When it comes to finishes, faux is a great way to go

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By Liz Premo, Atlantic News Staff Writer

Atlantic News, Friday, September 20, 2001

[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]
TRULY WONDERFUL WORK -- Clark Hill of Clark & Clark Painting (above) displays just a few of the fabulous faux finishes which the Hampton-based painting business can create for both residential and commercial properties. To get a closer look (at the end of article) at the fine variety of finishes available, contact Clark & Clark Painting at 929-1800.
[Atlantic News Photos by Liz Premo]

HAMPTON -- When it comes to fabulous finishes for home or business, faux can often be the way to go. And for well over a year now, locally owned and operated Clark & Clark Painting has been offering customers beautiful faux finishes that can add excitement, color and texture to all kinds of interior surfaces.

For Clark Hill, it took only a brief back-in-time peek into his high school art portfolio to convince him that faux finishes should be added to the list of services provided by the painting business he runs with his cousin, Ted Clark. He had heard about the process several years back, and felt he could utilize his artistic ability to create the same kinds of finishes for Clark & Clark customers.

"We decided this is something we should be doing," acknowledges Hill, as he describes the finer points of faux finishing while displaying a generous rainbow of colorful and textured samples. Spraying, ragging, sponging, combing, marbleizing and color wash are some of the techniques Clark & Clark employs to create a unique alternative to the standard painted or wallpapered surface. Smooth Rock, Venetian Plaster, Chinese Rub, Collage, Crackles, Woodgrain, and Stone walk represent just a few of the many beautiful finishes that can add drama and style to any decor.

"There's a lot we can do," says Hill, who points out that "what you're getting is art — that's really what it is."

This artistic treatment can range from simple to ornate, and while the application of each finish involves its own degree of complexity, Hill says that color wash is the "simplest faux finish there is." Though the results of this technique "are fairly subtle," he says, "this seems to be the favorite." Catching on quickly, though, is the Venetian Plaster faux finish. "It's relatively new," explains Hill. "Nobody in the area does it." Nobody, that is, except for Clark & Clark.

Most of the faux finishes are created using a combination of water-based paint and glaze. The secret is in the application; slight variations to how the material is applied can provide an entirely different result. For instance, a positive color wash begins with a base coat of one color of paint. Then, a mixture of glaze and a different paint color is applied over the base coat using, for example, a ragging technique. On the other hand, a negative color wash calls for the applied paint-and-glaze mixture to be removed, again using a specific technique.

"You get two pretty distinctive looks," says Hill, who adds that any colors can be used, according to the customer's taste. He confides that the secret to perfect faux finishes is that when a professional is on the job, "you're not supposed to be able to tell what is used" to create the finish. It takes training to produce that sort of quality work, and to that end Clark & Clark Painting has risen to the occasion.

"I went to two schools to learn this," says Hill, who took three days of classes at Interior Images in March of 2000, and a full week's worth of classes two months later at "Go With the Faux," outside of Dallas, Texas. Hill says he's "probably done 30 [faux finishing] jobs," including those at a Sheraton Hotel in Syracuse, New York and a large home next to the Big Horn Golf Course in Palm Desert, California. Of course, says Hill, "we've done a lot of stuff in Hampton" as well.

Faux finishes can be applied to a variety of interior surfaces, from top to bottom. Imagine a floor with a smooth, marbleized finish, complete with delicate veining — or a cloud-dotted sky-blue ceiling. Or how about walls with wide pastel linen-look stripes, turned opalescent with an exciting color wash. Using antiquing, aging, stenciling, woodgraining, collage and other techniques, Clark & Clark Painting can turn a plain interior surface into a beautiful "work of art" with the many faux finishes they offer.

"Anybody [who] wants any of those things done -- [we] can make it happen," promises Hill. And, just like all of the painting services provided by Clark & Clark, Hill says that "we stand behind our work; our work is guaranteed."

The neighborhood professionals at Clark & Clark Painting are active members of the Painting & Decorating Contractors of America. To find out more about their exciting line of faux finishes and other services (including residential and commercial exterior and interior painting, decks, and more), call Clark & Clark at 929-1800 or (800)PAINTJOB.

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