Hennigs offer paint effect enthusiasts the ability to turn their homes into places of splendour with the clever use of antiqueing and weathering. You can even add the effect of moss or lichen!

Published by Struik, Outdoor Paint Techniques and Faux Finishes is in hardcover with a jacket and retails at R139.95. – Caroline Smart




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