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

DECORATIVE PAINT FINISHES (article first published : 2002-12-29)

Louise Hennigs runs her own business as a mural artist and decorative paint finisher. She has been commissioned by architects, designers and interior decorators to undertake a variety of projects for restaurants, wine estates and international hotels.

Marina Niven owns a decorating business and a curtain workshop. She was involved in the restoration of Villa Ciano in Tuscany and co-designed and painted the ceilings of the Sultan of Brunei’s reception rooms in London.

Together they have written Decorative Paint Finishes which offers over 15 paint effects to use in the home. “Don’t be afraid of making mistakes and remember to enjoy yourself!,” they say. “There is very little that a coat of paint cannot fix and, if necessary, you can always start again.” They also suggest further reading matter for those who wish to continue the exploration process.

The various paint finishes are comprehensively documented photographically as well as in text form and the authors hope to encourage and inspire both curious newcomers and more experienced decorators to master the basic techniques and then have the courage to experiment.

Photography is by Craig Fraser and Deidi von Schaewen and their images elevate the publication to more than just a DIY book. Petal Palmer is in charge of design and I particularly liked the way she has laid out the section detailing the materials and brushes required for the various finishes as well as the all-important steps for surface preparation.

The main chapters deal with Colour, Basic Techniques, Décor Finishes and Ageing and Antiquing and the designer has created a kind of index by identifying these chapters with different coloured strips on the right hand side of the pages.

The book is also invaluable for those setting out on the exciting task of transforming and redecorating an old house room by room. A wide number of styles are suggested from highly embellished baroque and palatial splendour to simple cottage cosiness. More suited to artSMart readers will be those with an elegant and cool African feel.

With the suggestions and guidelines in Decorative Paint Finishes, the sky’s the limit! So, get painting! Published by Struik and printed on sturdy glossy paper suitable for accompanying the actual working process, it retails at a very reasonable R99.95 - Caroline Smart

Also reviewed on these pages is “Outdoor Paint Techniques and Faux Finishes”, a later publication by the same authors.




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