Interior Design Techniques, Materials and Finishes

Interior Design Techniques, Materials and Finishes

Interior Design Techniques, Materials and Finishes

Interior Design Techniques – Paints

Creating unique interior finishes has never been so easy or affordable. There are literally thousands upon thousands of colours and finishes from which to choose – from simple flat, glossy or satin finishes, to faux wood, faux marble, pickling, colour-washing, striping, orange peel textures and many, many more.

While there has never been as many classy interior design options than there is now, knowing how to eloquently fit some of these into your design space can be difficult, which is why many people hire the services of interior design professionals like VISO to deal with their interior design needs. Why just stop at the interior of your home? If you are really wanting to go all out, then you might want to fix up the exterior of your home as well. Getting new windows from a place like Window World Ohana is a sure way to make a statement. Obviously, it’s a lot easier to change up the interior of your home though.

The eloquent styles and numerous techniques used in a faux painting can transform the entire ambience of a room.

The major benefit of faux painting is its versatility. Faux painting lasts longer than any wallpaper; unlike wallpapers, faux paints have no seams and won’t peel. Every home has some walls with imperfections. The condition and the nature of the surface will determine which technique to use, for example, if the wall is rough and old, the use of the rag rolling technique will make any imperfection in the wall disappear.

interior-design-materials-2Faux painting techniques can be used to update the look of a room and create focal points.

Chalkboard Paint

The Chalkboard paint is a type of paint that dries to a chalkboard Chalkboard Paintfinish. For people feeling creative, this paint can also be made at home. With homemade chalkboard paint, a layer of primer should be applied to the surface beforehand. For every 250 ml (approx.) of paint, two tablespoons of powdered tile grout can be added before the mixture is thoroughly stirred and then applied.

Colour Washing

Colour WashingA popular technique in faux painting using paint thinned out with glaze to create a wash of colour over walls. Colour washing can be done in any colour of paint and generally applied with a soft cloth or sponge over solid paint colour; using long circular motions, as if you were washing the wall (hence the name), to blend the glaze colours together. Continue this wiping technique until the entire surface covered.

Dry Brushing

Dry BrushingA painting technique in which a paintbrush that is relatively dry but still holds paint, is used. The resulting brush strokes have a characteristic scratchy or linear look that adds depth and texture to the wall surfaces in contrast to the more common smooth appearance that washes or blended paint commonly have. The technique is often used as part of a colour layering decorative process.

Crackle Effect

Crackle EffectCrackle Effect painting is a technique used to age a surface so that it looks older or antique in style. It can be applied to walls to give them an antique appearance. When used on walls it is often used alongside other paint techniques such as colour washing to Crackle Effectenhance the worn look. First, you apply the base coat of paint, the colour that you want to show through the cracks. After it has dried, apply two coats of crackle glaze. The last coat should be applied in vertical strokes. Apply the final coat; this should be a flat interior paint, not glossy. The colour is once again your choice.


RaggingRagging or rag rolling is a decorative painting technique created by rolling a point covered rag over the still moist surface to leave a random and unique patterned effect which can replicate the appearance of marble or crushed velvet. The subtle and rich finish achieved mimics that associated with the most expensive wall coverings. Firstly, apply your base paint colour to the walls and allow it to dry. Next, cover a rag completely with the paint of your secondary colour, squeezing out any excess paint. Finally, squeeze the rag into a rough ball, dab, and roll the ball over the wall to create the desired texture pattern. Or use a rag-wrapped roller.


SpongingSponging adds the look of texture and depth to walls by dabbing or rolling a natural sea sponge in a random pattern, leaving a thin coat of glaze on the surface of the undercoat of paint. Always choose a base coat and glaze colour that is close in tone, as too much contrast will result in a splotchy, spotted. Also, do not forget to wear plastic or rubber gloves, as you will get the glaze all over your hands. Tip: Use the corners of the sponge to gently dab the paint into the corners of the wall or ceiling.


StriaeStriae is a striped effect that can help make ceilings look higher and rooms look larger. It can be done in any colour, using two tones of the same colour or a single colour alongside an off-white colour. You will require a specialist striae brush to achieve this effect.

Firstly, paint the desired undercoat colour on the wall, giving it two coats, applying the second only after the first has dried. Next, pour latex glaze into a mixing bucket and add the darker shade of paint with a ratio of five parts glaze to one part paint ensuring to mix the paint thoroughly. Now paint the darker shade on in vertical strokes if you are painting vertical striae or horizontally for horizontal striae. Finally, while the paint is still wet, put the striae brush flat against the wall and pull down the paint in a single motion, from the ceiling to the floor. As the paint is still wet, you will need to wipe off the striae brush between each run.

Interior Design Techniques – Floor Coverings

Floor covering includes carpet, area rugs, linoleum, vinyl flooring, wood flooring, ceramic tile, stone, terrazzo, and various seamless chemical floor coatings. The choice of material for floor covering is affected by factors such as cost, endurance, noise insulation, comfort and cleaning effort. It’s important you look at resources like this vinyl plank flooring cost guide because then you will know what material fits into your budget the best. Some types of flooring must not be installed below ground level, and laminate or hardwood should be avoided where moisture or condensation is present in the air.

Natural Wood

Natural WoodNatural Wood is wear-resistant, long-lasting, provides a warm natural look which may darken with age but can be refinished or retouched as your needs change. However, it is vulnerable to water, dampness and moisture while softer woods, such as pine, may dent easily and are difficult to repair. When putting down a wood floor, be aware that it may shrink and expand, creating gaps or warping so it is advisable to remove skirting boards first and leave room for expansion or shrinking that can be covered by the skirting boards afterwards. To keep wooden floors at their best placemats at entrances to catch dirt and put protective pads on the bottoms of chair and table legs to prevent scratches when moving furniture.

Engineered Wood

Engineered WoodEngineered Wood is artificially manufactured, that consists of real wood. It shrinks and expands less than solid wood and is designed for quicker installation time often using the ‘tongue and groove’ approach. It generally is prefinished so the stain and protective finishes are already completed and will be more consistent and resistant to wear and tear than natural wood.

As with natural wood though, it is recommended that you placemats at each entrance catch dirt and put protective pads on the bottoms of chair and table legs to prevent scratches when moving furniture around the room.


LinoleumLinoleum is an artificial material is made to mimic other materials such as tiles to offer a more affordable solution to a customer’s needs. It is more durable than vinyl and unlike vinyl; its colour penetrates through the entire material. As it is a softer material, it is easier to cut which is good for DIY installations. Some soft nature means it needs to be resealed on an annual basis and it cannot be left wet. Therefore to keep it at its best clean up all spills immediately and only damp-mop when needed using clean, warm water.


TilesA durable, hard-wearing, long-lasting, water and stain-resistant material best suited to kitchens or bathrooms. Tiles are very popular are in high demand; they can be obtained at a relatively low cost and selected from a wide range of colours, textures, and shapes. On the flip side grout lines and textured tiles can be hard to clean and low-quality tiles are liable to chip; fragile items dropped on high-quality tiles will probably break. Tip: Always keep some spare tiles after installations so if a tile is chipped can be replaced.


CarpetA soft, quiet, warm underfoot, and best used in bedrooms and living spaces. Carpet the easiest and most cost-effective floor covering to replace and upgrade. To keep a carpet at its best it is recommended that you clean any spills immediately, vacuum regularly and give it a thorough Atascocita carpet cleaning every 18 months.


StoneStone is the most durable of all floor materials (Some varieties, such as marble and limestone, actually absorb stains and dirt). It is a timeless and classic design choice that beautifies any space. Although it has a higher cost than many flooring materials, it will outlast them all, especially if sealed. Sealing the floor essentially involves painting it with a protective glue-based coating that prevents dust from settling the crevices of the stone and reduces the slipperiness of some glossy stones. Despite its hard-wearing nature, avoid cleaners that are abrasive or contain vinegar, lemon juice, or harsh chemicals; they can stain the stone.

Interior Design Techniques – Fabrics and Fibres

Interior Design Fabrics and FibresNatural fabrics can be expensive to purchase. However, as its name suggests natural fabric is more durable, soft, luxurious and resilient. Some of the commonly used natural fibres are linen, cotton, silk, hemp, jute, wool, horsehair, cashmere, mohair and camelhair. Artificial fibres are obtained from different engineered processes or alterations to existing natural fibres. The market of artificial fibres has broadened due to modern techniques.

Some of the popular artificial fibres now used to create fabrics; are acetate, rayon, triacetate and modified rayon; some of which also explained below. Synthetic fibre is fabricated fibre that is used to improve the quality of natural and artificial fibres. Some of the improved synthetic fibres are acrylic, nylon and polyester.


LinenLinen is a natural fibre derived from the flax plant that provides tough yarn that is slightly glossy and smooth in appearance. The fabric made from linen fibre is moth resistant and hard-wearing. It can be easily washed. Linen tends to crease quite easily yet makes a great choice for curtains.


SilkPrized for its fragility and luxury and can be very expensive. Silk popular among the luxury items due to its unique texture and lustrous appearance. It requires frequent dry cleaning and hand washing is strictly prohibited for silk. Also creases and can be damaged if exposed in sunlight. Silk must be carefully handled.


WoolWool is another natural fibre; it is fleeced from sheep and further processed through various refinements. The wool comes in natural colours but it can be dyed any other colour. It is considered a good insulator. In addition to clothing, wool has been used for carpeting, felt, wool insulation and upholstery. Wool is very versatile and can be blended with synthetics to create an improved fabric.


Cottonobtained from the plant of the same name and is a very strong and tough fabric. Cotton preferred by homeowners for its numerous properties; it is durable, economical and airy. Cotton also widely used for decorative fabrics, as it does not fade away easily.


RayonRayon is produced from processed wood pulp and is valued for its hardness, strength and high absorbency although it does lose its strength when wet and can shrink more than cotton. Some major rayon fibre uses include window treatments, upholstery, and slipcovers. Rayon widely used because it is economical; has excellent drapery properties and commonly substituted for a variety of natural fibres.


AcetateAcetate, also known as Cellulose acetate fibre, is also obtained from wood pulp but is low in absorbency and strength. As a very valuable manufactured fibre that is low in cost; moth resistant and therefore widely used for drapery.


AcrylicAcrylic is made from the polymerization of free radicals and is lightweight, soft and warm. It does not crease easily, is shrink resistant and highly resilient. This fibre also moth resistant but is sensitive when exposed to sunlight. Acrylic can also be made to mimic other fibres; such as cotton, and its fibres are very resilient compared to other synthetics and natural fibres. It takes dying and colouring well, is washable, and is generally hypoallergenic. It is used in, home furnishing fabrics, and awnings.


PolyesterPolyester is a by-product of petroleum; it is very strong and can be hand washed. Polyester is shrink resistant, moth resistant, and crease-resistant and it retains its shape well. Polyester often mixed with natural fibres; in order to create more improved fibres; that extremely strong and durable for use in furnishing and upholstery.

These are some of the best examples of the most commonly requested fabrics. There are many more – your taste is your preference!