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Paint It Black: A Guide To Gothic Homemaking Hardcover – August 30, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Weiser Books; F First Edition edition (August 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578633613
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578633616
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #601,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Voltaire is a prominent and prolific author, artist, and merchandising powerhouse in the alternative culture market. Following the success of What is Goth?, he jumped at the chance to follow it up with Paint It Black (hey, Goths don't need much sleep). He lives in the ever-dismal New York City and has an extensive touring schedule.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By M. Gheesling on September 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In his follow-up to his book "What Is Goth ?" musician, artist, and all-around dark jester Voltaire aims his style and sense-of-humor at crafts and interior decorating with "Paint It Black: A Guide To Gothic Homemaking."

I bought this book for two reasons: As a Goth wanna-be (I follow the scene but don't usually dress the part), I wanted to see what spooky insights Voltaire brought to the usually saccharin and kitchsy design world dominated by Martha Stewart. As an educated artist (BFA Graphic Design) who was fortunate to have had classes from an award-winning and accomplished artist and faux-finisher (Diane Thomas Lincoln), I wanted to see if there was anything new I could learn in regards to technique and artistic process.

To be sure, this book covers only a few basic techniques. You won't learn advanced stencil-masking or how to use Venetian marble with this book. But since this book was written with your average Baby Bat or Elder Goth in mind, advanced techniques would serve only to confuse rather than enlighten. In short, this is a good book for beginners who wish to put a bit of spooky into their surroundings.

To its credit, "Paint It Black" is mostly project-based and therefore you can actually end up with your own finished works if you follow the instructions. A few projects are either too tacky ("Graveyard Cake") or too sparse on details ("Gothic Weddings") to be worthwhile. However, most of them,like "The Grimoire" and "Pimp My Ride, Dracula-style," are really useful and successful.

Overeall, this book is a starting point for the beginner and a creative springboard for the experienced. The only thing truly disappointing about it is that, according to Voltaire's own web site ([...] 66 pages were cut by the publisher. And with Voltaire's sense of humor firmly ensconced throughout, "Paint It Black" is an entertaining read as well. Your money isn't wasted if you buy it.

--Sir Rastus
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mike Hunter on June 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Another autobiographic introduction by Voltaire leads this volume. It explains from whence came his urge for "turning drab living spaces into fantastic locales": "I survey the world around me and wonder how we came to live in such a boring and mundane culture...What happened to the romance and pageantry of the past? How did we come to live in a world inundated by blue jeans and khakis and baseball caps, where the average person dresses like a mechanic or farmer or baseball player?

Paint it Black shows countless ways "how to take the horribly mundane and turn it into the wonderfully macabre." A splendid sibling to "What is Goth?", this "Guide to Gothic Homemaking" is loaded with nicely photographed, inexpensive, step-by-step projects via which one can "Transform a plain sketchbook into your very own skull-covered Book of the Dead," "Pimp Your Ride, Dracula-style," bake (recipe included) and decorate a "Graveyard Cake," and many more craft tactics enabling one to "Turn your room into a lair."

"Deconstructing Goth from the Catacombs Up" covers the basics of the look and different cultural variations to take for inspiration. As explained in his intro, Voltaire's work as a stop-motion animator taught him "model-making, building sets and props, [and] painting faux finishes," techniques which he passes on to us.

One lengthy chapter is loaded with suggestions for staging "Gothic Weddings," followed by final tips on "Pulling It All Together into a Gothic Love Nest." As with "What is Goth?", Voltaire's satiric asides and scattered philosophic comments spice the book. Another winner from Weiser Books, famed for publishing "books across the entire spectrum of occult and esoteric subjects."
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By K. Scarritt on September 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Voltaire's ready wit and sharp eye are the perfect blend on how to Goth out your home, your ride or your wedding! He has a clear understanding of the Goth setting, knows how to acheive it on the large or small scale, and has no hesitation about doing it on the cheap. His crafts, unlike Martha Stewart nightmare-esque books that make you feel inadequate for not taking college level Home Ec, are approachable and done in easy steps. He is able to streamline a lot of design ideas that can work for most decor and room layout.

Great little book!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Romona Dolan on September 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Voltaire has done it again. A lovely little book filled with projects and ideas for making your ho-hum space into a darkly romantic lair. No Budget? No problem! The projects are DIY style with an elegant twist. "The Grimoire", and the "Gothic Picture Frames" alone are worth the cover price. Being a Goth for some of us "elders" is more than clubbing and dressing in black. It's a life style that is best expressed by our surroundings. Go ahead. Paint it black!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By DT on February 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Another fine contribution the Goth subculture featuring Voltaire's patented humor and creative views. With this book you are armed to go forth and redecorate your living spaces cheaply, simply, quickly and darkly (duh!). Though this is not by any means an Interior Decorating book teaching advanced techniques or high style, this book gives how to's that anybody can do. Snag some new ideas of decorating your room (or house/apt/etc.), throwing a party (also includes a section on weddings), spookifying your car, and some fun Goth paraphernalia projects.

Just starting out Goth's will really enjoy this book, as will Goths who have temporary living spaces and cannot do permanent decorating.
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