- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Touchstone; F First Edition edition (August 15, 1990)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0671682490
- ISBN-13: 978-0671682491
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
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Recipes for Surfaces: Decorative Paint Finishes Made Simple Paperback – August 15, 1990
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About the Author
Mindy Drucker is a freelance writer specializing in design and home decoration topics. Her work has appeared in Colonial Homes, House Beautiful's Building Manual, Creative Ideas for Living and other publications. She lives in New Jersey.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Regardless of which decorative painting techinique you choose, color will be its most vital component. How the colors you pick look together, suit your space, and harmonize with the existing colors will greatly affect the success of any project. So before you start, take time to learn about color and its role in interior design.
First, be aware that no two people see color in the same way -- color is perhaps the most subjective area of design. Choosing colors that you enjoy seeing together is one of the best ways to make your house truly your own. Decorative painting, in particular, lets you fashion a vast array of colors notable for their richness, subtlety, and depth. They can give your rooms an individuality no paint-chart color can match.
In interior design, the colors you select must always be considered in relation to those around them. The way in which they are distributed throughout a room is called a color scheme.
Deciding which colors to include in your scheme can be fun -- it lets you be creative. But like an artist faced with a blank canvas, you may initially be overwhelmed by the range of options. For help in determining combinations that work well together and bring out the best in your home, you can refer to established principles of interior design as well as guidelines for achieving a pleasing blend of hues.
Many of these rules appear on following pages. In reviewing them, however, bear in mind that, as with any rules, you'll find numerous exceptions. In fact, you could join any two colors in one setting, depending on how much area the hues will cover, how close together they will be, and whether they will be patterned or solid.
So, since the rules don't cover all contingencies, you must do something you may at first find challenging -- trust your instincts. How do the colors make you feel? Do you like them together? Are they the ones you want to live with? Rest assured that no design professional can answer these questions better than you, and have confidence that if a color pleases your eye, it has the best chance of looking "right" for your room.
Identifying successful color schemes is not as complicated as you may think. Remember, your instincts are probably right! One way to gain confidence is to review the basics of color theory.
Our earliest paint-box lessons still apply: Any hue can be made by combining the three primary colors -- red, yellow, and blue -- plus various amounts of black and white. By mixing pairs of primaries, you form the three secondary colors -- red and yellow make orange; yellow and blue make green; blue and red make violet. Then, by blending the secondaries, you'll get the tertiary colors -- olive, for instance, which comes from a mixture of green and violet.
Today, however, thanks to technology, we should probably qualify the basic rule to say that almost any color can be created from the primaries. In reality, the more colors you combine, the less vibrance the resulting hue will have. So manufacturers now produce a wide range of colors whose brilliance would be hard to match by starting with the primaries.
COLORS THAT HARMONIZE
To grasp the relationships among colors, you can use the color wheel pictured below. It has twelve parts, like the face of a clock. You'll find the primary colors at twelve o'clock (yellow), four o'clock (red), and eight o'clock (blue). The secondary colors are at two o'clock (orange), six o'clock (violet), and ten o'clock (green). In the remaining six spaces are the intermediate colors, so called because they lie between the primary and secondary colors.
From the position of colors on the wheel, you can identify harmonious blends. Among recommended combinations are similar colors, such as orange and yellow, which appear near each other on the wheel, and complementaries, such as red and green, which appear opposite each other. Complementaries serve a special purpose in decorating: They tone each other down to help balance a scheme.
A color also blends well with the colors flanking its complementary -- orange with either blue green or blue violet, for instance. This arrangement is called split-complementary. You'll also discover that triads -- any three colors equidistant on the wheel -- harmonize. Exemplifying this are the primary colors.
Even though the categories mentioned above might be unfamiliar to you, you'll probably find that many of your favorite color combinations fit into them naturally. You may not recognize them at first, however, because on the color wheel they are in their "pure" form, and this is rarely the form in which they are used in decorating.
A color has three main characteristics: its hue, the color family to which it belongs; its intensity, how dull or vivid it is; and its value, how dark or light it is. By varying the intensity and value of the pure colors, we derive a multitude of others. For example, by altering the value of pure red, we can get both rose and pink, which belong to the same color family and thus share the same position on the color wheel.
To change the value of a color, mix black and/or white into it. Mixing a color with white creates a tint; combining it with black produces a shade. Blending it with gray makes a tone.
CLASSIC COLOR SCHEMES
Based on these principles, we can devise color schemes that are pleasing and easily achieved. Using different values of the same color -- mint, medium, and forest green, for instance -- will give you a monochromatic arrangement. The scheme can be enhanced by decorative painting's two-tone effects. Try, say, walls with a mint base coat and a medium green sponged glaze layer, for example, to add interest to a subdued setting.
You can also create a harmonious setting with different colors that have the same value: three pastels, for example. The contrast between, say, light peach, pale violet, and soft green enlivens the scene, while their similarity in value ties them together and prevents one color from dominating and throwing the scheme oft balance. Consider soft peach walls trimmed with a stenciled border in pale violet and light green.
You may not be used to thinking of color in terms of value; so identifying different colors with the same value may take practice. To get a feel for values, imagine looking at a black-and-white photograph of a room in your house -- or better yet, actually take a black-and-white photo of the room and study it. In the photo, all the colors that have the same value will be the same shade of gray. By diminishing the obvious differences in hues, you can more easily spot those of similar value.
Simplicity can be trusted when it comes to color schemes. Consider employing just a range of neutrals -- whites, beiges, grays, browns. You'll be surprised at how many of each there are, A subtle scheme like this maker a fine showcase for intricate painted finishes that might look busy in a brighter setting.
Or you might link your favorite hue with white or a pale neutral, In fact, using your best color as an accent will produce a scheme that is notable for its versatility. If your taste changes, just switching the accent color will give your neutral scheme a new look. Employing a light accent with less contrast will imbue your setting with a relaxed air.
MORE COLOR-SCHEME OPTIONS
Interior designers have many methods for developing color schemes. A simple and effective one is to select the drapery or upholstery fabric first and then create a custom look by painting walls, woodwork, floors, and furnishings in coordinating hues.
Picking your fabric before you mix your paints is definitely safer. You can undoubtedly create a hue to match your fabric, but you might not as easily find a fabric to go with a distinctive color you've specially blended. Professionals usually advise that the background color of a print fabric and the base coat of your walls be the same. Then you can pull out other hues in the fabric pattern for coordinated accents.
Another method is to select three favorite colors and apply them in varying quantities. Make one color dominant; include a lot more of it than the others. Use the second color about half as much, and employ the last as an acce...
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Top customer reviews
I wanted to be sure that I explored a wide range of choices as I selected finished for office and apartment spaces in my building. I expected and received in this book a good overview for all of the common finishes used in residential spaces. I also received, much to my delight, a treasury of design ideas in the more than 200 color photos and illustrations. This is not a do-it-yourself handbook found at the checkout stand at Home Depot, although those are valuable as well. Although written for those designing living spaces, much of the information is useful for those designing office and other commercial spaces.
This 208-page, wirebound book was beautifully designed - one of perhaps fifteen books in my library whose production qualities are so superior that I show them to friends in the publishing business as examples of a well-produced book. The design and production were by a NYC firm; the printing was done in China; the author is British.
The content is similarly excellent. The book is divided into eight sections: simple paint, paint finishes, plaster & concrete, wall coverings, tiles, wood, glass & metal, and "putting it all together."
I bought this from one of Amazon's allied sellers at a very low price. Amazon is commended for offering this service. Amazon's committment to customer value and customer service are unsurpassed.
I am an avid do-it-yourselfer and love to do things around the house. As an amateur artist, I take photographs and paint landscapes, I think that this book is a good as taking a beginners class in faux painting. I feel that the directions and photographs of the various techniques are very well documented.
The book is subdivided as follows:
PART I - General Information
1. Color the Key Ingredient
2. Paint and Tools: The Staples
3. Preparing to Paint
4. Mixing Paints
PART II - Recipes
6. Cloth Distressing
8. Color Washing
13. Wood Graining
If you are not an artist, the first chapter on color is very handy. It teaches about the color wheel, the colors that harmonize, classic color schemes, and color moods. The chapter regarding tools is also very helpful. It explains the difference between oil and water based products and the advantages and disadvantages of both. There is also a nice discussion of brushes and other tools that is very useful for the beginning artist. I enjoyed the chapter on making your own stencils and the specifics of marbling and wood graining.
Regarding stencils I would recommend using acetate and a stencil burner, it works better for me that the cardstock and exacto knife that is shown in the book. I would also recommend that you buy some poster board or use large pieces of cardboard to practice your techniques. I find this to be much easier than going to the wall immediately. Also, once I find a color combination and technique that I like I replicate the process on a small (8 x 11) piece of luan plywood. On the back of this plywood I document which paint colors and glazes I have used and which tools and techniques. I also document the rooms or furniture on which this combination was used. That way if I need to touch up something I know what I did the first time.
I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to try out some faux painting on his or her walls or their furniture. If you are artistically inclined this book will inspire you to get out the paints and change something in your home. I also recommend the second book in this series "Recipes for Surfaces: Volume II".