faux finish school, faux painting school, mural painting instructions
August 2006

Faux Festival showcased in parade of homes


Val Kealing was a mortgage broker in her former, pre decorative painting life. Now, instead of financing the houses we live in, her faux finishing company, Faux Festival, decorates them with paint! Hence her excitement when she was commissioned to do the Parade of Homes by the Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs in June 2006.

The HBA annual Parade of Homes showcases over 40 homes, scattered throughout the Colorado Springs area. Tickets are sold with maps of the various subdivisions where interior design fans can visit the model homes.

Val’s project began in early July when she and builder, Copperleaf Homes, began their quest to faux finish the Altabella, their $1.85 million Parade home in Cathedral Pines.
Val had several rooms to finish. First, she worked in the dining room, creating a subtle metallic finish incorporating relief aspen leaves on the walls.

Then she painted a Chinoserie style, tone on tone mural, again incorporating aspen leaves, on the ceiling around the chandelier. She used rich, earthy tones and metallic bronzes to keep with the builder’s rustic, Castle in the Pines theme.

Next was the nursery, where Val’s task was a soft sky with clouds in the gabled ceiling. She created a breakaway at the edge of the drywall and added a full size stork mural near the crib. Her designer then adeptly hung ribbons and a bundle-laden basket over the crib for the show.

Downstairs in the powder room, Val majestically painted a trompe l’oeil fabric-like finish converging at the center chandelier. Her uniquely pattered finish has received rave reviews and prompts comments like, “Is it really fabric?” “It feels like wild grasses.” And “Wow! It reminds me of tribal flames!” By far her favorite room, she says.
The foyer in the master suite had a tray ceiling that needed something special, so Val added a hand painted sky with clouds and some aspen branches and leaves, in effect “looking through a grove of aspen.” What a Colorado touch!
Finally, in the media room, Val created supple texture by applying crackle, a Venetian plaster style finish and a subtle double glaze over the entire surface to complete the look.
“Builders are calling ranting and raving about my work.”, says Val, who took just under 3 weeks to complete the job. “It really feels rustic and elegant at the same time. Just beautiful.”
Val is eagerly awaiting the close of the show when she can send in the photographers. (This year’s show ends on August 20th.) Until then, her favorite part about the Parade? Why, getting paid, of course!

Val Kealing has studied The Principles of Applied Arts at the School of Applied Arts in Denver and resides in Morrison, Colorado.

Home Page : School of Applied Arts