Every profession has it’s own special language and Interior Design, Architecture and Construction are no different.

Each week I will be giving you definitions of words beginning with different letters of the alphabet and will continue through the alphabet until we are done with all the letters.

Here are some definitions of words beginning with the letter “G”



GFI and GFCI refer to the ground fault interrupter type outlet which shuts off instantly if it come in contact with water.  It is required in the US electrical building code where an outlet is likely to come in contact with moisture to prevent shock or electrocution. They can be reset by holding down the red “reset” button.  They are used for outdoor applications as well. If there are multiple outlets on the same circuit that need this protection, a GFCI breaker can be used instead.



When something is “gilt”  it has a gold or other metal leaf applied to the surface to enhance it and bring out the details.  It is used on a lot of surfaces including ceilings, finials, bowls, candlesticks, sculptural details on furniture and lighting. The surface is first covered with a thin coat of size (a sticky transparent glue) and then the very thin sheets of metal are applied over it to cover the surface.  The item then gets burnished and often has a thin glaze applied over that before the whole thing is finished with a clear coat to protect it.



Gimp is the decorative flat braid used to finish off upholstery or a decorative applied trim on pillows, lamp shades and furniture .

GRAIN, GRAINING: graining-resized-600

Graining is a term used in Faux painting where the finished product is supposed to look like wood.  It is achieved by applying a thin coat of glaze over paint and finishing it with wood graining tools and brushes to simulate actual wood. The French term “Faux Bois” means false wood.

All kinds of wood species can be done this way if the artist is knowledgeable about the characteristics and coloring of the wood.  It can be used indoors or out and finished with the appropriate clear coat for protection from daily wear and tear or the elements. When this is done by an expert it is nearly impossible to tell it from the real thing and I have used it on projects where a room was paneled but the door, windows and trim did not match the paneling.  By using this technique we were able to make it all look the same.