Faux Finishes, Concrete Floors, Great Ideas
Faux Finish Designer Joanie Valenti.
Joanie Valenti never imagined that she would be a sought after specialty artist for faux finishes. Back then, Valenti’s work focused on straightforward stencil designs on gift items for friends and limited work on walls and floors. But her interest in a more artistic use of paint began to grow. From simple, one color stencils, Valenti began experimenting with more complex designs and use of color combinations. “As my kids got older, I found I had more time to experiment with different types of faux finishes and designs that combined complex stenciling with faux art.” Valenti says. Like many decorative artists, the more she worked at her craft, the more expert she became. “I started out asking friends and family if I could try out new concepts in their homes,” said Valenti. She painted everything from galvanized garbage cans to complicated Oriental rug designs on hardwood floors.
Valenti’s latest work has been on concrete surfaces. For one client, Valenti used a system of stencils and faux finish techniques to create a realistic looking slate path that weaves around red pavers and a small lily pond. Before beginning her work, Valenti prepared the surface by sweeping and vacuuming to pick up loose particles dirt and dust. She then scrubbed the surface with a heavy-duty detergent. Following a thorough rinsing to remove the cleaning agent, Valenti allowed the surface to dry for several days and then vacuumed one more time to make sure all particles were gone. Valenti stresses that taking the time to make sure the concrete is clean and dry will determine the success of the job.
For this project, which was an interior concrete floor in a three-season room, Valenti worked with DecoArt Patio Paint. Once the artwork was complete, she added three coats of a waterborne acrylic sealer to protect the surface from scratches and scuff marks.
Decorative work like Valenti’s can be used on a variety of concrete surfaces such as poolside settings, sidewalks and patios. According to Valenti, opportunities for this type of decorative finish are limitless and add a truly custom look to the finished product. Valenti’s work will be featured in the January 23 issue of PAINT DÉCOR, a BETTER HOMES & GARDENS publication. Valenti can be contacted at 800-484-1263 ext. 1026.