Sheila Rich Interiors: Design Blog

Helpful tips and suggestions on designing your interior.

Choices, Choices: Paint or Faux Finish?

Many people ask me whether it’s better to use trendy faux finishes on their walls or to simply paint them. My answer is always the same: What’s popular now may not be the correct thing for your home, and chances are that it won’t be popular forever. I recommend using more classic solutions when redecorating; it’s much easier and less expensive to add trendy touches as accents than it is to refinish walls.

Although faux and painted finishes are being used a lot, I personally like to use wall coverings because they’re more durable, washable and they give depth to a room. Wall coverings don’t necessarily have to be prints – there are many beautiful selections made with textures to simulate stucco, various fabrics, brick, and all kinds of things.

While most faux finishes simply give the illusion of texture, there are certain types of finishes that actually require the use of additional plaster on your walls. These can only be undone by replacing the sheetrock, which can be a deterrent to future buyers or become a major expense and a good deal of extra work for you once the style is passé. In addition, the cost of having a faux finish put on your walls can be prohibitive because you’ll be paying for artistic labor in order to create this illusion of texture. In my opinion, it makes more sense to invest in wall coverings that provide the actual textures you want than to pay more for an illusion of the same thing.

Wall coverings are generally a more practical solution, especially in bathrooms, kitchens, and heavily trafficked areas like corridors. And since most walls are far from perfect, wall coverings can help to hide blemishes and irregularities better than paint.

In those areas of the house where you do plan to use paint, I personally prefer to see a room done with flat paint on the walls and ceilings to make them appear higher (use semi-gloss on moldings for easy cleaning) rather than a faux finish. Don’t be afraid to use paint with color, even in smaller rooms. Small rooms don’t necessarily need to have lighter walls, nor do larger rooms need darker walls; your rooms will feel more spacious overall if your design concept flows from room to room.

Once you figure out what will look best on your walls and what look you want to achieve, have fun choosing from all of the wonderful selections you’ll find. The choices are almost limitless!

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