You Can Do It: Fast Faux Finishing

Give your bath an overhaul in a morning with this simple technique.
Alicia K. Clavell

Just go with the faux"--that's the mantra decorative artist Sunny Goode lives and works by. She proved her point by showing us just how fast, easy, and fun it was to take this small bathroom from boring to beautiful--all in a matter of hours. The inexpensive glaze and stencil treatment is both stunning and sophisticated.

"You don't have to go to school to do this," notes Sunny. She even came up with her own line of paint products and stencils to show how easy decorative painting can be. Here's how she transformed this bath.

Step 1:
Use a paintbrush or sponge to apply an umber glaze to the base paint color. Rag off excess glaze. Work in small areas until the entire surface is covered. In this room, applying a glaze over the white walls not only helped achieve an aged look, but it also disguised some of the walls' natural flaws. "I also added the same glaze to the ceiling to help pull the eye all the way up," explains Sunny

Step 2:
Choose a darker hue for your base stencil. (This bright red paint was a perfect accent to pillows and window treatments in the connecting master bedroom.) Then hold the stencil flush against the wall and apply paint by tapping a stencil brush onto the wall (as opposed to using typical brushstrokes); this provides some texture and depth. 

Repeat this process along wall and ceiling until you achieve a pleasing pattern.

Note: Sunny used one of her own die-cut stencils. This gives the design a hand-painted appearance. Normally, die-cuts are perfect shapes, but Sunny worked closely with the company that crafted hers to make them irregular.

Step 3:
Choose a lighter shade for your second stencil. Rotate the overlapping stencil just a little so that you see the accent color. Repeat the stenciling process along the wall. "In this bath, the silver with the red underneath makes a sophisticated statement," Sunny explains.

MATERIALS

  • umber glaze (Purchase a ready-made product, or have your own mixed at the store.)
  • paintbrush or sponge
  • rag
  • stencils
    (two of the same shape)
  • paint (Choose one dark color and one lighter shade.)
  • stencil brush
     

This article is from the Favorites 2005 issue of Southern Living.