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A variety of fresh painting ideas

Paint Style: The New Approachto Decorative Paint Finishes By Lesley Riva.Benjamin Moore Paints. 176 pp. $26.95.

Strié, ragging, color washing, spatter, faux finishes, stamping, stencils and murals: Who knew there were so many techniques for applying paint to walls?

Benjamin Moore Paints has a ­professional connection, and it shows in the luxurious use of color and the clear presentation of tools and processes used to produce each special effect.

Designers like Colin Cowie, who created a mod gray-scale mural in geometric shapes for a Manhattan loft, and Brian Murphy, with an idea to add a shimmery pearlescent tint to white, shell-adorned oceanfront bedroom walls, are just two of the many experts lending a hand to showcase painting possibilities.

And don't miss the funny stenciled family of silhouettes, dogs included, designed around an antique bathroom mirror by Arthur Dunnan.

Although the results are rich-looking, paint is a relatively inexpensive way to give your rooms a fresh look. The designs included here, both in color photos of finished room settings and ­individual technique close-ups with ­step-by-step instructions, present fresh ideas that can expand to meet your needs, your creativity and your ­pocketbook.

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