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 The Complete Book of Paint The first book to cover virtually every paint technique and every conceivable surface: walls, floors, wood furniture, and even upholstered fabrics and metalwork from a hot new designer. The book's 35 projects provide beautiful results and are also accessible to those with a less-than-practiced hand. 200 full-color photographs.
  Date Published 9/24/1996

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From: Phoenix
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Comments: Excellent Idea Book!
I have been a professional faux painter for over 5 years. This is the book I turn to when a client is looking for something unusual. The photos provide endless, timeless finishes and designs. I have spent countless hours poured over Mr. Carter's book and I always find a little something in the pictures that I can turn into a 'new' look. The current 'in-style' colors may change, but that is the beauty of paint! Change the colors and you have a new look. As I always say, the best ideas usually begin as someone else's!
Rated By: Sonya "readaholic"
From: Dallas, TX
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Comments: Skip This One if you are a Beginner
I checked this book out of the library to determine if it was one I would like to add to my collection.

The first half of the book "Inspirations" showed different rooms with various faux finishes and paint, none of which were detailed. The second half of the book was divided into "Technique and Effects", "Projects" and "Directory of paints and surfaces".

"Technique and Effects" addresses the various techniques, i.e. sponging, splattering, combing, strie and others. Generally there were 1-2 small (about 2" x 4-5") close-up photos of the specific technique. The instructions for the technique followed with a few illustrations, not photographs. Some sections did not have illustrations, just text instruction of the technique (antiquing, aging wood and trompe l'oeil).

"Projects" included things like:
- Crackle-glazed headboard (basic and brief)
- Opulent hallway (some weird star-like spots that seemed more appropriate for a child's room or maybe a celestial theme)
- Faux Fur Interior (walls painted in a leopard-print using potatos)
- Theatrical Drawing Room (very amateurish looking).

There WERE several nice projects such as the:
- Empire Style Salon which used Trompe l'oeil panels (no detailed instructions)
- Townhouse Suite with Blue and white striped walls (again just brief steps)
- Silhouetted Salon - very unusual technique and kind of a stylized art painting of a figure done in a navy color
- Stone Blocked Bathroom - brief instructions but think I could follow this one without too much trouble

"Directory" discusses different type of finishes and how they are used; exterior and how to paint various objects (gutters, brick, doors); tiles/ceramic/glass and plastic. I found this section very informative, even though it did not go into a great amount of detail on each component but it was helpful information.

This book may be great for someone who already does faux-finishing, but I felt it lacked details for the beginner. I do think there are much better books out there for learning paint techniques which go into more detail. You might want to try Fresh Paint by Glenwood Sherry, Walls that Wow from Country Sampler Decorating Ideas (even though many of their techniques are not country) and Great Paint Finishes for a Gorgeous Home by Gary Lord