AROUND HOME : The Complete Book of Decorative Paint Techniques BY ANNIE SLOAN AND KATE GWYNN (Salem House; 1988)

PAINT, THE MOST versatile and affordable decorating tool, can be used in traditional, contemporary, artful, whimsical or zany applications. Here's a comprehensive guide for those who may attempt their own decorative painting on walls, ceilings, woodwork or furniture. Each technique is clearly illustrated step-by-step in color photographs. What the authors call basic finishes--sponging, mutton clothing, ragging, color washing, combing, spattering--are dealt with first. Then comes information on more advanced techniques--gesso, marbling, porphyry, granite, moire, tortoise shell, wood finishes, wood graining, and gold leaf. A glossary further explains terms and techniques. ($29.95)

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