Faux Finish

The Top Three Faux Finishes Available

Faux finishes can add more texture and style to a wall compared to sticking with a flat color. You can create the look of other materials and give your home a more luxurious appearance. 

So, what are the best faux finishes available? Here are three of the top choices.

What Is a Faux Finish?

Applying a faux finish involves using a painting technique or specific type of paint to replicate the look of another type of material. 

For example, you may use multiple colors of paint, sponges, and rags to create the look of marble, stone, or wood surfaces on drywall or plaster walls.


Marbleizing is one of the most common faux finish techniques. With marbleizing, you can recreate the look of a marble surface. People often use marbleizing finishes on tabletops, fireplace mantles, picture frames, and even on walls.

As with most faux finishes, you need to use multiple colors to create the faux look. Start with a base coat and allow it to dry completely. 

After the base coat dries, apply a slightly lighter shade with a small roller applicator. Before the lighter shade dries, use a sponge or a balled-up rag to apply a slightly darker shade. As you dab and smear the sponge or rag, you also smear the lighter color that you previously applied. This helps create the mottled look of a marble pattern. 

You can also go back over the wall using a fine-tipped paint brush and the darker color. Use the paintbrush to recreate the veins that run through marble surfaces. 

When you finish painting the veins, go back over the entire surface with a dry brush. Use large, uneven brushstrokes to lighten and blend areas of your paint job and create a more realistic appearance. 

Color Washing

Color washing helps give surfaces a weathered look. It is one of the most popular types of faux finishes and is relatively easy to apply. You need a base coat of paint, a glaze, and extra brushes.

After allowing the base coat to dry, apply the glaze. The glaze is often added using a rag or sponge. Apply the glaze in a circular motion. Before the glaze dries, use a brush to thin the glaze and create a feathery appearance.

Use large, swift brush strokes to thin the glaze. Thinning the glaze allows more of the base coat to show through. The darker glaze adds a weathered, leathery appearance that many people find attractive. 

Rag rolling is another type of faux finish that provides similar results to color washing. It creates a weathered look using a rag dipped in a glaze color of your choice. The rag is rolled or twisted into a ball and rolled across the surface.

Wood Grain

A faux wood grain finish can give a room a warmer feel. You can recreate the look of wood paneling and wood features around your house using a faux finish technique. It involves the use of a tool called a graining tool.

A graining tool typically includes a large stamp with a wood grain pattern on it. You apply the graining tool to wet paint to achieve the wood grain effect.

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