This section provides a list of techniques, materials, and common references that are frequently used in the design and decorative painting profession.


It is a generally dull white or grayish surface awaiting some treatment to be embellished! Whether your walls or floor are available for a decor or not, why no focus on your ceiling and try: a tenting effect, a sky with birds, a small lattice work running along the border displaying flowers on a summer sky background, a checkered pattern, a fake coffered ceiling, or a strie finish gathering in the center of the ceiling? If this is overwhelming, you may limit yourself to painted palm leaves, stars, or a garland around your ceiling suspension. This will add character to the room and a dash of fantasy. Now for a grander scheme, you may go for a gold or silver coating, bringing a different light to the room. If you choose gold, before purchasing the metallic paint, sample some shades on a board and affix it to the ceiling to insure that it is not too dark. Any color on the ceiling will look twice or three times darker than on the sample you are holding; metallic paints in particular can look very dark against the light. Remember that a dark color lowers a ceiling, a light one raises it, and a painted sky expands and opens it.


these are decors copied from Asian art and objects, or original ones, imported by merchants and embassies more abundantly during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The high demand period for such decors crested during the eighteen century. China and Japan produced large quantities of porcelain wares, silk paintings, lacquered furniture, and so on, ornate with paintings that seduced occidentals by their compositions and refined exotic themes. There were no such traditions in the Occident of geometrical and sketched paintings, free of perspective, with similar underlying philosophical themes. Europeans started to copy these Asian artistic pieces, and modulated their orders with specific designs, such as the beautiful porcelain wares imported by the West Indies Company. Patrons and kings of Europe commissioned decors on walls and entire rooms, with fantasy gardens and mythical creatures, playful monkeys, with audacious colors. The sobriety of the Asian design often gave way to the Occidental arrangement, yet, eventually, the two different cultures met to coexist harmoniously and complete each other.

Color wash

a highly diluted paint, in water or oil, that leaves an uneven pastel tone on a wall or a piece of furniture. The goal is to create a pale powdery effect. To reach a satisfactory result, your medium must be very liquid and you need to work quickly since it will be absorbed by the surface almost instantaneously; you do not want to leave unsightly dragging marks on the surface.


Everyone has a favorite color, or an ideal combination of colors. You cannot help reacting to certain colors and being aware of those colors with whichyou cannot live without It happens that often we pick a color for our home that, to our amazement, reveals to be disappointing. This is tied to the fact that the lighting and size of the room were occulted. In addition, the Light Reflective Value that measures the degree of light reflected back by the surface, coupled to the quasi absence of light in a room may accentuate immensely its darkness: to your dismay, the radiant blue that you had selected has turned into an unnamable grey; your pale yellow has become a grey off-white, and so on. This transformation is called metamerism; it finds its explanation in the proportion of black added to paint, and/or the selection of a mat sheen, and/or of course, the absence of natural daylight. We did not even mention the effect of electric or fluorescent lighting on the color. Metamerism is another phenomenon to take into consideration since we spendhalf of our lives under electric light. The fairy electricity will turn colors into bright and yellowier tints, pumping out of the color all of its yellow. In light of these observations we need to recourse to samples, and compare them at different times of the days, in sunny or overcast days. For your well being you need to admit that you feel ill at ease with some colors that, even if trendy, should not pass your threshold. This is a color therapy rule, to be followed. Your home is your sanctuary, and eternal place of gratification not mortification. Your senses have to be visually gratified because you are rarely able to work on and transform your tastes. Apart from these observations, it is obvious that for most of us, white is an extremely satisfactory color that comes often equal with our favorite non-white color. A plus is obtained by white's quality of cleanliness and widening surfaces. Consequently, when selling a house, one is better advised to stay with white.


on some used ceramics or porcelain wares, one may notice tiny cracks in the top enamel finish of the ware. One may seek to reproduce this crackling to age a small object, such as a lamp base or a box. There are numerous readymade solutions to this end. You need to practice and try out your product and your hand: the size and occurrence of the cracks may vary, depending on the chemical reaction between the surface receiving the solution and the ingredients of the product.