Using Faux Painting Styles Outdoors

Faux painting styles are some of the most popular decorating techniques in the United States today, regardless of how much a specific project has in the budget. It is relatively inexpensive, most require little experience or know-how, and the instructions are easy to follow. Faux painting styles are utilized indoors primarily, but there are several styles that can be used outdoors as well.

Marbling Technique

The look of marble is elegant and sophisticated, no matter where you use it, but this building material is extremely expensive and very heavy. Faux painting a marble finish can give you the look that you want, on the outdoor countertop or even patio furniture, without breaking your budget in one fell swoop.

Start by sanding the top of whatever you are marbling, so that the surface becomes rough, and then remove all dust particles with the help of a tack cloth. Use a sponge to apply the shades that you are using, often a combination of three tones of the same or similar shades, and use an absorbent towel to gently remove any excess paint from the surface. Allow time for this base coat to dry.

Use a detail brush to add a “vein” to the basecoat, with a color that is a lighter shade than your marble, such as a white, gray, or yellow shade. Make sure that you add the veining to the entire surface, in random places, including any lips or edges. If you desire some extra pop, use a sponge to add an in-between shade as a contrast to the base coat and veining. Once this dries, add a layer of gloss to give the appearance of marble.

Leather Technique

Leather is another way to make a statement of elegance and refinement, but it was never intended for use outdoors. It can easily crack or fade in the elements, so a great faux leather technique will give you all the beauty of leather without the drawbacks.

Lightly sand the object if it is finished; if unfinished, skip to the next step. Start with a coat of primer, oil-based, to get ready for the color application. Give the primer time to dry thoroughly before proceeding. Start with your base coat, normally in an orange or caramel range, depending on the look you want. Allow the base coat time to dry completely.

Mix one quarter dark brown paint with three quarters glaze to begin with the leather look on your item, blending completely. Brush it on the entire surface, working in sections. Remember that glaze does not apply the same as paint, so it is acceptable to see sections that are not as saturated.

Use a newspaper to “scratch” the surface, giving the leather a worn look, but do not get your fingers in the glazed surface. Replace the newspaper when it begins to become saturated, and keep in mind that each time you move to the next area, you should turn the paper slightly so the pattern changes. Repeat the glaze and newspaper steps until you reach the leather look you are hoping for. Allow time for the glaze to dry completely, and then finish your faux leather look with a coat of polyurethane.


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