Faux Finish Tools

Faux finish tools are as important as the finish you choose. The right tools directly effect the end result. We would like to offer a brief overview of the most commonly used tools in the trade.

It will not always be necessary to go and buy expensive tools to get a beautiful finish.

But when you do buy tools, please do not look for the cheapest knife or brush or roller. Getting good faux finish tools will impact the job.

Let's start with the basics.

To start any paint project you will need a brush and roller. So, ninety percent of the time you will need a brush that is good for latex or acrylic paints. Look for bristles made from nylon or polyester, or a combination of the two.

I would not recommend buying a little one inch brush. I would recommend at least a two and a half inch to three inch brush. These are not too big to handle, and you will work less with a bigger brush. That's because you will cover more area, faster.

latex brush

The only time that you will need a natural bristle brush is when you are painting on oil based products. The big key here is don't mix the two. Once you buy a brush for use in water based products, don't switch over to oil use.

The cleaning process [soap and water for water base, and mineral spirits for oil] will ruin a brush that is used for both. So have a brush for each product if you plan to use both.

If you are needing a flogging or dragging brush, these are specific brushes and can be found at most big box stores that sell faux finish tools. They're usually around nine dollars. You can spend a lot more but there is no need.

flogging brush

If you are color washing, this takes a bigger brush. I usually use at least a three or four inch brush. I will say, it takes some getting used to with a four inch brush. So feel free to stick with a three inch if it's a lot more comfortable.

You will be spreading glaze over the surface of the base color as quickly as you can, so a larger brush width helps. Here you can go cheaper than the quality of your regular paint brush as you will hardly ever be doing a fine cut in job with this brush.

What about rollers? Standard choice is a nine inch roller frame and 3/8" roller nap for the cover. Any appropriate roller pan to hold the paint or glaze will do fine.

Often we refer to knives to apply texture plaster and Venetian plaster. If you are doing this professionally, then I definitely recommend to get the japanese trowel and finishing knives that will cost you about $40.00 each. They simply make it easier if you're doing a lot.

However, if this is a once or twice home project, you are perfectly set with a six inch drywall taping knife that is available at any supply store. You might want to have a smaller one too for the tight places. Maybe a three inch and a one inch just in case. These are much less expensive.

joint knife

I would recommend here that you find a stainless steel version of these knives, as these will not rust. A rusty knife is a definite "don't" in faux painting. You could accidentally end up with rust on your wall.

Other faux finish tools that you may need include a tape measure for some projects. Also a level at least two feet long and a supply of blue tape if you're planning on doing some striping.

Where a sponge is called for, use only natural sea sponges. The sea sponges give you a unique effect that you can't achieve with any other sponge. I usually buy one as large as I can comfortably hold in one hand. Some people can use those sponge rollers. You can try this, but I have not found that I like them much. It takes away from the hand made touch.

sea sponge

Where rags are called for, I recommend using lint free cotton. Just adds to a cleaner job on the walls. You can find this at paint stores and big box stores that sell paint products. I definitely do not recommend paper products that are designed to replace cloth.

These are just some of the faux finish tools necessary. I will continue to provide more information on tools and tips to using them. And I'll discuss specific tools for the specific effect on that page. That way, I can hopefully help you get the exact finish you want.

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