Faux Painting from Haverford's Alix Jacobs

Hardwood floors don't have to bare all when faux painting techniques liven up a room.

After years of walls and ceilings, Alix Jacobs is now applying her craft to something beneath her—literally. Not that the Haverford-based decorative painter is complaining. “Painting a floor is obviously a lot easier then trying to faux-paint a ceiling,” she admits.

And it’s not something new. “In the 18th century, the convention of painted wood floors trickled down to those who couldn’t afford pricey patterned stone and tile floors,” she says. “So they began recreating these designs on pine floors. Typical patterns are black-and-white checkerboard designs—sometimes marbelized—or wood tones emulating parquetry and inlay.”

Jacobs can also paint a border around an entry hall and continue it into a nearby dining or living room, which lends continuity. “A foyer is a great place to make an immediate impression,” says Jacobs.

Currently, Jacobs is working on a remodeled mill house in Rosemont. “It has a fairly open floor plan, so we’re painting a contemporary octagon-pattern chain on the dining room floor,” she says. “It’s a way of defining the dining area from the other living spaces.”

And if you’re worried about how a painted floor will hold up, don’t be. It’s all about proper preparation, application and coatings—though occasional touchups may be necessary. “After all, it is paint,” says Jacobs.

Alix Jacobs Decorative Painting, Haverford, (610) 658-5996.

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