Decorative Painting is a general term used to describe a wide variety of visual and textural effects. It has come to include both Folk Art and Tole Painting. The term encompasses a broad range of techniques throughout history on a myriad of surfaces. It has been done in one form or another on interior or exterior architectural surfaces, furniture, or other decorative and functional objects. Modern decorative painting technique is based on a rich history of painted effect from many eras and a multitude of cultures.Tole comes from the Old French taule which refers to iron or steel in thin sheets laminated or welded under pressure.
Traditionally Tole Painting referred to painting on items made from this thin metal. Tole came to mean to paint on tin and the term Tole Painting came into popular usage. Although we paint on many types of surfaces today Decorative Painting is interchangeably known as Tole Painting.
Folk Art commonly referred to the art of ordinary people. Folk art was traditionally produced by rural and working class people in their spare time. Folk artists learned techniques often passed on from one generation to the next. The main intent of folk art is to add color and decoration to everyday items such as furniture and utensils.